30-Jan-2006 -- Our search for confluence 5N 102E was meant to explore the terrain and to collect information for a second expedition, which then would hopefully allow conquering this confluence. From Google Earth and the Kelantan road map I had estimated that the confluence should be located about 25km North of Gua Musang, Kelatan and 2.5km East of road D29. This turned out to be quite precise.
The following description of our quest can be related to the points of GPS track in picture #2.
We headed North on D29 until the GPS pointed at a right angle off the road. Just behind a small mosque on the right and before the Esso Patrol station on the left there was an opportunity to turn East off the road (1). Although after just 100m it was end of the road for our Wira (2), it was a good place to leave the car and follow the track that entered into the jungle in direction of the confluence, which is 2.2km from here. We got ready for the hike and followed the path, which turned out to be a logging track. It winds up the hill and would also be passable by 4WD. At the East side of the hill (3), the view opened and allowed a glimpse of the confluence, which is still 2km at 115 degree from here. The area is hilly and covered with secondary jungle with thick undergrowth and fairly impenetrable. However, due to recent or ongoing logging activities it is crisscrossed with more ore less overgrown mud tracks.
At the junction (3) we took the track to the East down the hill. Occasionally the tracks widened to clearings, which seemed to have been log loading or storage areas. Along the track we saw several old elephant droppings, but when we came over very fresh elephant footprints in the mud, we started feeling uncomfortable. Did they originate from working elephants or from wild ones? We were not very eager to have an encounter with one of them.
At (4) the track divided opted for the one to the right, which was in direction of the confluence. At (5) we first tried the wider one to the left for a few hundred meters (6). But as it was going steep downhill and as it was not clear if it would continue in the right direction, we decided to return and try the one to the right. This one seemed to be more promising and we followed it to the next opening with another junction (7). Two tracks continued from here, both quite steep down the hill.
Till here we had been hiking for one about one hour and the confluence was still 1250m away in very difficult terrain. It was clear that we would not make it on this occasion. Also the thought of the elephants that might watch us somewhere there in the jungle made our motivation crumble.
Till where we had reached one could also drive with any 4WD or a motorcycle. So this would be a good starting point for the next expedition. However, it is still not certain if the confluence can be reached from this end, as nobody knows how far the jungle tracks are extending towards the confluence. The undergrowth here is very thick and it would hardly be possible to fight one’s way through it for a more than few ten meters.
So if anybody wants to attempt it again and is looking for a buddy, drop me a line.
Here are the coordinates of the waypoints of our track:
(1) N5.004841, E101.978348 (Turn off the main road to the East)
(2) N5.004600, E101.979448 (Start of the logging track)
(3) N5.007582, E101.983622 (Turn left downhill)
(4) N5.008864, E101.986519 (Keep to the right)
(5) N5.007277, E101.988552 (Keep to the right)
(6) N5.007266, E101.990815 (We turned around to explore the other track)
(7) N5.005882 E101.990048 (1250m away from the confluence)