Though unannounced the boat ride to and around Lake Chini yesterday afternoon was something memorable, to say the least.
For most of the Pekan DVS staffs (surprising) and me the trip was our very first.
We all eagerly climbed onto three fibre-glass boats parked at the floating jetty on the still Chini river.
Chini river, a tributary of the mighty Pahang river (if my geography was right) flowed direct to lake Chini. The very informative boat operator told me that the river was dammed up-river, the reason why the river was so still and its water level was constant most of the time.
The ride through the meandering river with the forest canopy on both sides was something mesmerizing. I just loved every moment of it. Once in a while the boat operator made a sharp bend just to scare me. I was not scared but rather enjoyed it very much.
On a branch high above a tree I saw a lonely silver eared leaf monkey resting. A beautiful bright blue kingfisher sudenly dashed just inches above the water, probably returning to its nest somewhere in the tree.
Then the boat stopped at a river bank, just before it touched a curving liana root. Up the bank there was a sign board saying "Lubang ular (Snake hole)".
The boat driver then narrated the story of why the place was called Snake hole.
Once upon a time long time ago, an Orang Asli decided to rest on a fallen log. He sat down and began pulling leeches from his legs. He then cut the blood-engorged leeches with his machette.
He was taken aback seeing too much blood coming out of such tiny leeches. He then scraped the surface of the log removing some of the moss and lichens covering the log.
To his surprise he saw scales, big ones on the surface of the log. "Ah a snake!".
Indeed it was a snake, a humongous reticulated phyton that all this while he was sitting on.
For that incident the place was called Snake hole.
The boat moved on to the lake proper. From afar I was amazed at its natural beauty.
Water crescents with their beautiful pink flower adorned the surface of the lake. Further into the lake pandan trees ( a kind of mengkuang) marched in unison adding colour to the already fantastic view.
We stopped in between water crescents just to enjoy their delicious seeds. They brought memories of my childhood.
On one lake bank I saw a resort, beautiful but yet to be completed. It was nestled in trees - something I really wanted to see.
We then stopped at an Orang Asli of the Jakun tribe small village called Kg. Chendahan. Children greeted us as they sat smiling cheekily on a wooden bench. They were Mek Intan, Mek Labu and Rosham.
It surprised me to know that they went to school. The smallest girl, Mek Hitam even knew how to spell words that I asked.
The blow-pipe darting event was something else. At first not many dared try it. Then after the boat driver showed how easy it was to hit the bulls-eye, everyone rushed in to try.
The boat driver was again at his antics when he manouvred the boat left and right over the sunken palace area.
The trip was both memorable and useful for me. I think I will come back later to fully explore its beauty, maybe with my boys after my retirement.
I promise to write something on it on my blog and here it is for your reading pleasure.