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Saturday, May 17, 2008

3rd visit to Gunung Datuk

I'm debating whether to write a long winded blog or?! I blogged my first visit to Gunung Datuk last year and it wasn't that detailed. We'll see how this one goes.

We met at our usual meeting place - Agape at 7.15AM. Not all of us were on time. Let's see, there were about 24 of us altogether -
KG & son, Peter Lim & 2sons - , Terrence Ong & daughter - Trixie, Peter Koh & wife - Cecilia, Hendry & Ms Lee, RW & 2 other DIGI friends, Pastor Peter and 6 from his church, Shuba, Johnny and me.
We left Agape at about 7.45AM, met up with RW & friends at the Petronas, Senawang. I hopped into their car (BMW mah...) for a half hour journey to Gunung Datuk -Rembau. We passed a rubber estate and I couldn't help taking pictures.
At the entrance of Gunung Datuk, Peter and KG briefed us, broke us into smaller groups and Pastor Peter prayed for a good hiking day. We started our journey at 9.02AM according to Sherine's watch.
This is the beginning of the hike. We had so much energy, talking and laughing. I had my camera out too. Well, all this extra energy lasted only a few minutes. Sherine was checking her watch every 10 or 15 minutes letting us know that we had so much more to cover.

We stopped and rested a few times. Karim had fever but he was adamant to conquer this mountain. He looked so pale but his determination overruled his senses. The mountain got steeper and steeper. Well, it felt like it was getting more and more steep but the truth is it was steep right from the start. :)

See how we were struggling, holding on to trees, roots and whatever nature had to offer, just to haul ourselves up.

It was about this time when we saw Hendry ... coming from behind. He didn't meet us at Agape because he was late. When we reached the foothill, he was just passing by Kajang. He managed to catch up with us and overtook us too. My... to be young again. :)

Dead trees blocked our path and we had to find ways to get over (or under) the tree trunk. Compared to last year, this hike was easier because they had installed rattan railings and ropes at some places.

At long last, we reached this boulder. KG told us it's another 5 minutes to the top. I told RW that I had better take a picture of this so that I can remember how it looked like. I may never come here again.

And 5 minutes later... YES!!! we arrived. I asked Sherine for the time - 10.50AM she said. 1 hour 50 minutes. Not bad, but I expected better. We didn't linger each time we stop for a break. We didn't stop so many times too. Hmmm... must be getting older.

After munching some cut cucumbers and drinking cold 100plus a(I put cold 100plus in my flask), I was refreshed. Karim and Sherine wanted to climb up the ladder they heard so much about. So we climbed higher and went round some boulders.

This is the first set of ladders. It's a bit scarry, but I managed to pull myself together and start climbing.

Okay this is the 2nd set of ladders and no way I was going climb these ladders. RW, Karim and Sherine went up without any help at all. (What brave people). KG came much later, and but the fear of heights was so great that I didn't even want to go up. Johnny had more confidence in KG. He went up and got a good view of NS (part of NS). It was at this time that both my camera batteries ran out. I was disappointed but at least I got some shots at the ladders. RW's camera batteries ran out too, but she managed to take some pictures at the peak.

We desended from the ladders and met up with those who were afraid of heights. Food was abundant this time9as compared to last year's Angsi hike), and some had second round of nasi lemak. We left the peak at 12pm and was going at a quick pace for the first 15minutes. Karim looked much better. He was even faster than us. Not long after we started desending, Sherine twisted her ankle. KG had a walking stick (just bought it from Johnny) and he lent it to her. It helped so much and I really was amazed at her for keeping up with us. But of course occasionally we had to stop so that she won't be so far behind. RW was with her all the time. Towards the end, the walking stick broke. Sigh... good for 1 time use only.

We reached the foothill at 1.50pm. Some showered, some changed. We left gunung datuk at about 2.45pm, and had our lunch in Pedas.

It was a good hike. I enjoyed it very much, maybe because it's dry - no leeches, and the company was great. :)

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