Sunday, May 24, 2009

.: Bukit Apek (previously posted as Klang Gates) :.

Uncle Albert, JC & I will be conquerin Klang Gates hills this Saturday! :)

Update : Plan aborted. We are plannin to go to somewhere else to hike instead. Absolutely have no idea where it is. But I heard that there's a waterfall *big grin*

So there I was, walking towards this Apek Hill/Apeh Hill located in Taman Bukit Saga, Cheras (click here for map and further info), looking at it, and thought that it doesn't look that intimidating. In fact, it looks almost like Bukit Kiara, not that bad I said to myself.

As we reach the foothill, our leader, Gary, a member of the TME (The Malaysian Explorer) advised us to warm up or do a lil bit of stretching because the first 30 minutes or so hiking would be slightly strenuous and afraid that some of us might have cramps. I was trying to fake a smile, hoping that from an expert trekker like him, when he said "slightly strenuous" it would just mean that, not more.

10 minutes after taking a few steps up, I was huffing and puffing and silently cursing. This is NOT slightly strenuous. This is killing me! What was I doing here at such an hour in the morning when I could still be in bed, under my comforter, dreaming a lil dream of Mc Dreamy or something? Damn!

And we reached to a forked trail that has two route, labelled - Route A and Route B. Someone who was on the way down told us that Route A was more difficult and steep and Route B was a slightly more longer route, but fairly simpler. I was quietly praying that the leader, Gary would choose Route B. But yes, you guess it right, he opt for Route A instead.

So there I was, even more huffing and more puffing and more silent cursing. And I kid you not, this trek was absolutely steep. To say 90 degrees would be exaggerating, but it was about 65 - 75 degrees all the way. There was ropes tied to the tree trunks along some of the way, but there are times where you had to rely on nature - i.e. the tree bark, tree roots, stones, etc to hinge you up. Lesson 1 : Be careful of what you hold on to, as some tree barks have sharp thorns. I learn it the hard way as I grabbed a tree bark, but thankfully I did not press firmly before I realise that its actually thorny. A lady told me that she too learn from the hard way as there was one hike where she slipped and fall, and grabbed the nearest thing she could, only to injure her hand from the thorny barks.

After for what feels like an hour, we arrived at a resting point (Station 3). We detoured slightly to this man made pond (about 20 minutes from this - with really steep slopes downwards). I have no idea how this group of people, mostly uncles and aunties, could have carried big pails, pots and pans and even a sink to this place so set up a mini site. I could not barely carry myself. Lesson 2 : Never look down on the strength and endurance level of the elderly uncles and aunties. Never.

From this man made pond, it was another hour plus hike to the waterfall site, tho this was more of a flat terrains with very gradual slopes. JC commented that I can walk really fast on flat terrain than I can on steep ones. You see, flat trails are like walking around shopping complexes - I've done that a million times. No shopping complexes I went to has slopes. So yeah, go figure.

After one hour plus, and a couple of pit stops for drinking and resting, we were heading a steep, slippery slope down to the waterfalls (Accordingly, this is the top part of the waterfall. The bottom part is another trail - which I believe is a much simpler trail, but apparently that place is more crowded - hence, we went to the top part). The journey down this steep slope was very scary, and it being wet and slippery doesn't help. Instead of being all excited and looking forward to reach the waterfall, I was like thinking "How the heck am I going to climb up this? Oh please, please, please, let there be another route out, or I will be stuck here forever."

Upon arriving at the waterfall, I was feeling really calm for the moment, even tho that Gary told me that the route out is the same route in. I tried not to worry about it, let it be, and enjoy the moment. It was a bit disappointing that the waterfall wasn't as big and great at the waterfall in Ulu Yam, but it was beautiful nonetheless.

And how we hiked back up, that still remains a mystery to me, but we went back, and I live to tell this tale. We were out of Apek Hill at about 2.30 pm. Uncle Albert says that we have walked for almost 12km. Wow. Suddenly I don't feel so guilty for the Japanese buffet I went for at Saisaki anymore.

Would I do it again? No, not for now, until the memory of the pain I've experienced fades (if it ever would).

For now, I am still suffering from the muscle aches, walking like a limping dog....... And yes, a few broken toe nails and purple toe nails (my bad for not cutting them short before I went on this trip - now I'm paying the price for this mistake. Lesson 3 : Ensure that your toe nails are short beforehand)

So in conclusion, if you're a big fan of jungle trekking and what not, you may wanna try this route. But if it's your first time trekking, I suggest you try on Bukit Gasing or FRIM first a couple of times, before trying this one out (especially so if you're someone as unfit as me).

On a scale of 1 - 10, I give this a 7. With FRIM's trail being a 3.5 (minus the leech), Bukit Gasing/Gasing Hill 3 and Bukit Kiara/Kiara Hill 1. Uncle Albert says that Gunung Kinabalu/Mount Kinabalu would be a 9.5 and Bukit Nuang/Nuang Hill a 10. This is excluding Gunung Tahan, which may be the most challenging of the lot?

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