I had wanted to get of the train at Kuala Tembling, but that was one station the train did not stop. I do not know why. So I had arrived by train in Jerantut. The NKS were very organised. I was now in a different world. No longer a world of locals travelling. Now I was in a world that was full of wealthy western travellers, well, in fact, mostly western European travellers, who had money and a local economy which had adjusted to this. NKS was the primary case in point. Much more expensive, but also much better organised and run. I was quite impressed and it was quite a bit of culture shock.
I caught the bus from Jerantut back to Kuala Tembling, maybe half an hour. The ticket was for both the bus and the boat, but it did not include things like having the locals take you baggage down to the boat. I paid the extra 1 RM as I suffer from vertigo and the plank-way out to the boat looked terrifying. On the boat I was sitting next to a Frenchman, with two of his countrymen behind. He was quite an interesting character and was very amusing as he tried to take a photo of me from the side with out me noticing. I did cough during his bravest attempt, to which I apologies. I was trying to pretend I was not noticing.
We passed the various forms of river life along the way. Fishermen, other boats, water buffalo. When I took the photo facing back, I just held up the camera and let the wide angle do it’s thing. So I was very amused when I saw our boat driver was busy texting. On several occasions he pulled the engine out of the water or killed the power. I did not know why until, in the middle of the river he bogged the boat. We stopped. He put the engine in reverse and tried some other manoeuvres. Then he got out and started walking up beside the boat. I though, isn’t it odd that the boat has a walking plank on that side. Stupid me. He was walking on the river bottom. He said that everyone in-front of me should get out. At first people were confused. But the porters who were sitting directly in-front of me got out. So did everyone else. Eventually they realised that they had to push the boat backwards. I did a bit of translating for the commands, from body language to English. The boat was pushed back and we when we were mostly free people climbed in and down the boat back to their sitting positions and we continued on our way.
As we neared Kuala Tahan, there was a big storm coming our way. About 10 minutes out from our destination it hit and there was heavy rain that was to last all night. When we got off the boat the man form NKS gave his spiel. But it was very hard to hear him above the noise of the rain hitting the tin roof. After this there was a lull in the rain and I headed off to the tourist office to get my pickup to my hotel.