Category Archives: Nature

It’s the climb

Every step I’m taking

Every move I make feels

Lost with no direction

My faith is shaking …

… Always gonna be an uphill battle …

… Ain’t about how fast I get there

Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side

It’s the climb.

Yep, this was exactly the song that’s been playing over and over in my head as I felt my heart rising to my throat and beating hard in my ears. It was the hike or technically the climb we had last weekend that got me an LSS of Miley’s The Climb, and consequently rendered my thigh muscles so painfully sensitive.

It was my first time to hike the Canada Hill  where the “Grand Old Lady” boastfully stood for about a century. The Grand Old Lady is the first oil well ever built in Malaysia.  And thus, it added a little wonder and excitement to actually hike on the area where the oil industry of Malaysia started. A local friend of a company joined us and served as a guide. We decided to take the full trail which he said would take about an hour. While at the top, we passed by a grassland which amazed me because the ground is made up of pure white fine sand. We started our descent meeting beaten up hikers following the opposite direction. I was surprised because most of the descent and ascent were quite steep that would technically require a rope to hold on to. I had no idea that it was quite hard, I thought of it as just a regular forest trek. Oh man, was I that wrong. It was a grueling cycle of climbing up and down on slippery, rocky, muddy, grassy, and bushy forest slopes. Midway I was already gasping and became almost light headed a few times after a long ascent. My knees were already shaking and my feet were getting heavier and heavier. My white gym shoes were so muddy because I’m already incapable of choosing the best footing.

We passed by an abandoned house in the middle of the forest, by a small stream just after one of our descents. The frames and a few walling were still intact. It wasn’t like a Nipa hut or something like that which easily becomes disposable, it was really a house. It was so odd, who would have lived there, it’s so far from the road. By the moment it was getting a bit dark, we realized we’ve been moving for over an hour already. Also, we were by ourselves then, the other hikers that we occasionally met have gone. And then as we walked further, we came into this trail that was almost not there. It became so bushy that we could not almost pass through the twigs and branches of shrubs and vines.  I fell a couple of times because my foot was caught in the vines and it was already dark. Good thing I decided to wear long pants, my legs were spared from the mosquitoes and the plants’ itchy trichomes but my arms weren’t. It turned out, we passed by a different and much longer trail and went out to a different exit. At the exit, the road was already paved and we passed by this housing compound with newly built big houses that parked Toyotas and Lexus in their garage. The exit we arrived at was quite far from the Grand Old Lady, thus we have to walk our way up again to the top of the hill. In the end, I can say it was a great hike – surprising and intense. I would definitely do it again.



Filed under Nature, Places

There and back again…

We just got home from an exit run to Brunei. Now, I have permit to stay in Malaysia for another month . I had a hearty chicken spaghetti meal plus rice at Jollibee in Seria, Brunei. We were facing the glaring orange sunset on our way home. Good thing the road back is bordered by wilderness, the trees made a good cover. I was looking out the window the whole time hoping that I could catch a glimpse of hornbills hooping into their nest for the late afternoon. The last time, I saw not one but three hornbills flying from the other side of the forest across the road to the opposite side. They were flying low enough for me to distinguish the distinctive black and white feathers and the enormous beak. I was so excited, I couldn’t believe I’d see one (no, three!) in the wild. This time though, I had no luck. Surprisingly, just up ahead the tollgate approaching the border, I saw a group of monkey eating by the road! Now, how’s that! Oh yes, I was so ecstatic! It was quick but I totally spotted them.

By the moment we reached the border, the forest was gone. On both sides were wide planes of swamp grown with wild grasses, ferns, and shrubs. But the beauty is, the sky became so visible.  I was so amazed by the range of colors across the horizon. On the right side of the road, the sky is fiery. Hues of red, orange, and yellow painted the vast firmament. On the left side, the sunset reflected subtle shades of pink and purple highlighting the greyish cumulus clouds. And then the most spectacular sky display happened – a series of lighting strikes! It was jaw-dropping, I couldn’t help myself but gasp every 20 seconds the lightning strikes. It was so vivid, I could see the lightning jumping from cloud to cloud in different directions. So magnificent! Sometimes it moves horizontally forming a V or W, and then next it jumps up as tiny streaks or it hits the ground making a full touch down in a dichotomous manner. So far, my favorite is the “Ghostbusters proton gun”  or a “ray gun” – a long lightning bolt diverging across the sky in a horizontal manner in different directions! It lighted up the sky like fireworks on independence day. Wow, it was so beautiful, I was electrified with excitement!

When we got home, we rushed to install the camera on a tripod hoping to capture the show. Unfortunately by then, the sky began to clear and perhaps the clouds became less charged. However, we managed to catch a few sparks in the sky.


Filed under Nature, Places