Friday, May 23, 2008

GK 3

My long over due entry of my exausting yet educational climb to Gunung Kinabalu.

Before anything else, pose gagah untuk convince myself that I can do this and reach the peak of Kinabalu

The morning of the climb. Full of activities. Semua bangun, mandi and quickly assembling our stuff for the hike and puttting aside those we are leaving in the locker at the Park. Me and Carrie decided to share a porter and all our stuff were into 1 backpack. It is easier and cheaper that way. We share stuff and make no sense to bring the same things. We walked to the reception area of the park with our bags and trolley in tow. Wow!!! the hike has not even started, I felt tired and stressed already. Can’t imagine how its going to be like when we actually go up the trail…

The truth is, I was merely going through the motion. Half excited and half worried. Trying to keep in every detail. Going through the checklist in my mind over and over again. I do not want to go up half the terrain and suddenly…yikes! I left my so…and so….in the other bag and it is in the locker!!!! No tak rela….this is going to be my 1st and final quest to Kinabalu and it better be memorable and I do not want to hamper my trip just because I forgot to bring some of my stuff….NO not going to happen.

We weight our backpack and was about 17kg. RM7/kg. In total RM119. Pay when we get down the mountain tomorrow. Fine with us.

So much activities, vans, 4 x 4 vehicles, more vans to ferry the climbers to the starting point of the trail at Timpohon Gate. There were other goups that morning, amateurs, seasoned, old and young climbers, locals and foreigners. All were with one aim, to conquer the peak of Kinabalu. But before anything else, MUST take breakfast. We were advised to stuff in more carbos. We follow whatever advice given to us. Being such rookie. All advice are good advice. After breakfast, back to the meeting point, in front of the registration office of the park. We were given our name tag and wear this at all times. So we took some pictures, more of ‘before the hike’ and hopefully after comparing that with ‘after the hike’ pictures. Maybe we can maintain that enthusiasm and excitement on our faces when we descend tomorrow.

After the normal pleasantries with the guide who is also our porter, off we went into the van and the starting point is getting nearer. I was having goosebumps, big ones! Everybody was quiet in the van…most being first timers seem to have deep thoughts about the trip. As for me, trying to focus on the scenery..appreciating it and embracing the fresh air and beautiful view. Not giving much thought to the emotional turmoil that was in my mind and the ill-feeling in my tummy. No turning back and the only way is to move forward and do it!!! At the starting point, our guide, Francis briefed us a little bit about the trail to the summit. The do’s and the don’ts. Do take a lot pictures. Don’t throw stuff all over the mountain. Have respect with nature. Don’t have your breaks for more than 4 minutes. There was no need to rush as we have plenty of time to reach Laban Rata. Today we only need to reach Laban Rata where we will ascend to the peak at 2 am. Francis and his partner Doina is whom you typically call someone with ‘tulang besi urat dawai’ Small frame but full of energy and extremely fit. They were also carrying 2 backpacks each. They could easily be carrying more than 30 kg each. Mak oi, kuat nye!!!!

Friday, May 2, 2008


We meet again for my second posting on my GK climb.

My weekend trips to Batu Caves for so called familiarising myself with the steps of Kinabalu (not really) was equally challenging. My 1st attempt at Batu Caves was scary…not of the monkeys, the citizen of Batu Caves but of my fitness level yang tersangat lah ‘hampehnye’. Fitness level macam ni berangan nak panjat GK? Memang scary and pastinye keje gile….. I told myself. Over and over again I said to myself….Hey…..!!!!!! increase fitness level, better stamina… if you want to reach the peak of GK. I must improve quickly because I see that I might fail in my attempt to conquer GK and I was afraid that my failure will be the joke of my family and friends for generations to come... or at least that was the benchmark I put myself against. Bayangkan being ridiculed by my close friends and family whenever the subject of Gunung Kinabalu crops up and talking about how I failed to conquer Kiinabalu because tak cukup exercise and pancit. That was what I was scared off. Reputation kena jaga woi….!!!!

My 2nd trip mendaki Batu Caves was slightly better and the following weeks, improved a little bit more. Besides Batu Caves, I went to TTwangsa Lake for evening jogs with Carrie. Carrie, a very dear friend. Always encouraging me…always…Carrie hebat….I salute you. Stamina level dia bagus. If only I can have half of her stamina, I’m a happy woman. Though I wanted to go to TTwangsa more often but unfortunately I was not able to do that. Sometimes, I was bogged down with work and kalau pergi pun, dah nak gelap. Safety First must always be our motto.

My fitness level did not improve much but I still took that flight to Kota Kinabalu with Faithhope (FH), Li Li, Rachel, Penny, Khalidah, Melissa on 20th March 2008. My maiden flight to Sabah actually. Never been there and my 1st visit to Sabah was to conquer GK. Don’t play-play, you….

The flight to KK was ok. I spend my time bersembang dengan FH. I came to know things about her that I never knew before. Thank you for sharing. FH and I can talk for hours from one topic to another. Tak rasa langsung the flight which took more than 2 hours bila dengan FH. We laughed a lot too. We noticed the rest of our group were either sleeping or staring out at the clouds. We spent quality time together, catching up with one another and reminiscing old times. I have known FH since the 90’s. We always stay in contact all these years. We also have similar experiences and have this common understanding and stand on certain issues. FH was the culprit who lured me to be part of this GK climb group. Kalau dia tak ajak, sure sampai sekarang dok dengar stori orang lain je about GK. Thank you my friend.

Sampai KK, Carrie and the rest of the team including our team leader, Evie with her husband and 2 of her friends joined us at the airport. From there, we stopped for lunch and beli food stuff for our climb. Kalau ada yang nak tambah. I bought mineral water, some bread to be shared with others. Nak makan dengan sambal tumis ikan bilis which I brought from home, konon la…

After lunch, off we went to Kinabalu National Park. Another 2 hours trip, naik van sewa. The 1st hour, the weather was sunny but as we were about entering the 2nd hour of the trip, hujan all the way….we passed all those smalll towns which I can find in my readings about Sabah. Along the way, jumpa signage, Tamparuli….hey…lagu tu kan? Macam mana ye lagunye…At that time…I was humming to the tune and my mind was going through the steps of those dancers…..apa ya nama tarian tu???? Hampeh betul…tak ingat le plak..Fail…fail….

I enjoyed the view as we were nearing Kinabalu National Park. The view is beautiful. Although I was also enjoying the time with FH none other than bersembang and laughing away, we do stop a moment or two to appreciate the beautiful scenery. Rasa macam nak naik ke Genting je tapi the landscape here is a lot different from Semenanjung. Rasanya 3 kali turun naik bukit and macam nak naik ke Genting but here the mountains are higher and bigger. We see a lot of valleys too. Misty and cold because of the rain. I did try to capture some shots but the camera did not do justice to the actual view. Being there, feeling it and comparing it through captured pictures are so much different. But it gave me the satisfaction of enjoying God’s gift. How it soothes the soul. Kebesaran ALLAH…Savor it my dear friends was the only thing I could think at that moment.

Pemandangan pergunungan yang cukup indah…sejauh saujana mata memandang…bumi menghijau. Here it hit me… keciknye aku ni….. That would be quite difficult to feel sometimes because I’m so used to being the taller and bigger (as in physical structure) than most people I know. Termenong sekejap… I’m such a small part of this big world. Walaupun gitu, we play big role in which will make this world go round. Hish…heavy le plak…
Bila sampai Kinabalu National Park, I took this shot. The mountain nampak gagah dan mencabar ku....

We reached Kinabalu National Park and it was still raining and bila turun dari van, the temperature was cold. Berapa celcius ye? Tak tau le plak tapi cukup la untuk pakai my track top for the rest of the time there. I ni boleh juga tahan cuaca sejuk sebab lemak yang dah jadi pemastautin tetap di sekitar badan ni can make me warm. Tapi di situ, I was wearing the jacket most of the time. We stayed in a dorm for 6. While the rest were busy unpacking, chatting etc, I also tried to relax and lepak a little tapi my mind can’t stop from thinking about what’s gonna happen tomorrow, the 1st climbing day. Don’t know what to expect.

The facilities provided beside the bed and shower are we can also take hot water if you feel like having coffee of a bowl of maggie mee. Cakap pasal shower, have you tried mandi dengan air ais. Ala…macam kalau kita order sky juice kat gerai tu…..macam tu la… and now imagine cukup banyak untuk mandi. Mula-mula ada le air panas masa kita baru-baruu nak basahkan kaki, tangan….and bila kita nak bilas sabun, syampoo and right in the middle of it…Heeyyyyy!!!! What happen???? EEEeeeee!!!!! Sejuuuukkkkkk!!!!!! Mana pegi air panas ni?????… have no choice but to continue with the rest of your bath with ice water…..kuar bilik air, terasa kepala kebas, tangan kebas, semua kebas la…masuk bilik, terus bertapa bawah blanket. Panaskan badan kalau tidak, biru kaki tangan. Macam ni agaknye kalau kat overseas kot…bila tak de air panas, kebas….. sebab tu le aku duduk kat Mesia je.

Back to my story…..

Dalam sibuk-sibuk berkemas, ada mamat ni datang kat out dorm, offer urut. Heyyyyy!!!!mamat offer urut???? ok juga kan? sedap sket.... refleksologi le oi!!!! urut kaki je...jangan nak pikir ke lain. dapat longgarkan otot, mana tau esok selamba sket panjat gunung.... all the girls interested nak urut. Kalau kaki je, RM50.00 and kalau add in for neck massage, tambah sket lagi, berapa ntah. I donno coz i did not take that package. Sakit juga refleksologi ni ye... amongst my friends, ada yang rileks je kena urut , ada juga yang mengeliat sampai nak berdiri tahan sakit, silap-silap ada kena sepak kang! Sepanjang urut, Penny and FH yang paling bising. Aduh..sana..aduh sini...muka tak sah citer, herot ada, kerut ada... in the end I paid RM50 and RM10 for transportation. Tadi tak cakap pun pasai transportation fee. So there are 8 of us and everybody had to pay RM10 each for that. Senang betul buat duit. 40 minutes of massage, u can get between RM60 - RM80.

That night, after our reflexologi session, semua lapar but dinner was not included in our package. So, we either cook our own dinner or eat in at the nearby cafe. Kalau setakat maggi mee…alahai…had enough of that during my hostel days that could last me a life time.

Here, coffee house ada tapi you have to walk a little but it closes by 8.00pm. It was still raining as dinner time approached. Evie said there’s a cafe at the entrance of the park. Although kedai tu lebih jauh dari the coffe house, we had to pergi juga sebab perut sedang lapar menggila. Jalan perlahan-lahan dalam hujan renyai-renyai and cuaca sejuk. Berbekalkan torchlight kecil, kami mencari habuan nak isi perut. Sampai at the cafĂ©, we ordered all the heavy stuff, nasi goreng la, mee goreng la…etc…Although the service was slow, the food was ok la… we all makan and gelak ketawa. Memang bersuka ria je…all girls. Went back to the dorm and we finish unpacking and repacking. We only need to bring yang perlu je for the climb. Food, drinks and enough warm clothings. We had to leave some of our things at the park's office as they provide lockers for that purpose. Bila semua dah settle, i turned in about midnite. Still unable to sleep due to the cold temperature and also the anxiousness about the climb tomorrow. Suspen betul....!!!