29-Mar-2010 -- This was the first visit to this confluence. It is east of the Serak River near a small settlement called Kampong Raban. We started out at Kuala Kangsar, where we took the local bus rattling north through the small villages between Kuala Kangsar and Leggong.
Satellite imagery and our map showed no bridges and no villages on the eastern shore where the confluence is situated. So finding a way across the river was our main concern but proved to be almost effortless in the end. We got off the bus at Kampong Raban and walked a few kilometres towards the riverbed. The last few hundred meters a truck picked us up and drove as to the riverbank. It turned out that the truck delivered construction materials for one of the villagers who was building a new house in one of the small settlements on the eastern shore.
He agreed to take us east across with him. We left the village three kilometres from the confluence behind us and climbed the hill. The first few hundred meters was a pleasant walk through a rubber plantation which shaded us from the merciless sun but did not impede our progress too much. We followed the dirt tracks meandering through the hill. Occasionally we had to turn around and go back a few hundred meters always probing which of them would bring us nearest to the confluence and trying to guess where they would lead. At one point the most promising of the roads we followed appeared to winding its way down to the riverbank after coming as close as 700 meters to the confluence. There was no choice but leaving the road and entering the dense wall of vegetation growing at both sides.
Entering the jungle was a scary thing. The thick undergrowth, almost zero visibility, ubiquitous insect population was not very inviting. We
fought our way up a steep slope where we parted ways: Philipp approached the confluence while Katharina returned to the point we had left the track. At that point we were already drenched in sweat which was proved immensely attractive to the leeches populating the jungle. Philipp fought his way through the dense thicket up to the ridge of the hill. At one point a deep ravine which was presumably formed by intense rainfalls posed a considerable obstacle. Behind a small trail leading towards the confluence on which he found several enormous piles of fresh elephant manure, which made him little nervous. Philipp heard something thrashing through the jungle somewhere in the area, but most likely it was just a hoard of wild monkeys. Philipp the trail a few hundred meters from the confluence and descended the slope on the eastern flank of the hill, again fighting through dense vegetation. After taking the pictures he discovered a dirt track near the road, so there should exist a less difficult way to approach the confluence, but it is reserved to people with more intimate knowledge of the region and its forest roads. Already quite exhausted, he traced his way back to the meeting point.
A quick inspection of our legs revealed several leeches eagerly sucking blood. We got rid of them by pouring salt on them, and dressed the wounds, which would not stop bleeding for hours. We reached the little village we had started out in the afternoon. One of the villagers commissioned his son to bring us back with their boat. He brought us all the way back to the bus stop at Kampong Baharu which spared us a few kilometres. We invited him to the little coffee beside the riverbank and chatted until it was time catch the bus back to Kuala Kangsar.