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(By Trek IC, Meng Yong)

Week 8 Bonding Trek

Trek Size: 38 people

Objective:  To Bond the member of the trekking team

To Initiate new trekkers to the sport of trekking

Day 1: 5 October 2009, Monday

We met at 1730H at Kranji Station and make our way to Johor City Square for our dinner. Thanks to Rachel our marketing IC we have a very nice new shirt that we encourage everyone to wear before embarking on the trek.

After dinner, we boarded the bus together. And on the bus, we celebrated Shawn Tan and Teresa Yap 21th birthday on the bus! (And on day 3 we discovered Shawn’s birthday wish is to get out of the forest alive) Happy birthday Shawn + Teresa! Hope you two will always remember us all and how you spent your birthday in the forest!

Day 2: 6 October 2009, Tuesday

It was a cold chilly morning when we reach Brinchang town at 6am. And many people including me were caught off guard by the bitter coldness, and to add salt to wound, it rained soon after. Few of us went to get breakfast at the only small shop in the town that open at such an early hour. But most of us just waited for the 4 wheel-drive (4wd) in the bus because it is just too cold outside.

The 4wd arrived at around 7am, and the 38 of us squeezed onboard two small 4wd. It is still drizzling and everybody is hugging each another on the open-top 4wd. It is still quite funny looking back, and the 4wd feels like its going to topple every time it turns. But still, it successfully brings us to the top of Gunung Brinchang after several hor-lans (detours).

And, we began our journey from the top of Gunung Brinchang, aiming to complete Gunung Irau and Gunung Yellow, and Gunung Pass by day 3. Trekking in cold weather is nice, you don’t perspire at all and feels great! But the route from Brinchang to Irau is very muddy, with many knee-deep mud pools(which many people sank in lol). And at many part of the trek the gradient is close to 75 degrees steep, especially at the portion just before reaching Son of Irau(nick name of the campsite before Gunung Irau) which we climbed 2 hour at a 75 degree steep slope!

I must admit when planning the trek we underestimated the trek by a lot, by the time we reach Son of Irau, it is already 4.30pm, and it is still an hour away from Gunung Irau, let alone completing Gunung Yellow on the first day. We decided to camp the night at Son of Irau and gathered people who are interested in conquering Irau and we left for Irau at 5pm, while the reminding people set up the campsite and start preparing for dinner.

13 people reached the summit of Gunung Irau at 6pm. It feels good to finally reach the summit but the summit is surrounded by trees and there is no view at the summit! We left the summit soon after and trekked back to our camp at Son of Irau. And soon we reached night trek but fortunately it wasn’t a long trek in the darkness. We reached camp at 8pm and ate dinner. And after the dinner everyone is totally exhausted and cold and we slept at 10pm(so early!)

And throughout the night, we prayed for it not to rain as our shelter for the night was basha and many people were sleeping outside the basha as it cannot fit everyone in. And the night just got colder and colder. Luckily it didn’t rain!

Day 3: 7 October 2009 (Wednesday)

After waking up and had our breakfast, we started trekking down Son of Irau at 7pm, we reached Gunung Brinchang at 12pm, and trekked our way to Brinchang town. And on the way there is nice scenery of all the tea plantations. We boarded the bus at 2pm and make our way back to Singapore.

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