Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mount Kinabalu Adventurous Climb

I had always wished I could climb the highest mountain of Malaysia, from my opinion conquering something as high and extreme like Mount Kinabalu would be one of the unforgettable achievements/highlights of my life, which is something to tell to my children when I'm old and rotting, how interesting and adventurous my life has been when I'm younger and hyperer.

So as I marked this date 20 Oct 2010, (20102010 - nice date huh?), accompanied by my new Deuter hiking bag and my most favourite partner in crime, MHB, I left two small-sized-5 foot prints from the base to the top of Mount Kinabalu.

The journey started at around 10am, we actually reached the base starting point quite late. I admitted that I underestimated Mount Kinabalu. I thought it's gonna be an easy climb, I mean hey, what so hard about climbing a mountain anyway? Any other mountain would be easy I must say, but Kinabalu really put me in an extreme both physical and mental test.

With continuous climbing up the stairs and paths to the peak of 8km distance, it was one of the most HELL-NO thing I ever did in my life. I did think of turning back couple of times during the climb, but since I already paid for it (and apparently NOT CHEAP!), I pushed myself again and again to take one foot at a time up the neverending stairs.

There were few times that I actually fell down to my butt, exhausted and mentally drained, crying out loud, "I'm gonna die, I really gonna die!!" but thanks to MHB who constantly encouraged me and physically pushed me from behind to move up and up and up until we reached the top. (Kheili mamnun, kheili kheili ziad)

Finally after almost 8 painful hours, we reached Laban Rata, which is the resting area before we head again to the peak of the mountain.

We had our dinner there as the weather turned extremely cold I had to cover myself like those eskimos in the north pole. There's no hot shower or any hot water back at the cabin, so imagine how me and MHB is cursing everytime we get our hands touched the water to wash our face and do our business there.

After getting ourselves a two hours not-so-good sleep, we gotta get up and geared ourselves up for the next mission, which is the peak! My body is so painful and the weather is so extremely cold, this is where I lost to Mount Kinabalu --> the scorching coldness. This second climb though is shorter distance than the previous but it's tougher. With barely any trees around to shield us from the unmerciless cold heavy wind, I hugged myself climbing up to the peak.

We managed to reach the Donkey Ears Peak, when at last I blurted to MHB;

Me: Do you wanna carry on? (cause I know I had enough already)
Me: ~laughing~ seriously?
MHB: Yeah, I had enough, this is so crazy, not worth it.
Me: ~continue laughing~ oh thanks God

So we just sat there, enjoying the sunrise and I sang,

"If I die here, if I just die here, would you die here with me and just forget the world..."
~adapted from Snow Patrol's Chasing Cars

At last we made it on Mount Kinabalu, though not reaching to the peak, but it was close enough. Both of us think it was the best we can do and we're proud of it still.
Then down the mountain we go.

Mind you, going down is not as easy as you think.
We got our asses beaten by a group of old grandma and grandpas from China, how embarassing is that? VERY...

Mount Kinabalu --> CHECKED

Monday, October 18, 2010

Beautiful Sunset at Tanjung Aru Beach

It was just another beautiful day in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
After being deserted by the crew for our river cruise (they left out our name from the list, sob sob), for apologizing, they sent another crew to take us on a ride around Kota Kinabalu Town.

First stop is Bukit Bendera (I know Penang has one too, but this one don't have any tram going up the hill).

We took few shots then went to the next destination which is Tanjung Aru Beach.
We were lucky that we managed to reach the beach just before sunset and the weather was just awesome. Enjoy the pictures peeps!

Dancing at beach during sunset --> CHECKED!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

White River Rafting: Sungai Padas

One of my aim goal for this year is to explore what the land of Sabah might offer me in terms of adventure entertainment. So without any doubts, I booked tickets to Kota Kinabalu and even booked some of the sports package offered online and one of them are white river rafting.

I must say that I am very excited about this, I haven't done anything crazy for long (have I done anything crazy?), I mean out of my norm. Come to think of it, I should have done all this kind of activities long ago, I must admit that I got the adrenaline rush to endanger my life at such a late stage of my life. But come again, to pull out all of this stunts, I must have good liquid cash and awhole tonnes of courage. I was a little scared chicken during my teens and early twenties, still a chicken now, only that I dare to fly though I ain't got the proper wings to.

So back to the white rafting adventure. We left Kota Kinabalu town at around 7.30 am which was quite late, blame my sleepy head that is, the package we bought was inclusive of a bus trip straight from Kota Kinabalu town to Beaufort Train Station, which is about 2 hours ride.

Then from the train station itself, we took a train ride heading towards the head of Sungai Padas, where the base of rafting club is. The train ride, which was quite interesting, only one way train, take us through a jungle at the side of the river, which offers us spectacular views of river rapids and the wild.

As soon as we reached the base, we were given briefings about rafting and safety precautions.
The rafting will take us 2 hours to finish depending on the current. Luckily the weather was clear and river rapid doesn't look so angry today.

So we started of the journey with a bunch of KL chinese-adventure-hunger guys, who turns out to be crazy and wild, I'm glad we catch a hike with those bunch, it made the rafting even more interesting.

Since I was the only girl in the group, I was given the privilege to sit in the middle of the raft like a queen, no rafting involve, means I have to just sit and enjoy the raft ride.

Of course I'm not happy with this, I made a-not-so-happy face to the guide, and after few runs of rapids, he let me exchange place with one the guys. Adventure at last!

Though I don't know how big my pedaling impact did to the raft during crazy rapids, but I keep on pedaling as if my life depends on it. I didn't fell out from the raft like the others did, probably I'm better at balancing myself on the raft unlike them, I don't know, but I was dying to get myself out the boat but I just couldn't even at the craziest rapids. So I requested to the guide then I want the boat to flip and guess what? We flipped the boat and everyone fell to the river. I think I was panicking for awhile there cause I can't swim but luckily we had the life jackets on. So we kept on floating on the river for few hundred meters.

Sungai Padas is a level II-III white river rafting, so it can be good for beginners who wants to experience rapids. It is a worthwhile experience, especially the part where we just laying floating in the river, enjoying the view of the jungle and sky. It was a very refreshing escapade.

White river rafting --> CHECKED!