Monday, January 23, 2012

Chilling Out Along the Pelindung Trail, Part 1

The Pelindung Trail is a well-known jungle pathway connecting the boardwalk north of Teluk Cempedak and the small road leading up to Bukit Pelindung.  It runs through the Beserah Forest Reserve (Hutan Simpan Beserah).  I have posted about it before here in August 2011.  At that time the boardwalk was closed for repairs with the wooden posts and stringers falling apart from rot and tree falls.

From the ocean (paras laut) to elevation 220 meters.
I am happy to report that the boardwalk is open again and the rotten wood -in fact all of the wood- has been replaced with plastic posts and decking.  While not the most exotic of solutions, it will keep the boardwalk open and functional despite the strong weathering climate of the tanjung (cape) around which it winds.

Plastic posts and decking replace the rotten wood

Plastic stringers to support decking on the observation platform
We have often walked this trail and did again this past weekend as we had a friend visiting us from somewhere else.  If one is observant, you can see many butterflies, marching ant armies, lizards, birds, monkies and (occasionally) wild jungle boar.

Lizard along Pelindung Trail
Our friend noticed the above lizard along the trail and we were entertained by its ungainly running gait.  When the lizard pretended to be one with a tree trunk, we had ample time to snap off some camera shots.

Walking stick
In my 16 years in Malaysia, I had never seen a walking stick (Phasmatodea) other than in a sanctuary and so it was a pleasant surprise to be able to see and photograph the one above.  These insects are so slender that it is difficult to get a focus upon it unless one uses the vegetation upon which it rests for the focal point.

One insect variety that is quite common are spiders, in size from very small to quite large.  It is amazing how quickly spiders can reconnect their trail-crossing web once we go by for the outbound leg.  Coming back on the inbound leg finds us tripping the same snare setup, which probably irritates the spiders to no end.

Don't you dare touch my web!
The trail is also home to many varieties of mushrooms.

If you walk this trail, an easy 50-60 minutes one way, be sure to bring a bottle of water and a good camera.  It is a relatively gentle path to walk except for the initial hike up from either the boardwalk, or else the access road that leads to Bukit Pelindung, which both strain the calf muscles on the uphill leg, and put a jarring pressure on the knees on the downhill leg.

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