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Mt Ophir 2000

Singapore Institute of Management Outdoor Adventure Club

 

 

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Mt Ophir 2000 (Gunong Ledang)

…..STEEPED IN FOLKLORE
By Angeline Lim    >>pictures<<

DAY 1: 11TH NOV 2000

It was 7am when the 37 of us assembled at Lavender MRT Station. It was a pretty early time to assemble, especially for people like me---being quite a “nocturnal” being. The night before, I tossed and turned in bed, unaware of what caused the insomnia. I later realized that it might be the suspense and anticipation of what I’ll be experiencing over the next three days that kept me awake. I have often heard the stories of Gunong Ledang and my imagination ran wild. Here it goes…………

Referred to as Mount Ophir in the days of the British, Gunong Ledang’s history is tied up with folklore that is both intriguing and inseparable. Ancient history points to the mountain being the site of rich gold deposits, luring traders from as far as Greece and China. The name ‘Ophir’ itself is thought to have originated from the Hebrew language. In the 14th Century, the Chinese seafarers plying the Straits of Melaka called it ‘Kim Sua’ meaning the ‘Golden Mountain’. The Javanese during the period of the Majapahit empire named it ‘Gunong  Ledang’, which means ‘mount from afar’.

Folk-memory gave it enduring tales which continue to exist till today. The mountain is said to contain a secret cave where Puteri Gunong Ledang lived. Puteri Gunong Ledang, according to folklore, was a beautiful princess who captivated the heart of Sultan Mansur Shah of Melaka during the 15th Century. He wanted to marry her but she set impossible conditions for him. She asked him to build a golden bridge linking his palace in Melaka to the mountain. The princess also asked the Sultan to bring her seven jars of women’s tears, seven trays of the hearts of mosquitoes and seven bowls containing the blood of the Sultan’s son, all of which the Sultan could not fulfill! Thus the story goes, she continued to live on in her beloved mountain…………………..

1pm: We reached the foot of Mt. Ophir. All visitors need to pass through the grounds of the resort which sprawls on 30 hectares of the mountain site. We also paid a compulsory nominal fee of RM1.00 per person , which goes to the maintenance of the public facilities. After registering ourselves with the rangers, we embarked on the first leg of the journey. Concrete steps with hand railings lead upwards from the Ranger’s office to the first stage of the waterfall. This is the most popular area where pools of water are enclosed by huge boulders, forming a natural spot for bathing. Another ten minutes walk uphill along the steps will reveal the spectacular sight of the Puteri Falls (Princess Falls). Beyond this, rapids, rocks cliffs, caves, interesting flora and fauna greeted us. We were simply basked in nature’s best!!! Concrete urbanites need “refreshers” like these once in a while. Midway through trekking to our first campsite for the day began to take its toll. Lugging our heavy bag packs and walking onslaught……..some of us then began to regret bringing too many stuff . The perspiration trickled down our faces and back. I could hear some faint panting …….I wondered when we would reach our destination………….

6pm: What more can I say? We reached our campsite for the day! Our hungry tummies can now be filled! It wasn’t long before we have dinner with our respective groups.At this point in time, I want to pay special tribute to my group members ( BeeHui, James, Vincent, Alex, Philip, Annabelle & CK )  for being so fun-loving and comical……… Hmmn…….not forgetting being such “excellent” cooks! Can’t forget those Chinese Style pan-fried veggies , Western style vegie stew , egg omelette with long beans , sizzling meat stew and my Favourite TOM YAM VEGIE……*oink* felt like a pig……

That night, we “tried” to sleep early……we needed the rest for tomorrow’s Great Ascend to the summit……..Good Night Amigos!!!!!!
 

DAY 2: 12/11/00(SUN)

We started the day early at about 8am. Breakfast was quick and soon we were heading towards  the summit. The trek to come consisted mainly of uphills. I remembered  a part of the route whereby the  rock wall was almost perpendicular to the ground. The best of it all was that there was only a rope to cling on to, in order to get to the top. Up till today, this “view” is still vividly emblazoned in my mind.... Along the way, what was worth mentioning was the camaraderie and team spirit the group fostered. For those who helped others along the way……even giving a kind gesture to show support  …..these are really appreciated. I recalled a point in time where some of us were quite exhausted …..then someone said “ WHATEVER GOES UP, MUST COME DOWN” . How appropriate and timely that statement proved. True enough, after a series of climbing uphill , we managed to catch our breath when we trekked downhill. That sort of kept us going…….

3pm: We reached the Summit!!! Euphoria overflowed…..(no tears please!) Then we were soon busy with photo-taking…..ODAC’S CULTURE !?! I felt good……the picturesque view soothe my weary spirit and calmed my tired nerves…….I have not felt like this for a long time……

Due to time constraints, we had to make our way back to the campsite. There we were rewarded with a good “soak” in the famous “Square pool” ……

The night was spent in a relaxed , laughter-filled fashion. A series of games were played…..to test our understanding of our group members. Everyone laughed to their heart’s content. I knew I did…….

The night ended on a beautiful note…..with supper of course!!!

Tomorrow, we will be going back to Singapore.

 

 

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