Thursday, May 21, 2009

KK Trip : Day 2 - Hike up KK

We were up bright and early for breakfast at 7am, with our bags all packed up & ready to be shipped out. The bus took us to the Mesilau Gate (where we started our hike). There are 2 routes up KK : Mesilau & Timpohon. It was said that Mesilau’s route was more scenic but takes longer time to get up.

We were provided our registration tag, that stated out name (I/C), date & a group number. The group number helps the hiking guide/porters to identify its responsible group. We were then sold hiking sticks for RM3, a necessity to some if required. Our bags were then weighed & noted down. Payment upon descend.

We were briefed regarding the hike, its pitstops & its estimated hour of hike was about 6hrs (average pace). This was when we encountered our 2nd mishap. The park organisers was suppose to provide us lunch for our hike but nadah. So another waiting session until an agreement was made, of a porter carrying it up to us.

We began our journey at about 920am. It was hot at the start with sun shinning. Luckily I had applied sunscreen on my shoulders. I can’t say that I fancy walking up stairs. For the next few hours, its just walk walk walk. Beginning of the journey was just greenery in sight.

When I run, it takes me a minimum of 7mins to run a 1km. But hiking, it feels like ages. Make that 1hr. Every 500m, there’s a marking point. It’s a total of 21km to the peak. Come noon, I was freaking hungry, with no lunch. I have this sickly feeling that the food porter was following the slower group behind. Those in front were separated, and I was stuck in the middle. At times, with no familiar face.

Thankfully, an earlier group had left a few boxed lunch for us. Fried chicken, hard boiled egg and sandwiches had never been so scrumptious. Timpohon Gate signage was our ½ mark to Laban Rata, the place where we’ll reside for the night.

I was suffering from blisters on majority of the hike. Stopping quite often to apply Vaseline (to prevent friction) and bandage. There was also a time when I just hiked with only my socks on. Rule #1 : don’t wear new shoes. Sigh

By 3pm, I look back, I could see the mountain & clouds, but when I look in front, more stairs. There came a time, that each step felt like I was carrying my own weight (actually my boots are heavy). When I saw a building at a distance, I wasn’t quite ecstatic. Dunno why. Goal was just getting there first.

It took me 6hrs+ to get to Laban Rata. I was so worn. I just wanted to sit & not move.

Laban Rata Resthouse is the main meeting place for hikers and the only place with proper food. It is also heated and with hot water shower. But too bad, I was too late.

Dinner was served from 5pm to 7pm. During this time, our group started to gather except for 4 other hikers who only came in at 830pm, in the dark.

We stayed at Gunting Laganan, another 500m hike away from Laban Rata Resthouse. It wasn’t heated, but we were too tired to care.

Waking up at 1am was the target, because at 2.30am, we start our hike up to the peak in time for sunrise.

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