River Abseiling, Rafting and Caving in Gopeng

After the abseiling, we headed straight to the Kampar river for white water rafting (the river is actually not white but brown in colour). The total rafting distance is about 7km with 9 rapids along the way. It took us almost 2hrs to complete the river course. While Sungai Kampar is not comparable to the high volume rivers of Nepal or New Zealand, it does offer enough adrenalin rush for us. Kampar river is rated grade 1-3 (International Scale of River Difficulty). The grade of the river is rated based on its water volume, which is dependent on the amount of rainfall that drop in its catchment area. We were lucky to be able to raft on a day where the river was at its maximum possible grade of 3.

During the rafting, the instructor would call out commands which we would react upon. Basically we would paddle when the path was clear, duck into the raft while approaching steep rapids and “jump” (bounced our butts against the raft) when the raft was stuck in some obstacles.  It was idiot proof but you could easily fall off the raft especially if you react too slow to the instructor’s commad to duck. All of us fell off the raft at least once and our raft also turned turtle once. The water level was not really deep – merely chest level at the deepest section.

It was already 6pm by the time we completed the rafting activity. We rushed back to have a quick shower, full of anticipation of a sumptious BBQ dinner but was greeted with cold food instead. After dinner, there was nothing much to do except chit chatting and waiting for supper. Supper was red bean soup, banana cakes and durians. What a weird combination! We used a simple but ingenious homemade tool (a hinge-like tool with two handles) to pry open the durians. There were many wild durian trees in the surrounding forests. During the durian harvest season, Orang Asli who stay around the area will collect the fallen fruits and sell them to the town people.

Day 2: Cave Exploration

We were privileged enough to be served breakfast by Adeline – owner of Adeline’s Villa. From the way Adeline operated her Villa – chalet styled accommodation with delicious free flow buffets and 4 meals a day (including supper) at affordable rates, we could tell that she did it more for passion than money. She reminded me of Ivy Singh of Bollywood Veggies.

We went to Gua Tempurung located 5km away from Gopeng for the cave exploration. Initially i expected the cave exploration to be much less interesting compared to abseiling and rafting. In fact i believed it to be more of a tourist trap than anything else. I was proven wrong. It was the best cave complex i have ever visited!

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