Stuif's Adventures

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Finally Rafflesia! (29-30)-1-2008
After busy weeks, transferring Aric's business to another server, we needed a break. We decided to go to Adeline's Rumah Rehat, near Gopeng, as we had heard good reviews of the place.
It is a well-maintained resort in Orang Asli style, with basic huts on stilts, in beautiful surroundings. An old water pipeline, dating back to the heydays of the tin mining industry, adds to the rustic charm of the place. Unfortunately the owner of the pipeline is planning to make a quick buck, by demolishing this piece of industrial heritage, which would be a real shame.

We arrived at noon and, after a hearty welcome by Adeline, were shown our hut. Basic, there is a fan, but do not expect a TV or a fridge..:-) And the door can not be locked, that is something to get used to for city people.
Soon a delicious lunch was served, al fresco, and it made clear that Adeline deserved her reputation of being a good cook.

On arrival we had asked if there were Rafflesia's in bloom, and we got very excited when we were told that, yes, there were!
In nearby Ulu Geroh there are a few locations where these rare flowers can be found. If you are lucky, because it takes nine months for the buds to grow, and then there is a flower for only a few days. The Rafflesia is a parasitic plant, growing only on one specific species of vine, the Tetrastigma.
A few years ago The MNS has started a successful project to train the local Semai Orang Asli as guides. Starting point is the Ulu Geroh Community Center at the end of the potholed road (4WD needed, transport can be arranged). There we met our guide Ngah. He warned us that this specific location was quite deep in the jungle.

When you go trekking in a Malaysian afternoon, there is always the risk of rain. And indeed, after half an hour, it started to drizzle, the drizzle became rain and the rain turned into a downpour... We took shelter under some trees for some time, but when the rain did not stop, we decided to go on and get wet.
The last part of the trail was very steep and slippery, luckily the Semai had prepared some fixed ropes.

Finally we reached the Rafflesia location and we were rewarded not with one, but two flowers! The flowers of this specific species (Rafflesia Cantleyi) are not as big as some of the Borneo ones, but still very impressive. No smell, maybe because they were fresh, maybe because of the heavy rain. Because of the rain and the numerous leeches, we stayed only a few minutes, tried to take some pictures (not easy in the rain on a slippery slope) and then went (slided..) back. Not often been so wet, and never so many leeches.

But we were very happy and, back in the car, I had a small bottle of wodka, to give us back some strength...;-) After that, in the resort, the (cold) shower was bliss. And the food copious, long time I never had lamb chops with mint sauce!

Our hut was built above a small stream, the gurgling sound of the water made us feel sleepy. And there were no mosquito's .

The next morning, after a huge breakfast (nasi lemak AND char kway teow AND toast + jam) we took our leave of Adeline, assuring her that we we would come back. This is a nice place, not cheap, but you feel very welcome. Click here for the website.

On our way back to KL, we explored a bit the region around Ulu Slim. We visited the Hot Springs (nothing special).There seems to be a nice waterfall, but it can only be reached with a "real" 4WD. Finally we had a look at the cascades and waterfalls of Sungei Bil. Waterfalls not spectacular, but very nice, clear water.

A nice trip

Adeline's signboard

The old water pipeline
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Our 'chalet'

Our room with a view

Delicious lunch
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Rafflesia, here we come!

The community center in Ulu Geroh

You need a guide here

Lucky shot. This butterfly always moves.

Our guide telling about the trip

Ready to go

Passing an Orang Asli kampung

Children taking a bath

Beautiful flower

Petai tree

Rain is starting

Our first Rafflesia

Taking pictures in the rain

One for the album
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Detail of the flower

Rafflesia buds on the vine

Yes, it was raining

Look at his face..:-)

Delicious dinner

Too much food....

Deserved rest

Time for the newspaper


No life without a laptop


Morning in the resort

The pipeline

Huge breakfast

Beautiful fern

Our room

Our chalet

Saying goodbye to Adeline

My favourite flower

The Geruntum waterfall

Dragon fruit farm

Dragon fruit flower

Part of the pipeline has been removed already

Ulu Slim Hot Springs

Typical bad maintenance

Crossing the Slim river

Real 4WD needed from here on.

Crossing Sg Bil

Sg Bil waterfalls

Nice clear water

Another waterfall

The Sg Bil reservoir

wrote on Feb 3, 2008:
Lucky you! Got to see the Rafflesia. I was there 3 years ago but no luck.

wrote on Feb 3, 2008:
It never ceases to amaze me how you ferret out all these "hidden" places to go to!

wrote on Feb 3, 2008:
Congratulations! Great write-up up! Take away the leeches and I shall join you to Ulu Geroh to discover he enchanting Rafflesia in your next trip! For one moment, I thought you may have a tiny share in Adeline's Food business!! BC

wrote on Feb 3, 2008:
Wow! Really hope to join you guys for a trip like that one day!

wrote on Feb 3, 2008:
Whoa! Really Nice! : )

wrote on Feb 3, 2008:
You are right. This is the Common Birdwing, and it never keeps still.

wrote on Feb 3, 2008:
My God! Good shot!

wrote on Feb 3, 2008:
Wow! Beautiful! I never seen this species before!

wrote on Feb 3, 2008:
wow, i have not seen rafflesia in full broom. congratulation.

wrote on Feb 3, 2008:
Beautiful... How deep into the jungle you need to trek before you get to see this wonder flower?

Kwai Loh wrote on Feb 3, 2008:
About one hour trekking, first part level, second part steep. Piece of cake for somebody like you...:-)

wrote on Feb 3, 2008:
That's an interesting looking species.

chengwc wrote on Feb 4, 2008:
what is he drinking?

Kwai Loh wrote on Feb 4, 2008:
I found a mini-bottle of wodka in my car, 37.5 %. A bit too strong for him, I would say...:-)

Liz wrote on Feb 4, 2008:
was it good vodka, or the cheap local stuff? If it's a minature, I guess it is good stuff ... although Aric doesn't think so !!!

Liz wrote on Feb 4, 2008:
So sad they are removing this piece of history. It's a pity that not enough people care about this bit of Malaysia's heritage. Sadly there's more value in scrap metal than in history.

Liz wrote on Feb 4, 2008:
thought you had cheated and taken it in a butterfly farm :-)

Liz wrote on Feb 4, 2008:
You were so lucky to see these. I've never seen Rafflesia (although admittedly I've never looked for them)

Liz wrote on Feb 5, 2008:
I was swimming today at my condo and suddenly noticed there are a lot of these flowers surrounding the pool. I've never noticed them before! Next time I go to the pool I will take my camera and get some photos. Anyone know the name of the flower?

wrote on Feb 10, 2008:
Spider lilies?

Liz wrote on Feb 11, 2008:
Yes you could be right. I just looked on wikipedia, and they could be Hymenocallis genus (maybe Hymenocallis littoralis ).

Kwai Loh wrote on Feb 11, 2008:
Thanks for the ID, Mike.

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