Jason Brand, Head of PDHPE and The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Coordinator
On Tuesday, 11 June 2019, six eager AISM students headed off on a 3 night, 3 day hiking and camping adventure to Endau Rompin National Park, Johor. These students are completing their Silver level Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, and it is a requirement of the award to complete two of these Adventurous Journeys.
After a three hour drive to Bekok town and then an additional one hour 4WD transfer into the park, the students set up their tents and got some rest before the gruelling three days of hiking began. The students are required to be totally self-sufficient, planning their food and meals and managing their rubbish to take out at the end. They also are required to take and carry everything they will need including their tents, sleeping equipment, stoves, fuel and other camping supplies.
Day one involved hiking to two waterfalls, Tinggi and Tempaang falls. The hiking was hard going, with an uneven and undulating track along with the heat and humidity. Constant leeches, local bees and a swarm of wasps also added to the adversity. After not reaching
Tinggi Waterfall before the safety turn-around time, the students decided to turn their attention to the second objective, Tempaang Falls. This they achieved and were rewarded with a cooling swim in a stunning location.
Day two and the hiking was even tougher. The objective again was to reach two more waterfalls, but required a deeper walk into the jungle over some steeper terrain. The students were much better organised and packed on this day after some reflection overnight. This showed in their walking pace, teamwork and organisation throughout the day. Pandan waterfall was a stunning 50+m drop into a beautiful little valley where we took a mid-morning break. The second waterfall (Berangin Falls) though not as high, had a larger volume of water coming over it and once again, we all enjoyed a refreshing swim and lunch break in a picturesque setting.
The final day started early with the students breaking camp, doing a final tidy up ensuring to leave no trace, and then involved a 15km hike out along the 4WD access road of the park. This was the longest distance covered so far and was done on weary legs. However, the students persevered and achieved their objective within the allotted time frame.
I would like to congratulate Alex, Taiitsu, Maksim, Riya, Octavius and Kar Shane for their outstanding efforts to successfully achieve their goals. They will now set their sights towards the Qualifying Adventurous Journey to Taman Negara National Park in August. Thank you also to Ms. Kim Bradley for giving up her time to help supervise the camp and also to Derrik, Yee and Ruth from GAC Adventure for their assistance.