When we saw Gunung Datuk (or Mount Grandfather) in the background from Kg Gadong, we were slightly overconfident. Wijay even said that he read in the internet that somebody was saying “I don’t understand why people call this a mountain, as it is only a hill.”. He also said that it will be a leisure climb of one and a half hour. I however reminded him that due to our fitness level, the required duration might have to be doubled up to 3 hours. True enough, we didn’t make any preparation for this trip. We didn’t even know the exact location of the mountain.
The night before we put up at Hotel Tampin where Adnan had some interesting endeavour. We had an early breakfast near the town of Tampin. It was only then, we had a clearer idea on how to get to our destination. Immediately after that, we moved on, stopped at several places to buy food and drinks (including packed lunch), and reached the foot of Gunung Datuk at 9.00 am Saturday, 20th February 2010.
Gunung Datuk is not that mighty, but the first half an hour was really challenging. In fact, after the first 15 minutes, you might want to change your mind and turn back. If you ask me at that time whether it is qualified to be called a mountain? I would have said “you’ve got to be kidding, this is one tough mountain to climb”. Nevertheless as we climbed higher, the track gradually reduced in terms of steepness. It was a relief indeed.
As usual, there were plenty of floras and faunas for those who appreciate them. For our group, Adnan and Ramli served as tour guides. I, even as a nature lover, has poor knowledge on these.
On that day, there were many other groups – some students from UPM, a big group of school prefects from SMK Sheikh Ahmad, Seremban as well as others.
We reached the summit after 2 hours and 15 minutes of climbing. The feeling? Try it and you’ll understand.
The view from the top of Gunung Datuk was magnificient. Far away on the horizon, you’ll see the Straits of Malacca. One of the climbers said that the best view would always be the panoramic sight of sunset. But don’t worry, if you don’t like sunset as it marks the end of a day, you can settle for the clear morning scene with a remarkable view of the surrounding. If you are lucky, you can even see ships anchored near Port Dickson. Having said that, I was only given the chance the enjoy the hazy afternoon. Even then, I managed to vaguely spot some ships on the Straits of Malacca. It was beautiful.
We spent quite a bit of time chatting with other climbers while enjoying the beautiful and interesting sound various faunas- insects, birds, various species of monkeys etc… We should all be thanking God for bestowing Malaysia with such bounties.
The journey down was shorter, it took us about an hour twenty. But if you’re in mid-life like us, beware of your knees. Perhaps, ankle and knee guards should have been worn.
At about 3 pm, we (AA, Adnan, Wijay, Shahrir, Ramli, Anam and Hazim) left for Johor Bahru. It was indeed a satisfying trip, and we’ll be back insya Allah.
Next trip? G. Angsi, G. Berembun, G. Stong or G. Tebu. We’ll think about it later.