As I've posted earlier that I've won the 2nd prize for Rexona Contest, I found out who have won the 1st prize two weeks ago. Anyhoo, drifting is really not my cup of tea,so I am happy to go white water rafting anytime. What more, I can bring a friend with me. A surprise that Nicole took up my offer to tag along for the experience (it's not easy to get her to be free since she's always traveling).
We were to meet the river guide at KL Sentral at 7.00 a.m., which she conveniently told us Hilton KL instead. So, I've parked my car in Hilton KL (damn KTM delayed again). I met up with the river guide and was introduced to another lady, whom will be driving us to Gopeng. She's new to this. I called Nicole and ask her what time she'll be arriving. She told me that she'll be reaching PJ Hilton in a while. Yes, you read that right, she went to PJ Hilton instead of KL Hilton. #%*#*(@#*@** Lucky Casey is a fast driver and they reached KL Sentral in 10 minutes after the call.
Nicole slept only around 4 a.m. because of writing a freaking long post for her blog, so she slept all the way in the car after we bought McD's for breakfast near Kota Raya. All is well during the journey until when we reach the exit toll to Kampar. The driver lost the freaking toll ticket. Oh, well, as long as she has the money there's no problem, PLUS will charge the charges from the first toll in Johor until Kampar, which come up to about RM 80++.
From the Kampar exit, we took the trunk road to go to Gopeng and later into a camp site in Gua Tempurung where the river guides from RiverBug were waiting for us. We'll be joining the other participants of this white water rafting adventure. From KL to Gopeng took about 2 hours.
From the camp site we tailed the RiverBug van to the river site in the middle part of Sg. Kampar I think, this took another 30 minutes or so. We have to drive through oil palm estate to reach the place, that's why it took so long. The video below will give you a feel of how the ride was going through the oil palm estate.
Finally, we reached our destination. No not this. It's actually opposite My Gopeng Resort. I was surprise to see a resort here. The place to stay is simple chalet actually.
Yupe, this is the one we'll be going for.
There were about 20 participants from different walk of life. Some were from foreign country like Korea, Thailand, Japan and Australia. Some were locals like us. We tried asking around to find out how much per person for this course but no one can gives us a straight answer because it's either it's paid by company or a local friend helped paid for it first. In the end, we got answer from the Australian tourists, the cost is around RM 350 to RM 400 per person including the getting from KL to Sg. Kampar.
The equipments that we'll be wearing or using later for the water rafting. Safety vest, safety helmet and pedal.
As in any adventurous sport, we have to fill in the indemnity form first. Then each of us is given a helmet, safety vest and a pedal.
Before we hit the river, briefing on safety and techniques was given by the river guide. All of the river guide working here are from Sabah. We were told that Sg. Kampar is rated level 3 to 5 difficulty, which is moderate. Level 1 to 2 difficulty can be found in the rivers in Sabah. But be aware that level 3 to 5 can kill too if you're not careful.
There will be 3 deep slope during the course, which when the guide shouted Bam! Bam! We will have to sit inside the raft instead of sitting at the side. We also have to listen to instruction like forward pedal, backward pedal, easy forward, easy backward, hard forward and hard backward. After we reach a certain point, we'll also be asked to "high five" with our pedals.
About 15 minutes later after the briefing, we walked to the river bank where the rafts were placed earlier by the guides. This is our starting point. At first, I don't want to bring my camera along but I was told that I can keep it in the dry bag carried by the guide so I brought it along so that I can take picture when we stop at the resting point in the middle.
Participants getting aboard their raft.
Where we will be going.
One big raft can carry 6 participants and a guide. Each person will sit by the side two in front, two in the middle and two at the back. The guide will sit in the center back controlling the direction using his pedal. The 6 of us will be the "engine" and "gear". Nicole and I were teamed with four friendly Thai girls. They were here on holiday. Thailand is having a long weekend holiday because there's some Buddhist public holiday on Monday.
Rafting is about teamwork, so all of us have to pedal together in the same direction either forward or backward. Lucky for us the current is not too strong that day. Most fun is during the Bam! Bam! Moment where one have to react fast and after that you'll get wet. Imagine felling into slope about 1 meter to 1.5 meter deep with water gushing in.
One can go water rafting even if one don't know how to swim because free style, butterfly or frog is no use in the river with strong current. The only thing that can save you is the river dive technique, this can only work if you have the safety vest on securely. Throw your body back until your body is floating and you can see your feet. Make sure you are facing downstream, if not you can't see where you'll be going. Then placed your and at the side to pedal and to direct. Don't worry, this is just in case you fell off the raft.
During the whole course, there will be a guide on a safety kayak checking out the the situation up front first, he's also the photographer for us lol. There were about six rafts going at one go, so we have to wait for each other for safety reason at certain point. At the resting stop, we get to go into the river and have fun. We stop about 15 minutes before we continue on our journey.
We pedal for another half an hour before reaching our final stopping point. There, we were given a challenge to float towards the point instead of riding the raft. Not to worry, two guides were at the end point to catch us. By doing the river dive technique, and grabbing each other shoulder forming a row we floated downstream. It's fun. Nicole hurt her hand though. T_T
It's about 1.30 p.m. when we reached the destination. Lunch is provided.
We were given a certificate with our name printed on it for completing this course. We follow the van back to Gua Tempurung camp site to clean up in the public toilet. Long queue for the ladies, no queue for the men :p Took one more picture with the team before we parted our ways. Their friend will be driving them around and bringing them to KL, while Nicole and I will be riding back to KL Sentral with the driver that took us here.
I was tiring but fun. Nicole did some camwhoring on the trip back but...
in the end tiredness got over her and ...
P.S. Remember that I parked in Hilton KL, right? The parking must be around RM 50 by the hours that I got back. So, I ingeniously pretend to be a friend of a guest staying there by telling the concierge to give me a guest rate (RM 5 per entry). Here's the scenario:
Me: Hi! Can you validate this ticket for room 1033, please?
Concierge: Certainly sir, room 1033, right? Your name, sir?
Me: Simon. (Beaming gleefully that I was able to make it lol)
Concierge: Er, sir, you sure it's room 1033? We don't have room 1033.
Me: "-_- (starting to garble out some stupid excuses about my friend didn't tell me properly)
The concierge seems to took pity of me.
Concierge: Well, ok sir, you just give me RM 5. Here's your coupon to get out.
Me: Thanks... (phew!)
I check the coupon and it's written there room 1023. So people, there's no room 1033 in Hilton KL.