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Long-Distance Walks with Mark Moxon

Taman Negara: Day 5: Undone by Flies

Mark relaxing by the river, six days from civilisation
Relaxing by the river at Kuala Perkai

On Friday 5th December I hauled out from the lodge, packing my still-wet belongings into my still-damp pack, squelching into my still-sodden boots and starting off down the still-drenched track. The trek back to Bumbun Kumbang was distinctly easier the second time round; it always goes more smoothly when you're fitter, have a lighter pack and know the route, and this time I didn't bother to explore the ancient limestone caves I'd checked out on the way in, so I arrived at the hide with plenty of daylight to spare. This was fortuitous; the leeches had obviously learned a few new tricks, because when I took off my socks, there were maybe five on each foot, merrily sucking away. During the trek I'd had the usual problems, and one had even managed to climb up my leg and suck where the sun doesn't shine1. I needed the extra time to burn them off and tend to my wounds.

Mark reading a book on the veranda at Kuala Perkai
Reading a book on the fishing lodge veranda at Kuala Perkai

1 A bit higher up and he'd have been performing a service that desperate men pay for. Walking can be such a thrill!