Waterfall after waterfall

by Ervinna Hon , Apr 16, 2003 | Destinations: Malaysia / Pahang

The polished blue sky was very soon whisked away by a carpet of stars. One by one the stars emerged from behind the unknown darkness, twinkle in its enigmatic way. Was it a teasing twinkle I saw? Or a twinkle of hope, of light? Big and small stars sprouting all over the night sky, enticing me to gaze up hopelessly. Whatever role each stars may have, they did not fail in adorning the night where I am, sitting on the rocks next to Berkelah's innermost waterfall - a 100 meters tall drop. The sound of cicadas partying at the verdure could hardly be heard, only a mild sound behind the powered down pour of the fall. Gushing water formed little droplets at the edge giving a cooling dampness on the skin with the help of the night jungle breeze. Besieged by such tranquility, I was in a state of reverie. What a wonderful night up here in the wilderness. Ah, one can just forget everything that concerns time. Be gone the toxic fumes of the city outrageous vehicles, be gone the mad rushing time of the corporate world, be gone the polluted air, be gone the headaches. The pungent smell of curry jolted me out from my reverie. Yes, dinner was ready! Evie's friends once again pampered us in the wild, feeding us delicious meal. Curry in the wild - sounds like a cool recipe name to me. Earlier this morning, 28 of us has traveled 3 hours along the Karak highway from Kuala Lumpur to get to our weekend gateway, the Berkelah Falls located in the Berkelah Forest Reserve area. In specific, it is between 46 km to 45 km from Kuantan town, Pahang. The signboard is clear from the main road to be missed. Camping junkies love to come here due to its easy accessibility and easy trek coupled with numerous nice camping sites scattered in between waterfalls. Cars are parked in front of the main road. We were transported overland by 4X4 vehicle through the mini-estates for 8 kilometers to reach the start-point of the trek. Alternatively, some people would prefer to follow the river trekking to meet up at the same point when the motorized tracks end to save up RM5.00 for the transport service. The concrete path paved the starting journey leading us the way in. It was a short path but hot as there were no big trees to shade off the heat. Soon reverting into a lateral trail after minutes of walk. Most of the trail stayed close to the river bank, providing less chances of getting mislead by wrong path. The trek along the way are lined with slippery big rocks most of the time giving the trekking experience a little thrill to be cautious or another choice to have a pre-shower before reaching the peak. Wet ropes appeared now and then helping to ease the climb. All the way to the peak was enhanced by scenic falls, soothing the eyes of any climbers. Baby falls were seen at the early stage, charming and inviting - somehow sending me a tinge of eagerness and excitement to see the last falls of Berkelah! The falls widen, becomes larger and more majestic as we moved a step nearer. One distinctive feature of all the waterfalls was the emerald color pool at the base! Perpetually clear, intensely remarkable ? undeniable worth to ogle at it! The vertical forces from the sudden down pour, deepens the pool naturally without much widening it. Three different levels of falls followed in a vertical line next. By then, I have lost count of the number of falls I had passed. Twin falls, split falls - they all are beautiful. After more than 90 minutes of slow, cautious trekking by the steep banks and all the ogling, the grand finale, Berkelah most prestigious waterfall pours its mantle before us. Standing 100 meters tall, it falls with energy to its pool making tiny droplets of water meters away at the edge where I stand - cooling the heat of the afternoon sun. We had set up our tent at the campsite earlier on, a two minutes walk from the grand finale. There was only one thing to be accomplished now. Jumped in and taste the fall! What a perfect thing to do on a Saturday afternoon, dipping in cool water besieged by tropical trees on both sides of the falls. Weekend outdoors has always been my favorite. I would certainly love to come back to this beauty in front of my eyes, waiting to be admired by anyone who loves nature. Even when disability might withhold outdoors activities, self-confidence, will power and simply a love to be with Mother Nature did not fail for one who is blind. The relished smiles curved on his face caught my eyes when he was dipping in the water enjoying his crunchy pear. He was certainly elated at that moment in the wilderness, after a journey of passing waterfall after waterfall.