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Saturday, July 5, 2008

Experiencing Mt Kinabalu for the 2nd time-Day 4

The room lights were on, as were the last two nights of our stay in Mt Kinabalu. It was already past 3AM. Rachel and I couldn't sleep. We could hear people outside our room getting ready for the summit push. Shortly after 2AM, I could hear the rain fall outside.Thank God no wind, I thought to myself. I remembered last year the wind was howling and the whole building seemed to shake.

Sensing no point in trying to sleep Rachel (or was it me?!) suggested going down for a drink. Might as well.. I thought to myself. So we went downstairs and guess who we saw? Lu Vin and Doc James having a free cup of tea from the buffet spread. We joined them and ordered a pot of hot chocolate for ourselves. Our conversation? We talked mostly about our neighbours. :)

At 3.45AM, most of the people in the dining room had either gone back to sleep due to the rain or attempted the summit push hoping that the rain would subside later. The lights in the dining room started going off one by one. We thought they were closing and decided to go back to our rooms. Before we did that, Rachel thought it was a good idea to check the temperature.

We went out and she took this picture. 8.2C at 3.48AM on the 5th of July. Then we went back to bed. It rained continuously and I wondered whether the climbers would be allowed to go past the Sayat-Sayat checkpoint.

Apparently, they were told it was risky and dangerous and the Management would not be responsible for those who wished to summit. Everyone turned back.

Most of them, if not all, were disappointed. They left their wet raincoats and shoes outside their rooms.

Our group was blessed to be able to summit the day before. Rachel and I snuggled in our warm beds and slept till it's time to get up. I think we set the alarm at 6.30AM. We packed our bags and headed down to the dining room for breakfast.

We ate heartily, knowing we needed the energy to descend later.

This picture was taken at 8AM. The rain was falling down steadily. We planned to start our descend at 8.30AM. Hamiri, the head guide told us that it would continue to rain like this, and it would be better if we leave as planned.

At 8.45AM, we started our final journey. Thank God the rain subsided to a light drizzle. By 9.15AM the rain stopped completely.

The ground was still very wet and we could see the rain water racing down the mountain.

Anyone who had been on the Mesilau Trail would say that it is more scenic than the Timpohon Trail (Summit Trail). Here are some good shots Rachel and I took to prove that the Timpohon Trail has it's own beauty.

Surprisingly most of the team weren't far away from each other.

At one point, I managed to catch up with my sisters.

This is the most scenic view if you are using the Timpohon Trail. Unfortunately, the fog seemed to cover most of the mountain. After this point both Rachel and Esther went ahead of me, while KG and I became sweepers.

Another nice view. I missed this view for the hill.(first pic on the left) :(

An up-close picture of the ground.

At 10.44AM we came to the Mesilau/Timpohon junction.

While I was focusing my camera on KG, this Mat Salleh jumped in front of him and wanted me to take his picture... I obliged. :)

The pitcher plant off the Timpohon Trail. Rachel took these pictures.

Some of the porters we saw along the way. They were paid RM3.00 per kg and 1 porter could carry between 20 - 30 kg per trip.

The Timpohon Trail is basically steps all the way up to Laban Rata.
KG left Johnny and me after the 2km mark. He went to assist Esther.

More steps. Esther was complaining about them. There was waterfall at the end of the journey.

Timpohon hut at last. At 1.30pm Johnny & I were the last ones to reach the Timpohon gate.

Faustine came to fetch us to Park HQ.

We collected our certificates and luggage at Park HQ.

We proceeded to Grace Hostel where we were allowed to bathe and repack our bags.
At 3.30pm we said our goodbyes to the mountain.
At 3.45pm we stopped at a marketplace and had something light to eat before we have our celebration dinner at 5.30pm in Inanam. By now the top of the mountain was covered with fog.

We arrived at Gaya Seafood Restaurant at 5.30pm. My cousin Adele pre-booked 3 tables from this restaurant.

Adele ordered the dishes through the telephone. She arrived 10-15 minutes later bringing with her, Chin Yih, her husband, Alisa, their daughter, her parents, my parents, Aunty Chris, Aunty Annie and Doc James' wife, Denise. Denise flew into KK earlier this morning.

My family, cousins, niece, uncle and aunties.

Our celebration dinner .The food was good, better than last year's.
We left the place at 7pm, Rachel went to the airport with Cynthia and Serena. (They are from Agape too. KG invited them for dinner too since they were in KK). KG accompanied Rachel to the airport. The rest of us went to KK Daya Hotel to check in.
As usual, we tested all the switches in the hotel room see if they were working or not. 2 lights were not working and the smell of shellac was so strong when we turned on the air-cond. Esther dialed reception and complained. They gave us a better and bigger room. :)

Later we met up with my uncle in KK. He is my father's brother, Uncle Raymond. I may have met him once before but I was never acquainted with my cousins. We stayed as long as our eyes could open and said our goodbyes at 11PM. When we reached the hotel, all we could do is to wash up and get to bed as soon as possible. Zzzzzzzzzzz

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