Sunday, September 26, 2010

Second Half of The Semester

The first week of uni after the raya break practically flew by. But within that short span of time, a lot happened. Luckily, the week ended as fast as it started. I'm crossing my fingers for a better new week starting tomorrow.

Wondering what happened? Well,

1. I finished an assignment but unknowingly to me, I didn't finish it. It was supposed to be 2 separate assignments but I misunderstood it as 1. I ended up squeezing my brain juice to produce another half of the assignment within 3 hours to deadline. Thanks to Ju, I managed to hand it in on time.
2. My blackberry hung and wouldn't be switched back on. And the technician was not in when I purposely rented a car and went all the way to town on a day which I didn't have any class.

The happy stuff slowly took over after half the week went by. Celebrated Mid Autumn Festival twice in a week with making my own lanterns. At the second party, I got drunk for the first time after being in the party circle for so long thanks to mixture of 5 different alcohol mixtures. Two things came out of it. I forgot about work and stress and had fun but I had a hangover almost the entire day the next day.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I Made It To The Peak!!!

The hike group; total of 21 person.

The slopes of Mount Kinabalu

Me, at the peak. Looking like crap of all places.

Unbelievable? Believe it! Because I finally made paid homage to the legendary Mount Kinabalu. I made it to the peak at 4095.2m.

Sounds easy?? 4095.2m seems very low but it actually took me 11 hours to walk up to the peak.

Why 11 hours you might be asking...because we took the longer route up. There are 2 routes up to the mid point; 1. Timpohon Route 2. Mesilau Route. Timpohon is a 6km hike up which is steep and slightly less scenic. Mesilau, albeit longer by 2km, the 8km walk is worth it if you are nature and scenery obsessed. But taking the longer route has its downside. The extra 2km of walk actually makes your legs really tired.

At midpoint, its called Laban Rata. Here, the maximum capacity is about 100 pax. Here, they provide you buffet dinner. Eat all you can because you need the energy. I ate like nobody's business the moment I reached. After 8 hours of walking, and the mountain guides keep telling u...'lagi 500m sudah sampai' but the 500m takes like 1-1.5hours to cover! I had no time to worry over calories.

At Laban Rata, I rested in the hostel aka sleeping. They provide bunk beds and there's a kitchen. There are water heaters in each shower too but they don't work. So, the water was freezing cold. Then at 2.30am, the climb towards the peak continued. Luckily I had a headlight. I wouldn't be able to hold a torchlight while climbing all the slopes and steep staircases. It was a climb in pitch black darkness. The temperature was about 8degree Celsius with strong winds. I was shivering and freezing cold. My fingers and toes were numb when I reached the peak. Heard from one of the guides that she had never experienced such strong winds before.

At approximately 5am, I reached the peak. The sun hasn't come up yet. But the wind was too strong. I took a few staple pictures i.e. the signboard at the peak, a few with my friends and I quickly made my way back down. While walking down, the sun came up, so I did manage to catch the sunrise. It was spectacular! Makes you feel like all the walking and climbing was worthwhile.

Now, the problem is, walking down. After reaching the peak, my feet and muscles were aching. And there's another 8.7km down to Timpohon. It took me roughly 2 hours to go back down to Laban Rata. Had another buffet breakfast (5 meals provided by the management) to build up all the energy needed for climbing down.

From Laban Rata, it was a 6km walk downhill. For me, the climb down was worst than the climb up. 1. Legs were too tired. 2. Feet aching. 3. Muscles aching. 4. Lethargy. Every single step down was shaky and I slipped like at least 10 times; no exageration here. Luckily I didn't twist my ankle thanks to my walking stick. It took another 5 hours to walk down to Timpohon. Upon reaching Timpohon, another meal, buffet lunch was waiting. I took my buffet lunch at 4.00pm, right before it ended at 4.30pm.

What was really sad was that I didn't have my own camera. So my pictures are really limited. But at least I have the most important picture from the peak.

PS. It doesn't take a lot of stamina to hike up. But you NEED a LOT of DETERMINATION to reach the peak. If people aged above 50 can make it up to the peak, there's no reason why a 20yo can't make it (unless you have altitude sickness). If you can't lug your stuff up, you can hire porters for RM9/kg.

PSS. Bring thicker clothing when climbing up to the peak. I underestimated the weather (but maybe it was just me, because the foreigners made it with just long sleeved shirts and windbreakers.

PSSS. Overall, I used almost 19 hours walking. My muscles ached like hell for the next few days especially when I want to stand and sit and going up and down the staircase.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Semester Break

Finally, after eight weeks of much toiling, I'm finally having a much deserved break. Not to say that the break is a real break from uni work. I still have a lot to do but I'm putting all those behind at the moment. Stresss is really getting to me and it's driving me crazy...literally.

Cum Tuesday, I'll be making my way to Mount Kinabalu. Finally, after studying here for over 2 years, I'm making my pilgrimage there. My main concern is that I would not be able to climb up there. I'm not exactly the fit-sporty-type of person. I did make effort to jog and build up my stamina but the weather hasn't been that kind to me. It rained again today but I did aerobics indoors with my roommates. We're trying our best to compensate for all the lack of consistent exercising.

Cross my heart and fingers and hope that I shall reach the peak of Mount Kinabalu.

The happiest thing about my 2 weeks semester break is that I'm going home right after the climb. I shall be home for a week or so. Family, kiddies..see you all real soon!!