Wish upon a star *

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Bitten by the Hiking Bug

It has been awhile since I was in an inactive mode. I stopped running all together, and I do short bike ride only on occasional non-working Sunday. You may ask why? Lazyyyy...

I started exercising in the first place because I love to eat, and to eat and not to gain weight, I had to burn it off. That's what motivates me to exercise the most. For the past 2 - 3 years, I have been able to maintain the same weight while at the same time enjoying all my favorite food. Then at one point, I stopped exercising for a short period of time because of work but noticed that I didn't put on weight. Of course when I stop working out, I had to control food intake when not exercising but I still occasionally get to eat the food that I love. If I can maintain the same weight without exercising, then why do I bother exercising, right?! I get lazier and lazier, skip one day after another, and that's it, I stopped exercising all together.

Sometimes when I eat more, I do get that kind of guilty feeling and tend to hold back on food but it doesn't get me started on exercising again. Not until recently when I went hiking with Bins and Chins.

We hike up Penang Hill starting from Moon Gate up to "no. 5", which is all stairs.

It was a cloudy day that morning, Georgetown was under low-lying thick clouds

Then continue on trail to "no. 84" and out to the tar road. From there, went into the trail again and out near the tram's middle station. From then on it was cement road all the way to the top station. We were a bit lost at that point not too sure which direction to go but anyway, in our uncertainty we manage to get to the top. Lucky for us, cloudy morning didn't turn into rainy morning. It was nice and cloudy all the way. We took the tram down. It was RM5 for one-way ticket for Malaysian. Funny thing is, the ticket counter is at the foothill, so we can only buy our ticket when we reach the foothill. We need the ticket to exit the foothill station, that's how the system works. Remember to bring MyKad, else it would cost you RM15.

A group shot before taking the tram down

Hiking done! Reward? Koay chap at Air Itam market.

Just the next day after this hike on Sat, parents are going for hiking in Cameron Highlands on a trail called 'Huang Shan' or Yellow Pass with their hiking members. I had initially passed because I had to work on Sun and work is in Penang. It just doesn't make sense to go back Taiping on Fri, hike on Sat and back to Penang on Sat itself. Somehow after Penang Hill hike with Chins and Bins, I feel like I wanted to do the Cameron one too! And so I did!

We drove from Taiping in the morning after breakfast arriving at the start of the trail almost 10am.

Getting ready for the hike

I was quite under prepared for this hike not knowing exactly how far it was or how long it will take, or even what kind of terrain we will go through. I just wore a sleeveless running jersey, a pair or running shorts and Altra trail shoes. Mum told me we will be out of the trail by 2pm. Yeah, right...

Just not long after we went into the trail, this guy who is supposed to lead the hike found that he is quite lost himself. Not really certain where he should be heading when we hit a split in the trail. One part of the trail has been cordoned off with hazard tape but seems to go uphill, another trail went downhill and seems to have old marker left by other hikers. He is quite certain the last time he came (about 5 years ago!) the trail doesn't go downhill...

Hesitation, discussion, idle waiting...after about 15-30mins of that, sis took out her handphone and decided to take charge which of course I fully support because, what's the point driving all the way here and standing around doing nothing? Our purpose here is to hike, so regardless of which trail we choose, as long as we go in and come out the same way, we achieved our purpose. Some members brought shredded paper and was creating a paper trail along the way we came in, that's good enough to make sure we can find our way out later.

Taking charge, looking for direction with Google Map!

Fortunately for us, our RedOne line can still use Google Map. Using the Google Map directional blue dot and referencing it to where we wanted to go, we charge on to where we think is the right way. To further convince that our way is the right way, it was quite a clear trail and there were markings along the way. The guy still think we were not going the wrong way as he still don't think downhill is the right way to go...haiz.

It was a challenging trail I would say. We went downhill, uphill, and the terrain keep changing. The forest were full of thorny creepy plants that would poke and scratch hiker on their clothes and skin. They would catch you by surprise as you brush pass them. Terribly dangerous plants. After 2.5hrs of hike, we reach the highest point of the hike.

Group photo at the highest point of the hike

Some decided to turn back here, the rest kept going hoping to reach Yellow Pass. We set the cut-off time of 1.30pm. If we don't reach Yellow Pass by then, we will have to turn back anyhow considering the amount of time needed to get out of the trail before dark.

Not long after the split, it started to rain. It was even harder to hike wearing poncho. The poncho block part of our view, and it keep getting hooked on the tree roots jutting out from the ground. I was wet inside from sweat and outside from the rain. It was much tougher to hike at this point, and it slows us down. At 1.30pm, we were still not at Yellow Pass. Very disappointed indeed.

This was the view when we got out of the trail. It is the same place where I took the photo "Selamat Datang ke Cameron Highlands" above

By the time we came out of the trail, it was 4pm. We were in the trail for 6hrs! Much longer than expected. I was so hungry when I came out. After some cleaning up, we went to Ipoh for dinner then after that back to Taiping. After shower, I pack up and make my way back to Penang. It was almost 12am when I was ready for bed. And my alarm the next day was 2am, for work timing the Penang Run in Seberang Perai. Tiring day indeed.

The week following that, I searched high and low for someone to hike with on coming Sat morning to no avail. Until finally, Melvin hook me up with another group of his students who will be hiking Penang Hill. The hike starts at the foothill of Penang Hill in Air Itam very near to the tram station. I have never hike from here before, it is interesting to discover new hiking road.

It was all the way very narrow cement road, quite steep at certain sections. There was only 1 short trail section, the rest was all cement. Today's weather was superbly beautiful, full of sunshine even though we are in the rainy season lately.

The view from the mid way point. Clear sky, can even see Penang Bridge and mainland from here

We had a midway stop along the way to refuel. I had a banana here.

This is where we stop to refuel. It has toilet facility too

Total walking time was less than 2hrs although total time including break was 2hr+. I can't be too sure also because I forgot to start my watch at the start.

Tree with osteoporosis problem?

Again, we took the tram down. This time, the group was much smarter to buy their ticket first before starting the hike. Tickets bought before 9am is cheaper at RM3 one-way (vs. RM5 one-way). I had an enjoyable hike today, and get to know new friends. One of them is from Taiping too! (though no longer reside in Taiping)

Let's see if I can keep the hiking interest going...

Let's keep fit!



Post a Comment

<< Home