Monday, June 3, 2013

Batu Dam - The Failed Revisit

Not long ago, the hubby suggested I take my new trail addicts / runner friends to run the Batu Dam trail. With the breathtaking view of the Batu Dam, the trail run would be an invigorating one and would also take us away from the usual scene of FRIM.

My first and last visit was in March last year (see post here), so you can imagine how nervous I was about leading the fellas on a wild goose chase or getting lost.

Sunday, 2nd June 2013.
We met a few dead ends at the dam, the first being the main entrance closed to the public (not surprising), and the second one (where we first took last year) was locked.

The next best option was to do the reverse, starting from Riverstone Eco Resort and hoped for the best.

So we ran past the resort and what we thought was towards the dam.

There were a few men fishing.

It was a gentle climb at the beginning and they were already grumbling about WHY there was an incline. *facepalm*

I had to assure them that it would only be temporary. :D

We met a few dead ends and had to turn around to get onto a wider trail. I had my reservations as the trail wasn't familiar (but then again, nothing was familiar as it was in the reverse!) but *shrug* I have hopelessly bad memory (at times) so I was definitely not too sure about anything at this point. Haha!

(I was more worried that they were going to be fuming mad at me for a wasted trip!)

There were a few muddy spots and it was impossible to avoid. My poor shoes ... the thought of cleaning the mud off was a dismal one.

Mud and more mud. Yikes.

At least none of us fell flat on our faces or buttocks!

Photo courtesy of Nick.

I look like I was about to fall splat on my face!

After almost an hour, we reached a stream, which I confidently told them that it meant we were on the right track. If only I had known that I was SO wrong!

It was nice and refreshing to soak our mud-laden shoes into the stream and well, we wanted to sit there and have a picnic instead of continuing our way.

We tottered off into the trail, hoping we'd reach the scenic route before it was time to turn back.

Alas, we came across a huge obstacle.

You see that small opening there? I was tempted to squeeze through!

We did a time check and realised that we were out of time and dejectedly, we turned around and traced our steps.

Back to the stream to play.

La la la *splash*

Top: Montrail Rogue Racer
Bottom, L-R: Skechers GOtrail and Salomon XT Wings 3

It was an opportunity to test out my new Lumix FT25 camera underwater. Whee! (Review coming up later.)

After a while, we continued making our way back to where we came from. Running back is always faster. :D

'Minions' trudging along just fine.

I was lagging behind, trying to figure out why we didn't reach the scenic route in time. I was mulling this in frustration, you see, whilst trying to enjoy the scenery - if any!

Love the tree trunk. :)

You can tell that my shoes were still damp. The water had already sufficiently drained from my shoes so there was no discomfort while running - except for some sand stuck at the bottom of my right heel. (Review later.)

No, this not a stream. :P

Did I mention that Batu Dam is crazy notorious for leeches? With stream crossings, there is no doubt that there are leeches just waiting to pounce on poor unsuspecting passersby. 

We did spot a few waiting to pounce as we came out of the stream. Urgh.

Look at the back of CY's knees. He had a leech on each knee but spotted at the right time but at different times.

We were keeping count of our leech bites, with Nick leading the score board at that time. Jamie and I were both the lowest with just 2 each.

I had scoured the Internet for leech prevention options but I could only find 3 common ones:
a) Leech proof socks - they are like gaiters to be worn over your socks but are only up to your knees.
b) Pantyhose / Stockings - as the material is very fine, leeches will not be able to penetrate through it. To be worn underneath your socks.
c) Mosi-guard - Supposedly repel insects and possibly leeches too. Spray liberally.

For option a), mine were back home in KK and were only worn many years ago when the family and I visited Danum Valley. For option b), I bought knee high ones and wore them underneath my calf sleeves and socks. But they kept sliding down so I rolled them up to the top of my calf sleeves. 

I'm just going to wear stockings the next time!

For option c), Nick, CY and I both sprayed our calves and I did spray my feet as well. But surely it washes off as you sweat!

One thing you have to be sure is to thank the mountain bikers (from the or for setting up the trail for us curious runners and hikers to use, too. 

Returning to the car, we felt ... unchallenged as we still had some energy left in us. I'm sure we could have run another 10KM on road (or 5KM on trail) before our energy was depleted!

Photo courtesy of Jamie.

Cleaning up after a trail run is no fun, especially when there is no available toilet nearby. So ladies and gentlemen, I would suggest keeping a sarong available in the car should you need to change right after a run, too - and your partner or friend can hold it up for you if you need help. :D

Nick won The Fattest Leech of The Day award.

Now the interesting bit after a wet and muddy trail run is counting your leech bites or leech attacks.

Jamie's little pet leech.

Jamie found another 2 on his right foot, and one of them was under his sole! *shudder*

Most leeches that day: Nick (9) - CY (8) - Jamie (5) - Yvonne (2).

No band aid, so Nick and Jamie improvised.

To stop the bleeding from your leech bite, rub some of your saliva on it as the enzymes from your saliva has natural enzymes or something to naturally close up the wound.

Alternatively, ask someone to lick your leech bite, but I think you'll find that none of your friends will do it for you!

Well, as much as it was a lot of fun with the 3 fellas, I was beating myself on the head that night when I realised that we had gone on the wrong route. We had ran further inland, which was a longer route towards the dam. 

I had trouble sleeping...

Hopefully the next time we won't make the same mistake. (This was a test run, by the way.) The whole group will have to make sure that they have no time constraint for this run, just in case we get lost. [FWK, KCW and LKP to take note!]

P.S. Upon inquiries, we were informed that the main entrance to the dam is only open in the afternoon for walkers/joggers.

P.P.S. I have a video of us killing a leech, which I think is too cruel to share. :S But I can give you the link if you really want to see it. The video quality was compromised once it was uploaded to YouTube. :D


  1. Fuiyo, got underwater photos some more.

    Don't let the leeches know you are going again, in case they all come prepared to latch on you guys the next time. hur hur

    1. I think that's only applicable to sweet blood Cap'n! kakaka

  2. I thought the best part was that stream we found. Should have packed some sandwiches along ... LOL!

    1. Like that, I'll have to bring you guys on a hike to some awesome waterfalls so you can soak there! :P

  3. not a failure at all.....u guyz found another trail to it

    1. it's OK... next time we'll bring you there and get lost together! :D

  4. A few thoughts ran thru my mind:
    1. Why's my butt so big?
    2. Was I running that fast as the photo suggested?
    3. That was some fast and furious changing routine.
    4. Nice captions!

    1. 1 & 2- I forgot to put it on Sports mode.
      3- It was rather slow already! Didn't want to bother you guys into holding up the sarong for me. :D
      4- Thanks, though there isn't much! :)