Oct 6 – Started the weekend with lots of plans and high hopes. Wanted to trek to Pandan Waterfalls on Sat afternoon, climb Sg Lembing hills on Sun morning and finally hike to Lata Berkelah on Sun afternoon.
Had lunch in Temerluh before proceeding to the East via the East Coast highway. Found that they have extended the highway to Jabur and thinking that Jabur would be closer to Panching, the town near Pandan Waterfalls, I proceeded straight instead of exiting at the Indera Mahkota exit. The exit for Jabur was near the port and I had to back tracked to the road to Panching. The traffic from the port was unusually heavy and we wasted almost an extra hour traveling. By the time, we reached Panching, it was drizzling and at about 4.00 p.m.
As we were not keen to be stuck in the woods in the rain and in diminishing sun light, we decided to proceed to Sg Lembing.
Sg Lembing turned out to be a real ‘ghost town’ in the late afternoon. Everything is ‘dead’ quiet. It has a nice country feel with very a laid back atmosphere. Men were sitting idling away, children were playing in the field, there was a mahjong session in one of the shop lots. In the two hours which we spent there, we saw only about three cars. When we approach a police station to ask for information, the officer quickly shut the window on us.
It sure felt freaky, like in a movie about a Midwest town.
Just outside the town, we found interesting hanging bridges, a quaint little village, a picturesque river, a number of cemeteries and the ruins of the old gold mine.
Seem to have a few interesting spots to visit and we met some trekkers who had just completed a 2 ½ hours hike over 3 hills. Okay, that sounded good and we seek all over town for a decent place to spend the night. After an hour of driving where we probably passed the main street 5 times, we just couldn’t get any decent place to park ourselves.
By then it was getting dark and we decided to cut our losses and head for Kuantan.
I found out later that the great food that most of the Kuantan folks raved about in Sg Lembing only opens in the morning.
What not to do on a Saturday is to go to Sg Lembing in the afternoon? Forget about staying there. It is a place to arrive early in the morning, do all you need to do and get out by evening. Sigh! We learnt it the hard way, all the traveling for nothing, our plans for the Saturday dashed.
Anyway, there was still Sunday, there was still hope.