23-Mar-2003 -- Sunday 23rd March, would see my 4th and last attempt in trying to reach this Confluence 102E 03N. I have made 3 previous attempts and also found 3 possible ways to approach this point. On all these visits, my group was met with one big deterrent to proceed: a hike up the hill filled with thick forest and undergrowth. I have checked and rechecked the contour map to ascertained the likely altitude of this point. I hope that it is on lower ground. I was looking for flaws in the contour map I am having, and that it may be inaccurate. Never mind, on this Sunday, I decided to give this confluence, a last try.
This morning, we, Jan Stuivenberg, Edward Chua and myself made our way to the Kuala Kelawang area, starting from Kuala Lumpur at 7.00 am. We reached but first we needed to check out another destination of ours. The Kijang Waterfall. We were there around 9.45 am. We assessed the trails surrounding the waterfall and then adjourned for lunch.
Next on the agenda, the Confluence Point 102E 03N. It was about 2.00 pm when we reached a favorite spot of mine. There was this fish farm complemented by a Banana plantation. Then there was this series of hills, filled numerous tracks that are long forgotten. My spot? The end of a jungle track reaching the foot of the "Hills". As usual, Jamil Abdul Hadi, part owner of the farm was on hand to greet us. I have already met the whole group of workers and owners in the last 2 occasions. This day, he enquired as to whether I would like to continue pushing through the eastern approach, his brother accompanied last. No, I would try getting closer to the point, perhaps from another trail head starting on the north end of the slope. From his working shed, we managed only 400 meters along this new trail. It was on a trail that led us to trek uphill through dense vegetations. It was assuring as we were all the time on solid ground. The bad news was, after a while the land contour began to guide the trail away from one point that lies closest to the confluence. That was it. We had no choice but to call it "quit". Back into the comfort of the shed, we went through the scenario of the terrain again and that of places we had not being yet. We showed the Hadi brothers, discussed the terrain with the aid of our maps. Pointed the landmarks among the few rolling hills of our last findings. Our guess as to where the the final destination, the confluence, would likely to be. After much liberations, we accept the fact that there would be no easy path to reach the confluence.
Many thanks to the 2 Abdul Hadi brothers, Suhami and Jamil, who were so kind to show us the 2 sets of trails, and share with us their intimate knowledge of the place. Credit also to those other guys who had being with me on previous trip. Lee Boon Chee and Chow Lye Fong.
The final readings at the stops we reached, nearest to the confluence were:
Eastern approach - 02 59.505E 102 00.810N Alt 202 meters. With open sky, accuracy was at 10 meters.
North-eastern approach - 02 59.734E 102 00.929N Alt 210 meters
Reading from the 2 other points were worst than these 2 final locations, therefore omitted.
The Confluence 102N 03E: The confluence is on high ground - on a slope filled with primary tropical forest. See picture 1. At 440 meters high and over 1.7 kilometers away from 2 points where we reached, this confluence is located in a region of many low hills. The locals refer this region as Glami Lemi. This is a picture taken of a slope on the second hill, where our GPS was pointing, the direction to the Confluence.
Within the limits where we explored, the scene of the last seen locality was one consisting of a good sized, broad Y-shaped valley. Two brooks flowing to join up as a stream. The valley floor made flat, between 50-100 meters wide, were fed by these brooks. Eastwards, this tiny valley opens up. The confluence point is near the foot of a hill on the southern flank of rolling hills. With the existence of this strip of narrow valley that separates the so-called northern flank, another sets of hills. The panoramic picture shows the view of the hills on the north flank. There was no point in making a complete circular shot. The rest of the scene i.e. the rear portion from where we took this shot was that of hillsides and trees. This valley floor was being salvaged and filled with ponds farming Talipia fishes. Picture 3 shows one such pond. The fringes of the pond have wild bananas on the left and scattered cultivated bananas plants on the right. Next, on higher ground where we stood, around the 200 meters level, there were 2 old trails. If we turn around and face the hill slope, one was on the left of this low hill and another going around on the right. The vegetation here was that of a secondary jungle, thick with undergrowth. Many sections lined with a thick band of wild banana plants. Going in along the trail on the left, our vehicle ploughed through waist deep tall grasses and scrubs. (See picture 4).
This region, about 110 kilometers from Kuala Lumpur is where the Main Range of Peninsula Malaysia, a continuous ridge with mountains make a brief break. The belt of low hills, here separated this place from its State capital. It is remote, scenic and sparsely populated. Left undisturbed, the hills are well known for the presence of plentiful wildlife, notably Wild Boars and Deer. It is not surprising that pug marks from Tiger had being sighted in the past.
We wish the next person attempting this confluence to have better luck than what we had so far.