|Strata Fall, the Grand Finale
In a number of earlier attempts we had finally visited some nice waterfalls, but it was not the Strata Fall. See here for the full report. We had overshot our target by about 150 meters.
On 27-2-2006 Paul and I went again. We saw two possibilities. 1) Take the same route as before, but scramble down the steep slope earlier, or 2) Follow the river upstream, an option we had considered before. According to the map the distance from the stream to the fall was about 700 meter, as the crow flies. This option was more adventurous, so we decided to try our luck.
The first part of the stream was easy, there were even vague trail traces on both sides of the river. But soon the ravine became steeper.
The start of our adventure.
From the many uprooted trees in the stream we concluded that this is not the place to be with heavy rain.
Soon I decided that it would be better to continue in the Orang Asli way, barefoot. I left my shoes on a rock.
We had to proceed very carefully. There were only the two of us and several friends thought it rather crazy for two senior citizens to venture into the jungle on their own..:-).
An easy way to cross the stream.
How did this giant tree come here?
When the rocks were slippery, it was often easier to wade through the water.
At some places, where the rocks were too steep and the water too wild, we had to follow wild boar trails. Their smell was prominent and after one boar disappeared in the bushes a few meters in front of me, we became even more careful.
Through the foliage the waterfall is visible.
And there it is, the Strata Fall
It is an understatement to say that it was satisfying finally to arrive at the waterfall...:-) It took us about 1.5 hour from the point where we started following the stream. The fall is impressive and consists of two tiers. In the rainy season the water flow must be large and the fall will be even more powerful.
The upper tier. A nice pool separates the two tiers.
A curtain of water coming down.
Big surprise! In the middle of the jungle I had a connection and I could call friends to report our success.
After it was clear that we had reached our goal, we could relax. The pool was a good place for a refreshing bath. Although we were very close to the upper Strata falls, we could not find a way to climb the steep rocky slopes. And we still had to follow the stream back. So we went back.
There are many small falls and rapids in the river.
Another Trametes species
The beautiful flowers of the Saraca Thaipingensis
On our way in we had noticed already that it was also possible to follow the trail a bit further and then descend to the river. We took this easier route on our way back.
A nice, small waterfall. From here it was easy to climb back to the trail.
One last refreshing bath
Back on the trail. Mission accomplished.
The map below shows the route (in red) taken during this Grand Finale. Because the ravine was very steep, it was sometimes impossible to receive the GPS signals (black-red line). After about one-third of the way it is possible to connect to the 'normal' trail