Thursday, May 31st, 2007
Whoo-Hoo! I was up Gunung Irau again!
Mountain Clean Up
This is still my favourite mountain, but trekking with 21 others this time really tested my patience. The trek was scheduled for May 28-29, 2007. Simply, I was thinking of a grand feast for dinner when I got home by 7pm (29th May) when all was done. But my estimated time was way off the mark. I got home only at about 12am (30th May).
The most logical way to tell this tale is to follow an almost chronological order of events. However, before the tale is told, let it be known that I wouldn’t have planned this trek had I:
(1) not made a promise that I would take them to Gunung Irau–breaking promises is a bad bad habit;
(2) not needed to train those attempting to scale Gunung Tahan (that includes myself);
(3) not wanted to put Hidayat on trial because he expressed intentions to scale Gunung Tahan.
(4) not been so hard-headed to pull this one off when the odds seemed to be against me.
See, it’s all about me. It’s not really about the other twenty-one nice people (Leon, Nancy, Ikhwan, Farah, Hamed, Aloy, Rita, Arie, Johanes, Nini, Neda, Hanim, Dicky, Kiki, Hidayat, Madiano, Elvira, Rinaldo, Andrian, Arwin, and Sogand) who came on this trek.
expanded stories to come; really! Meanwhile, enjoy an almost a chronology order of events:
I’ve changed my mind. I think I’ll only put this down in chronological order:
12:47 22 left Sunway University College by bus; Could have left on time had we not have to wait for someone. Aargh!
13:30 Traffic jam at near Rawang; Oh how I love traveling by bus. Aargh!
18:10 Been raining for the last 2 hours. Arrived at Brinchang, Cameron Highlands. Continued journey to the Bee Farm. Only one van?! I asked for 2 pick up trucks! SMS exchanges with Nee On and Amos.
19:30 Finally start trek after everyone arrives at the starting point.
19:45 Decision decision decision. Choices before starting trek, choices now that the trek has begun.wet & muddier than before.
20:30 TMC wants to scream at Johanes for losing a tent but refrains himself.
00:30 Everyone arrives at campsite. Setting up of tents. Not enough space for all of us. Late dinner. TMC wants to scream at Dicky and Ikhwan for losing Bang Qin’s stove but refrains himself.
01:30 Sound of fireworks at this time of the year? Weird.
04:40 Woke up too early. Went back to sleep.
07:00 Finally woke up. Had Milo, quick bites. Waited for everyone else to wake up.
07:27 Ascent to the peak
08:30 Reached the peak. Could have been faster had I not lingered to take photos.
08:40 Discovered source of fireworks the night before. A family was celebrating a 10-year old girl’s birthday at the peak. The 9-member team trekked up the mountain in four hours, even when it rained.
09:20 Descent begins after clearing up the peak. Garbage bag (weighing about 6kgs!) breaks about 15 minutes from campsite.
10:30 Arrived at campsite; had breakfast, eating Farah’s cocktail sausages. Didn’t know she wanted to eat them. Oh well, never leave food lying around near TMC’s tent.
11:10 Went back to recover abandoned garbage bag. Didn’t have the conscience to leave it behind.
11:30 Campsite clean-up; Filled about 5 big black garbage bags.
12:30 Distribute garbage bags to other trekkers and descent begins. Leon suggests to leave heaviest garbage bag behind. TMC sweeps the pack with Ikhwan; both taking turns to carry the 6kg garbage bag down the mountain.
13:28 Descent goes slower than slow. Feels like the garbage bag got heavier and heavier.
14:15 TMC rushes down with 6kg garbage bag from last position to pole position; and punctures 2 tires along the way.
14:50 Johanes exchanged his garbage bag with mine. His is so very light!
15:03 Nearly gave up on the 6kg garbage bag. Ikhwan talks about missed opportunities with a girl. I’m tired, so I listen to the lover boy anyway.
15:35 Out of Mount Irau; Waits for van; 4 (Hamed, Neda, Leon & TMC) walk down tea plantation (near 2-hour walk!) because the van is just too expensive.
23:00 Arrive at Sunway University College – later than expected.
There are more pictures on my photography website. Hop over there and take a look.