Saturday, May 07, 2005

Bukit Buah hike (Part 1)

I woke up today at six, on a non-working day for the purpose of the hike. This is part of the training in preparation for the Mount Kinabalu hike at the end of next month.

The plan was to gather at the Gombak LRT station at eight. There were nine of us and we fit into the two cars nicely. We arrived at the entrance, with a conspicuous sign, which says trespassers will be prosecuted, at about nine. Oh wait, I think it says trespassers will be shot as I remember seeing a picture of a person holding a gun. It is after all Uncle Lim’s private property and we needed to cross it in order to reach Bukit Buah.

The weather was bright and sunny. Our little crowd was in a cheerful mood as we walked the 45-minute distance to the foot of the hill. Simon was busy video recording and he provided voiceover too. As KC was leading and sometimes very much ahead of us, he took the opportunity of snapping our pictures.

There was an area which was shadowed by the mountains. As I walked from the sunlit path to the shaded area, there was a noticeable change in temperature from warm to cool. No, it wasn’t because of the presence of some other-worldly beings. It was quite acute and it caught me by surprise. It was like entering into a different climate altogether. That was pretty interesting.

KC, who has been here before, described some of the landmarks on the way. One of them is a small waterfall. To our disappointment, it is actually a pipe. With water pouring out. Apparently, someone fixed a pipe there and we no longer have a nice waterfall with gushing water. OK then …

Soon, we were at the foot of the hill. It was another disappointment, or at least for me, as it was totally indescript. I suppose I was expecting something like Bukit Gasing, with a little arch and a welcome sign.

As we marched in, it was a little curious that we were going downhill. Anyhow, I was too focused on the climb to think much of it. After that it was uphill. And downhill. It reminded me a lot Bukit Gasing. Just that this place is less often visited, therefore more pristine and untouched. Oh, I forgot to mention there were leaches too. Which we were told earlier there won’t be any by KC.

We took two hours to reach the midway point, instead of one as expected. We had a bite there at the rocky cliff, from which we could view the Genting hillsides and clouds. After that, we split into two groups, one which continued with the climb and the other decided to descend. I was in the going uphill group, as after all, I was here for the climb and that was what I was going to do.

The time was about 12.30. As luck would have it, as we were two thirds from the top, it started to rain. The rain didn’t falter. The five of us were soaking wet within minutes. To make things worse, there was a cold wind blowing. I was shivering to my bones.

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