Having missed the first Angsi hike two moons ago, I was not about to let this one slip past me come what may. So there I was, excited like a child longing for a lollipop - tossing and turning in bed not able to zonk off in anticipation of a great adventure south of Kuala Lumpur the night before. My two still-menopausing friends ditched me for some other greater adventures of their own thus driving down to Seremban all by myself proved to be a long, lonely affair. Meeting our Leader didn't help much either.
By then, I kind of wanted to zoom right back to KL the moment he barked "Today, we will be taking a much more interesting trail" - which caused my ears to prong up 12 inches longer - for it just didn't sound too well to my ears. Answering my query to define "interesting", he simply shrugged and shot back with "I've never done this path before." Oh, mother. Without losing the same breath, he continued to insist that I be the point man, yet again.
By now, I suspected he must have this ulterior motive in sending me ahead of everyone else - for if there was any puddle of quicksand, I would surely be the one to be swallowed up.
By right, he should have offered himself to be the sacrificial lamb being the Honourable Leader. But I suppose he is no virgin after all.
By left, we took to the Ferny Trail of which it was no misnomer. Indeed, the track was swarmed with this impenetrable swath of ferns as tall as Jojo of Shantung. It wouldn't be surprising to see how fast the jungles re-claim back its land. Halfway into the passage had me - more so my legs - all pierced, bruised, cut, scratched and slashed. You would not use much of brain cells to conjure up a pair of heavily butchered and mutilated drumsticks.
By such time who would feel for Mother Nature. Miss Shantung swiftly grabbed a machete from Honourable Leader and flicked it to aim at me, demanding that I clear a path wide enough for her over-sized Shantung sisters to catwalk through with ease. This is sick, but for that very moment I actually wished I had Freddie Kruger's arm so I may slash just any thickest of trunk that stood in the way.
I begun to form the pictures now: being the front man meant being the pathfinder. Tried slashing as much as I wanted but the shortest / smallest machete I've ever seen could only do so much as to only flick the tough ferns away. Some bounced back to stab me as if for poetic justice. Others, I swear, discharged its thorns at me. You didn't know ferns have thorns??? Go check it out then, or come to me and I'll show you my severely perforated legs and other private areas as well.
You go form the other picture of being the front man: with the track hardly used, I had to be contented being ensnared with cobwebs. Had I not frenziedly removed the tonnes of threads, am very certain you would think there was this mummified zombie coming around or that I was being attacked by some giant spiders.
However, being the first person in front does have an advantage or two. If you can keep your panting lower than Beethoven's, you might just able to glimpse some wildlife along the way - like I did. There was this yellowish orangey furry animal up on a branch I thought was way too big to be a squirrel so it might very well be a civet cat - only if civet cats are arboreous, I dunno. But that was just about it. You want to catch wildlife? It would certainly be more interesting, fruitful and rewarding to go look it up in Veron's head for you are bound to encounter louse, roaches, leeches, frogs and perhaps nesting birds too.
The other advantage as a front man is that you get to avoid being bitten by leeches, but you sure will arouse the bloodsuckers to attack the rest of other hikers behind you - which was exactly the case for me, again. I overheard a kid innocently saying "mommy, there's a worm up your leg" which prompted Miss Shantung The 2nd to stop dead in her track. What happened next was a ear-splitting, earth-rumbling scream that can send Tarzan fleeing deeper into the jungles.
Domino effect set it. One after another joined in the cacophony, irregardless whether or not one was indeed attacked by a leech.
We all have heard about the monsters from Ampang preying on young school girls. What I was about to view astounded me to hold my breath. Our Honourable Leader took delights in the name of helping the now-quivering Shantung Ladies (for all they worth and known for their steely, independent streaks) not only in bravely pulling the ubiquitous, pesky animals away but to carefully unlace their shoes and run his hands all over their legs in the most gentle and sensuous of manner. Would they have screamed molest had it been my fingers instead?
With my internal radar heightened, I suspected Honourable Leader has a fetish for he examined the petite shoes (apparently for leeches) with the greatest of pleasures without any qualm whatsoever. I could not make out if he sniffed them but on the other hand, he blatantly brought out the ugly hypocrite in me as I could only stand there to watch till I turned blue for I was still holding my breath. Maybe with all the bare legs in close sight made me forgot to breathe. Or could it be the dreadful Shantung screams. I'll never know.
What I do know is that the skies over Seremban are much kinder lots compared to the unforgiving, scorching ones in big, bad, boring Kuala Lumpur. Noticeably way more kinder and I am ready to swear again.
Unfortunately, I am not ready to dance on a river. You do know Angsi has a clean river with cool, sparkling clear water that meanders a large portion of the trail. I felt privileged being invited by the most graceful lady of all to tango on the river as we criss-crossed. Yes, tangoed as we stepped on those pebbles and rocks that peeked out of the crystal water.
Rosie extended a hand to which I grabbed to pull her toward me, and then we twirled around for many circles. I honestly thought the pebbles which we stepped on emitted a most soothing music that caressed our soaring, entwined spirits. Lifting her body, I tossed her up and she gracefully sailed across the sky in midair. Catching Rosie, to my big surprise, was effortless and I gently planted her back on a rock. Without needing any hint, she lifted a leg to hook my body closer to hers. Don't remember if our noses ever touched, but for certain Rosie's chest glowed in megawatt neon.
Not anymore, though, when I entangled her foot and floooosh.... mea culpa, down she slipped into the water. Rosie should have known better about my notorious two left feet. She did alright making instant friends with the crocodiles and sharks downriver.
All the swirls and twirls and much tangling and untangling shall forever be etched in my heart. I will remember for the rest of my life such attractive lady full of grace, poise and charm who introduced to me this lovely tango on Angsi.