Happy New Year! 2013 came, left its mark and left. Time to welcome 2014 with open arms!
How did ya’ll spend your New Years Eve?
It was a little different for me this year. I mean last year. I was partying with my family and brothers and sisters in Christ. My church decided to bring back the “watch-night” service tradition and this year it was held in MCKL.
We had a lovely Northern Indian meal before the service. It was so good. Naan bread and CURRY. Not too shabby for my last meal of the year.
The service was a good time of sharing, singing and a gentle reminder to always be grateful and thankful to God for his providence. After the final countdown and some fireworks, we headed home. The night ended with cake, junk food, chocolates and movies.
Somewhere in between cake and movies, I decided that I wanted to kick-start the new year with some sort of adventure. Kevin suggested trail running. He was partially joking but I was dead serious. I packed and went to bed.
5 hours later, we found ourselves heading towards Perting Valley, located somewhere off Bukit Tinggi Kampung. Kevin had been there several times so we had no trouble in finding the place.
When we arrived, we parked our car at a designated parking spot which was by a river. We could have opted to drive further in before the real trekking trail began but we decided that we would run in instead (partly for the exercise, and partly because the condition of the “road” would’ve wreaked havoc on the car’s undercarriage). We slipped on our Vibrams and off we went.
Before the ‘real’ trekking trail.
We started at half past 12. By then the sun was already shining, blazing in its full glory. Thankfully, we didn’t feel the heat. The thick forest canopy and river kept the air crisp and relatively cool. When we finally hit the trail, we took it slow. The beginning of the trail was rocky and then muddy followed by a mixture of both. We stopped along the way to fiddle with the camera and to take a few photos.
And the trail running begins!
Weird creature alert!
According to Kevin, the trail had been transformed by nature’s worst enemy, humans. The lush, thick ferns that lined part of the trail were no longer there. Everything had been flattened or chopped away. Once a single track barely wide enough in places for a single man to pass through, the trail was now wide enough for a truck to navigate. It was sad that I didn’t get a chance to run this trail before somebody decided to widen it for vehicles. Nonetheless, it was fun. Hopping and skipping around to avoid sinking into the mushy mud.
Muddy Mud Mud.
50 minutes later, we hit the turn-off point to Lata Hammer (Hammer Falls). It was a steep hike-climb down to our final destination – the waterfall. We had to cross the river to get to the sandy flat area where people could set up tents or picnic mats. It was pretty crowded – I guess it was because today was a public holiday.
Weird creature on the rocks.
We found an empty spot and laid our mat. We quickly settled in and started digging into the snacks that we had brought along. We also started a fire on a home-made stove to boil some water.
Boiling water with self-built stove.
Milo + Nescafe = Neslo!
Some of the things that you might need for a hike/climb/picnic or just junk you’d like to carry along. I’ll call them “The Essentials”.
So here’s a list:
-Backpacks (hopefully they’re waterproof!). If not, you could always get what’s next on the list…
– Dry packs
– Flash lights
– Knives, parangs, penknives, pocketknives, Swiss Army knives
– Rope, paracord bracelet (never know when you need some ROPE!)
– Food (bring food that is easy to carry and prepare ie: canned tuna, bread, sneakers, trail mix)
– Mini stove (Kevin made his own), SPORK (as the name suggest, its a spoon AND a fork)
– Fuel to start a fire, lighter
– A good pair of shoes (would be best if it’s waterproof)
– First Aid Kit
– A whistle (just in case you get lost)
I guess that’s the end of the list! Hoohaa!
We chilled and relaxed for a good 2 hours. The sky was still bright and clear but we wanted to get an early start back. We packed up and hiked-ran back out to our car.
Crossing the bridge back to reality.
We took about 40 minutes with a few stops to take photos and to attend to the wound I sustained when I brushed my arm against some dangling branches.
On the way home, we bought some durians for the family.
Trail running, hiking, picnic, waterfall, spending time with Kevin, nature, peace and quiet, a time for reflection……
It was indeed the best way to kick-start the new year! Doing what we love to do.