Mount Datuk, Malaysia

monster
Mount Datuk was a chill hike, it was not too bad up, except I had a leech bite.
The way down was Ophir-ish, but perhaps half of the pain. 

yummmm CHENDOLLL 

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6.2 Swaziland – Sibebe Rock

Sibebe rock was quite an easy hike, we didnt really need a guide, to be honest. Nonetheless we did – and we would have been pleased to support the local economy, if not for a grumpy guide that wanted to leave us halfway, while overcharging us from the start which got us off to a rather unpleasant vibe at the beginning.

Nice view at the top, breeze.

5. Pidurangala Rock, Sigiriya

my ideal state all day

While deciding between Pidurangala or Sigiriya, we opted to climb the former first. It was cheaper, less crowded, and by cheaper I do mean it’s more than 25 times cheaper.

Ready!

I forgot how we got there, but http://www.yonderingsoles.com/2017/11/30/dambulla-sigiriya-pidurangala/ knows. Convenient cache of memories!

We never got to Sigiriya in the end because it closed by the time we went down and walked over. Well, we got a glimpse of it from our viewpoint, so I wasn’t particularly bummed about it. =D

3. Adam’s Peak

Hatton – Dalhousie

My favourite pictures are from Adam’s Peak.


It’s funny, I had so many hours of train rides on this trip, hours and hours chugging along the tracks, but somehow I had chosen to while my time away instead of jotting down my memories. It’s not a bad thing really, I was immersed in the moment I suppose. The continual movement of myself provided a justified limbo for myself, a space where I did not have to do anything, if I didn’t want to. What a luxury! What a luxury. Or maybe I should stop measuring the quality of my time using the notion of productivity.

Doing nothing is doing something. It is being in the moment. Being present.

Base of Adam’s Peak (Dalhousie)

We had slept at around 10pm, brushed our teeth and gone to bed, and set our alarm at 2 or 3am. Another midnight hike, where we set off in the breezy night, my quiet breath overtaking the ones around me as I followed cz’s pace. I remember the coolness of my right hand as it brushed against the raindrops along the silver railings – an impression I recall despite the darkness, a flashing torchlight by the French tourist behind me perhaps – a stillness that jolted my bleary mind slightly as I walked on, half-dazed from my lack(?) of sleep.
The sunrise was nice. If I were to be honest, the view wasn’t particularly impressive. We had reached at 5am or some sort, ahead of our schedule, and had to wait 1-2 cold hours at the top. I rocked forward and backward as I hugged my knee against my chest. We ate the lemon and chocolate biscuits as we waited for the sun to rise. The rows of spectators watched, and murmurs emerged along with the awakening colours. At last, the people around us got up and waved their hands in the sun. 

6.4 Sofeh Mountain, Isfahan

Hello, Sofeh mountain.
selfie-ing every few steps, i recall

Our chicken rice for lunch. In my opinion, it tasted great :p I miss how Azar’s mum would prepare the SWEETEST HONEYDEW i’ve ever eaten in my life (no lie), so juicy and an absolute bliss in the heat 😥

 

Set off to Sofeh mountain!

 

 

 

Unfortunately, we didn’t complete the hike (barely started) because a man started asking me many questions about where I came from, how long I was here for, etc. Elhem got worried and decided that we shouldn’t proceed with the hike. While I was hesitant to stop, given my one-chance at Sofeh mountain and Cz’s recommendation, I could tell Elhem was growing increasingly uncomfortable as we bumped into the man again. Eventually she persuaded me again and i relented, and we went down. While I was a little disappointed about missing the hike i was looking forward to, i found consolation in spending the rest of my day with the girls.

Thank you Isfaha, it has been absolutely lovely 🙂

Mount Ophir, Malaysia

The interesting thing about Mount Ophir was how we had to count and account for every single item we brought up along with us. We had to write them down on a form, all the items that we had with us, and bring our baggage back to check with the forms after the hike. Apparently, 5RM will be charged for every missing item. That meant every packaging (e.g. 5 packets of biscuits, 2 socks, 1 hairtie, 1 hand sanitizer…)

While I was amused, I appreciated such measures. Sometimes it’s necessary for such actions to prevent the laziness of human from contaminating the environment.

I liked this part :p

These were rubbish from before they implemented this ‘count the amount of items you carry up’ regulation – and possibly the reason for it

The next day CZ and I stayed in JB and walked around for a local food hunt.

 

Mount Ophir with friends – Malaysia

IT’S A BIRD!
No, IT’S A PLANE!
No….. IT’S MOUNT OPHIR!!!!!!!!!111!!!!!111!!!!!!
(no it’s actually cashew nuts)
crew!
partner!
SUMMIT!

I liked this weekend trip, I like how a single weekend becomes memorable. A quick getaway to another place, unlike a usual routine weekend.

I also liked how my friends came along this trip. 😀 With work these days, it’s quite hard to find time to get everyone together. This was a great opportunity, and I’m really glad and appreciate that it was organized ❤

Photospam of memories, of people I appreciate in my life!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mt Pulag – film

The last of my lomo smena 8 before it officially departed. 😦

 

 

 

 

 

 

​ Had a really lovely break chasing sunrises and the sea of clouds, waking up to cows outside our tent, sleeping under a million stars, soaking in nature’s calming playlist – the rhythm of the rushing waters, the hushed whispers of the waving trees, and the gentle pitter-patter of the rain. Running into the vast embrace of the grassland, in that moment stripped of all responsibilities. So blessed, so thankful, so happy :’) Special mention to my Pulag partner @moonlitsunsets, and to @ganworm for challenging me to take on more difficult routes, always. 😘

 

Mount Pulag: Sea of Clouds (Summit hike)

When we woke up we heard murmurs of others in our surroundings. More had joined to pitch their tents. We set off to our 500m hike to the summit to catch the sunset.

We stumbled out of our tents at 4am and made our way towards the summit, against the forceful, howling wind. It wasn’t too long before we ascended. Earth was growing bright. The sea of clouds could be seen. Happy hikers aplenty.

sea of clouds 
Sunrise at Mount Pulag!
I love so many pictures from this series, it was hard to choose.

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Mount Pulag, Philippines – Akiki Trail (3D 2N)

Our humble abode for the night
All ready!

What I liked about Mount Pulag was the fact that they conducted a talk with the hikers before we started our hike. They highlighted to us the importance of keeping Mount Pulag clean, and not to litter or wash our things along any water bodies because the residents around the area relied on Mount Pulag as a watershed for its clean water supply.

 
Looking at the map of the Akiki trail 🙂
The first part of the trail, approaching the Eddet River
love the sound of the rushing waters
The climb was alright before the river, but after the Eddet River it was uphill all the way. Up, up, up. Took in the beauty of everything around me. The pine forest and its needle-like leaves, the cool breeze tickling my ears. The blue dragonfly that whizzed past my shoes. Strands of thoughts weaved in and out of my head. Work, school, colleagues. I sincerely tried to shake these thoughts away and focused on the surroundings instead.



All ready to immerse in the beauty of Mother Nature 😊

My hiking guide shows us the trail route. All hikers have to pay and hire a local guide.

“Many locals are trying to convert the forest into agricultural land for commercial farming. To minimise the conversion of the forest, the only way is to give them another source of $$$ income – tour guiding.”

Watershed area that provides water to the community and dams. That’s why rubbish is not allowed to be left there. Everyone is advised to bring down garbage, and to wash their things away from water sources.

I love the calming sounds of nature – the rhythm of the rushing waters, and the gentle pitter-patter of the rain.

I heard the sound of a motorbike in the distance, except it had been going on for awhile. Where was the route for a motorbike, and why has that motor sound remained for some time? I asked Kyle, our guide. He tells us that that’s the sound of a chainsaw. I was surprised. I learnt that illegal logging meant lifetime imprisonment as imposed by the government. They were allowed only to saw the trees for their own uses. Buffalo tree, sticky sap…
 
Almost there. The guide hiding water in the middle of the grassland. LOL
Apparently they do this so they have extra water here (for cooking etc), hidden in their secret spots.
We reached the base camp at about 5pm. Before long it started raining and we hid in our tents, already set up by our dear porters and guide. In the drizzle and the cold we were greeted by a surprise knock on our tents – dinner, served! Room service! We exclaimed excitedly. Yummy hot rice with corned beef. In the cold and after the long walk, everything tasted like sweet relief. I finished Persepolis 1 and started on Persepolis 2 while Jolene blabbered on (LOL). Eventually we fell asleep.

Room service despite the rain!!! Actually I loved the rice – the somewhat hard texture of the rice, and the treat of eggs, maggie noodle on 1 day, the corned beef (YUMMYYYYY) and tuna!

Day 2:
We awoke at 8am and set off at 9.30am.

 

 

The vegetation took a gradual shift with an increase in altitude, from the pine forest to the mossy forest, and at the end, we emerged to the grassland – my favourite!

 

we got incredibly excited waking up to cows strutting outside our tents, and squealed way too early in the morning. HAHAHHA

random cow

 

So happy. So so happy. We reached at about 11.30am to a vast field of grassland. There was nobody but us! I wanted to roll around in the sunshine. I wanted to shout with joy. I did. I wanted to lie on the grass and read my book while soaking in the warmth of the rays. It was not so practical, and though I loved the cool breeze I crept back into the tent instead. We had all the time in the world, in the middle of this vast field. My usual day had barely begun but here, in this time and in this moment, I relished in the joy of not having to do anything. I had a blank space of time for myself, for the rest of the day, to do nothing. Absolutely nothing, if I wished! Stripped of all of my responsibilities, the large sacks I burdened myself with back home. So happy. I finished the rest of Persepolis 2, made a mental note to read up on the Iranian Revolution / Iraq-Kuwait conflict / Iraq-Iran & Iran-Kuwait relations and fell asleep to the lazy afternoon heat.

Sadly this photo reminds me of the timelapse video of our guide setting up the tent that we didn’t receive 😦

copying our guides’ pose, which we thought was genius

yummy!

The descent down the Ambangeg trail was pretty straightforward. After that, we made our way back to Manila and stayed at DG Budget Hotel, aka Salem Domestic Guesthouse for a night. At $31sgd a night for a private room for two of us, it was reasonable and comfortable after a long hike. Very near the airport too!

That night, we bought lots of polveron from 7-11 (hahaha) and I bought more at the airport the next day.

Thank you, Mount Pulag! You were beautiful and I’m blessed for the experience!