Monday, April 2, 2012

Mt Rinjani Prep hike 2: Mt Ophir (Gunung Ledang)

It was time for one more challenging hike before attempting Mt Rinjani. Mt Ophir is located in Johor state of Malaysia and is accessible by road from Singapore. It is only 4187 ft high but the trail is quite challenging. Wiki states that there have been quite a few fatalities on this hike and since then they have made guides compulsory. I felt it was over-regulated and the guide did not add a lot of value.

Travel was more hectic than the hike!! Here is how it went:

MRT till Kranji MRT (40 mins)
Bus 170 till Singapore Immigration (15 mins)
Clear Singapore Immigration (Time depends on no of people)
Bus 170 till Malaysia Immigration (10 mins)
Clear Malaysia Immigration (Time depends on no of people)
Bus 170 till Larkin Terminal (Johor Bahru) (15-20 mins)
Waiting time at Larkin (3 hrs)
Cepak express bus till Segamat (~3-4hrs)
North west local bus till National Park Entrance (50 mins)

By the time I reached the trailhead, it was 5PM!! I had started at 7AM from Singapore. My guide was summoned and we finally started the hike at 530PM. We reached the base camp in less than 2.5 hrs.

By the time we reached base camp, it was well past sunset and the forest was indeed active. There were multitude of noises coming in from all directions - Gave us a sense of life in the forest...

The next morning, we joined a couple more groups at the camp and went to the summit together. We were slowed down because of the group size but we still made it before sunrise. Sunrise was beautiful - Johor on one side and Melaka on the other.

The return was quick and the park had transport till the nearest bus stop (Tangkak). They dropped me at Tangkak and I was told to try 'Mee Bandung', an indigenous Malaysian meal available in Tangkak (& Muar). I did try it - it was good...

The return journey was even more cumbersome. It was as if all of Singapore had gone into Malaysia that weekend. It took me 2.5 hrs to clear all immigration formalities on both sides. I reached home at 1AM!!

Nevertheless, this boosted my confidence for my hike to Mt Rinjani the next week...

UP NEXT: Hike of the year - Mt Rinjani - Lombok, Indonesia - 12420 ft

No comments: