River of Life ~Sming's

Me and just me.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Almost Conquered Mount Kinabalu 3-8 May 2006
That word- ‘ALMOST’ is like a knife cutting through my heart. I was 1.7KM away from the peak, and my body totally rejected my will to climb anymore. I thought I was going to die there.
No la. Actually, I was afraid if I continue to push myself, I would die up there; or become dried pork.

So, I stayed at the Sayat- Sayat checkpoint. Conquered appx. 8.7KM of Mount Kinabalu, I took the longer route from Mesilau. Longer== 2KM farther or 4 hours longer the journey took. Sad ( only yesterday started feeling this way) that I did not make it but I am thankful that I have people around me who lift me up by telling me that I had gave my best and I have done more that I could have done. For someone who never even climbed Penang Hill or done any trekking before.
And most of all, I did not prepare myself for altitude sickness. I was down with chest pain, stomach ache and also vomited.

Anyway, let me go through my crazy itinerary with you all..

3 May 2006
Reached Kota Kinabalu town at about 11 am and went for fish paste noodle. Not bad. After that, we went to buy stuff at KK town. Banana la… Milo la… Mineral water la…
They don’t have hypermarkets there, just emporiums.
After buying our stuff, we were driven into the hills towards Mesilau Park. Stopped at Kinabalu Park to store our luggage and ate ( again). Lousy food. It was raining already and it was quite chilly. On the way, I saw some people, young or old, walking up the road. They don’t have cars and doesn’t seem to be a short distance. And for that, I do appreciate what I was provided.
After another hour or so, we reached the Mesilau Park. Man !! It is cold but beautiful! The mist and the trees. Back to nature feels good. Even the air there is sweet (no la- exaggerate only).
Anyway, we hang around there and just took a walk.

4 May 2006
Woke up really early about 6 plus (suppose to wake up at 7.15am) coz it was really bright. Started our climb from Mesilau gate at about 8.45 am. I reached Laban Rata at about 5.20pm.
How was it ? The trail was ok just very long and it goes up and down. That extra 2KM really does takes a toll on my body. But, I never did regret taking that trail. The view was beautiful. Reminds me of the Enchanted Woods series that I always read in Enid Blyton’s books.
I always have a problem descending slopes. So at one point, I was separated from my boyfriend. I was with Soo & HY but I needed to drink and also get my rain coat as it was forecasted that it would rain that day.
So I picked up pace, over took a few Thai girls, and was on my own in the woods. Alone for about 30 mins. At one point, I heard crunching sounds. I turned around. No one. Continue my ascend. Crunching sound again. Turn around. No one. I almost freaked out and I couldn’t run Only after a few steps I found that the sound was from my pouch. Whew!!

It was not long I caught up with the gang and we had a drink and rest. Then, it started to rain. Then it was a steep ascend up the rocks in heavy rain. Just after 4KM. And I started to regret for the first time. Why why why on earth I want to conquer Mount Kinabalu?? Why didn’t I just go for some beach thingy and get some sun tan ???!!
After that, we reached this area that it was so beautiful that I immediately forget my regrets. It reminded me of Lord of the Rings. I don’t know why. But it was misty, it was green; the trees was beautiful. It was just great !
Then it stopped raining. And the last 2KM of the climb was just steps and steps of rocks up to the rest house. The last 0.5KM almost killed me. I was gasping for air like a goldfish. Every 10 steps I need a rest. I never felt so exhausted before and it was every last bit of energy was drained from my body. Anyway, with my bf’s encouragement, I finally did made it to the rest house. Man, seeing just the tip of it was like finding gold !!

After dinner, there was another 200m of climb to the place where we would be sleeping. Oh man ! But, the sunset there was beautiful. Lomantic. Plus, there were quite a few cute Japanese guys and Korean guys up there.

We couldn’t bathe as it was freezing! It could almost numb your fingers. So I just splash some water, wash my face, brush teeth and went to bed. Dirty ?? Huh ? What is that word ?

Just before I slept, I started to feel unwell, I had stomachache and wanted to vomit. May be I should have just vomit. But I put some heat pack and oil and went to sleep. Trying to forget about the pain and urge to vomit. :(
5 May 2006
We woke up at about 1.30 am. I did not sleep well due to my stomachache. At that point, Hui2 who was already not feeling well also did ask me if I still want to ascend to the summit. I did have doubts but I thought that I should at least try.
So we started the climb in the dark. The sky was full of stars. I never saw so many stars before, not even when I was in Perhentian Island. But, it wasn’t a night to enjoy them. The climb was up on flight of stairs and rocks. It was really taxing and I started to have the urge to vomit. I stopped to try to let it go. But, only gas came up. And it was really a torture. After another 10 mins, I stopped and vomited on the side. It was terrble and I was so glad that it was dark so that the other climbers could not see my face. ( Half dead already still si ai bin)
Then, we reached the part with the rope, it was really steep. I was so tired then. I already made up my mind to stop at the checkpoint. My body couldn’t take it anymore. And I don’t even know if I have the strength to hold on to the rope. I was afraid that I would just fall and die there.
The guide, who has been with me all the time took my hand and led me up the slope without holding on the rope.
I was all tensed up. Because at few points, my hand slipped out of the glove and he was just holding my glove. Man !!
I did not know how I did it and when I reach the checkpoint, I just told the rest I am staying there. Hui2 stayed with me. We both were out.
I rested there and actually slept off. But, I woke up about 6.05am and the sun has already rised. It was beautiful even from there. The sea of clouds…..
* See this slope- enlarge it. This is how we climbed up to the peak. About 200m of this kind of dangerous 'trail' >_<
After that, I went back to sleep and the rest came down about 8 am I think. My bf made it to the top in time to see the sunrise. I am really proud of him. BRAVO BRAVO.. clap clap clap.
Actually, I made the ultimate sacrifice. If I had continued the journey, he would have been dragged by me and would not make it in time. So, ain't love powerful ? :P
(Sming's BF: Tak boleh say tak boleh lar... talk so much pulak.)
Then we made the perilous climb down. Ohh.. scary scary scary ! Lucky the guide was taking care of me all the time. Of course, I did kena some 'scolding' from him.
Ah Moi, macam mana you jalan ?
Ah Moi, you takut apa? Badan jangan keras !!!
Ah Moi, kaki jangan pijak macam tu...
Ah Moi, mengapa ada jalan senang tak mau jalan ? P. jalan yang susah itu.. Tengok kaki saya !
Ah Moi, jangan takut lar. Takkan jatuh ! ( Less than one minute, I slipped and sat on my butt and I pulled him with me. He almost gave up on me there. Hahahaha)
Ah Moi.. Ah Moi...

ok la. At least for a lady of my age who is old enough to be a mother also got people call me ah moi..
We reached Laban Rata just in time to pass the key for checkout. Checkout time was 10.30 am. Did our packing, had lunch and continued to descend to Timpohon Gate. Descending is really much easier. That took me another 5 hours. The trail was shorter. The view was so so. But the steps were really higher. Thanks to
Lorena who advised me to get knee guards and also thanks to Ben who bought me two new ankle guards to protect my ankle!!
Whew…. The first thought was finally! I made it! It is over! I can happily think of my other trips !! Man, really pay money to suffer. Tip lui mai nan sau...

On the way out to town, we saw the most perfect and complete rainbow! The whole arch and the colors were striking! There was even a smaller one. Twin Rainbows !

When I came down, I was ravenous! When Jason and Lorena called, I was stuffing the bak kut teh into my mouth while talking them! Hahaha like ngor guai only.

6 May 2006
After climbing mountains, this day we are to go down to water. Siong san lok sui… Perfect!
This round also we woke up before the alarm rang because the room was so bright!!
Here we took a bus for an hour plus to Beufort and then a two-carriage train from there to Padas. We were going to raft Sg. Padas !!!

Throughout the journey, the view was really different. It is like going into the rural areas. It was just trees, hills and of course the river. Eww. It was brown and foaming. Just like teh tarik.
But the current was strong; we could see whirlpools and big waves. Excitement gripped us!!

After briefing and stuff, we went for the ride! There is 6 of us with two guides on the raft. It was choppy but fun. We all tried to synchronize our paddling by yelling one two .. one two… but after awhile, everyone’s shout died down with exhaust and we just appointed HY to do the shouting. To which it sounded more than a normal tone after that.
And when we have to go through the rapids, we have to paddle hard and synchronized also at some point we have to lean forward to stop the raft from capsizing. ( Don’t worry, the guide will teach you)
We went through 4 rapids without capsizing! Cool leh. We even did our cheer after the rapids. There was the cobra, the snake head, the curve and the dunno-what-already! But at some point, it was scary!! It was going through giant waves and some time the waves just whack you on the face!! Try imagine.. big waves of teh tarik splashing into your face and with abit of tea leaves (sand) left in your mouth.. Pttuiiii !!
And it rained half way through the trip! What an experience, man !! And at first, it hurts!! The rain was like pelting stones!!
WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEW, we really had fun this round.
Tips for those who want to climb the mountain and do water rafting on the same trip. Climb first then go for the rafting. All 10 of us agreed this way the itinerary is better. :)
**Photos with our guide. So none to show.
7&8 May 2006
Ahh.. after sleeping in the cold dorm for few nights, it was time we check in into the luxurious Sutera Harbour.

The view was beautiful from the room!! And they have a total of 5 swimming pool ( Heard that but I only saw 4). So what did we do ? Rest and relax at the pool. Soak. Take a walk around the harbour. Take photos. See sunset.. Forget about seeing sunrise!! Had good breakfast.. Rest and relax at the other two pools over at the other wing…. Take photos again.. Hahaha.

Overall, it was a fun trip. Though really tiring but it was a great experience.
Kota Kinabalu is a small town- you can practically walk to cover the entire town. People are friendly and slow in pace.
But seafood was a big disappointment. Nothing to shout about. And I did not even have the chance to eat my cheong bak bong (Elephant Tusk Clam). Gotta becareful else sure kena cut throat. Don’t go to Ocean Village.
There is one called Twinsky in town. Near GSC or Centerpoint. Not superb but at least good food!
Sabah- land under the wind. It is a beautiful place. I would definitely go back. But will just say hi to Mount Kinabalu from the foot of the moutain.
posted by sming @ 2:47 PM  
  • At 4:05 PM, Blogger Patrick said…

    Good article ! feel like i m there to enjoy the moutain view too!!! good post..

    like the cute 'cantonis' words.. so 'live'.. keep me read on...

  • At 10:03 PM, Blogger ivory said…

    love the way u write, can feel as though I'm there myself :D

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