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.