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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Experiencing Mt Kinabalu for the 2nd time-Day 1

The alarm clock was set at 6AM, but I was awake long before it rang. I had more or less about 5 hours of sleep but that didn't deter me from being excited. At the same time I felt apprehensive, trying to remember if I had everything I need for the trip. My greatest fear at that moment was , what if the flight had changed it's schedule yesterday and Airasia forgot to send me an SMS? Or what if I accidentally booked a different flight or date for one of my team members? Many similar thoughts like these ran through my mind as I left my house at 6.40AM.
We were to meet at Kemayan Square, 7-11. Rachel, Cilla & Esther went ahead in Rajen's car. Johnny took a cab from KL to the airport. KG, Aunt Chris, Doc Peter and his mom took a ride from a friend's car. Peter & Helen Lai, Pat and Gan went with Peter Lim. The rest of us were in the van. Francis' Korean friend drove the van to the airport.

At the airport, we hurriedly checked in our luggage and got our boarding passes. Some who haven't had their breakfast were seen in MacDonald's. At 9AM all of us were anxiously waiting at the boarding gate. The flight was on time. I sat near the window :)
The weather was good. Clear skies throughout the journey.

We touched down in Kota Kinabalu at 12PM. Faustine greeted us with a happy smile. My cousin, Adele came to pick Aunty Chris while the rest of us went with Faustine vans. There were 19 of us (excluding the drivers) in 2 vans. Somehow the vans were smaller than last year(we had 20 climbers last year), or we have more luggage than usual. :)

We went to a nearby restaurant to have our lunch. This lunch cost me RM4.50. I had sweet and sour fish, egg with long beans - Seremban style and a veg. (Sayur manis, direct translation - sweet vege).

After lunch we went to Giant, (a well known chain supermaket in Malaysia) to get drinking bottled water, breakfast for the next day and other necessities. On the way to Kinabalu Park also known as Park HQ, we chatted a lot, Esther and Doc James, being the main conversationalists. Our van was lively with chatter. The skies began to change its colours and dark clouds were furiously forming. We turned to Hendry and scolded him. The week before, he emailed to us saying that the weather forecasted thunderstorms for this week in KK so asked us to be prepared for the rain. When the rain came down, poor Hendry had too defend himself. We started calling this weather " the Hendry weather". Since "Hendry weather" was new to us, we weren't sure how good or how bad the Hendry weather would be. We will only know by the end of the whole trip.

The journey from KK Town to Park HQ took us roughly about 2 hours. When we arrived there, I proceeded to register the team and to pay for the Park fees and guide fees. The weather was cool-ish, about 16C or 60F. Some of the team members met and started talking to climbers from other teams.

The visibility was so poor after the rain. On a clear day, one could see the mountain beyond the trees.

After the registration at Park HQ, we proceeded to our final destination for the day - Mersilau Nature Resort. That took us roughly 20 - 30 minutes. Halfway through the short journey, we stopped at market place by the roadside. The locals were selling fruits, vegetables, and other edible stuff.
We were about to reach Mesilau Nature Resort when it started raining again. Each of us had to pay RM3.00 for entrance fees to the park. At one point, the van could not carry all of us up the hill, so some of us were forced to walk in the rain to the registration office.

This is how the registration counter looked like. There was a convenient store nearby too. The dining area is just after the registration counter.

Once again we piled into the van to get to our hostel - Bishop Head. It was a short ride to the carpark.

Once again, we found ourselves getting out in the rain, this time pulling all our luggage to our rooms. Gosh, we felt tired and angry and just want to get over this day.

There were 4 bedrooms in the chalet, each bedroom contained 6-10 beds. We were given one room of 12 beds and another of 8 beds.

In the dark, you wouldn't be able to see where the hostel was. This sign proofed to be very useful. :)

After settling our rooms, we went down to the place where we registered in to have our dinner.

Dinner.. was... well... dinner. We were so stressed out having to pull our luggage up to our lodgings in the rain. Dinner was just food that needed to be eaten so that we have energy for tomorrow's climb.

After dinner, we went back to our hostel to bathe. Some of the hot water taps were not working and some of us bathe in icy cold water.
Some were smart enough to boil water for their bath. Some went to the next chalet.

We had a worship session soon after our hasty baths. Peter Lai song led and we had a good time singing praises to God. Our theme song this year was "On higher ground". We had about 20 minutes of praise and worship session. After that KG briefed us for the next day. He also grouped us in teams of 3s. Doc James and Hendry were the appointed sweepers. (Sweepers here means, they are the last ones in the team during the long trail hike, no one can be beyond them). Rachel was put in team A together with Peter and Helen Lai, Francis, Cilla and William. Esther was in team B together with Boon Pin, Siew Kheng, Lu Vin, Doc Peter and his mother. I was in team C along with Johnny, Pat and Gan and Adlin who didn't turn up. KG was mobile. He chose to be with the sweepers.
After that, nametags for our bags were given to everyone so as to make life easier for the people in charge of weighing the bags, and the luggage to be left at Park HQ.

1 comment:

kg said...

I really enjoyed the worship session; feeling close to nature and God's presence...

many thanks to the worship leaders and guitarist..