— 29 Dec 2012 —
I wasn’t planning on hiking Mount Kinabalu, the highest point on the island of Borneo, as this holiday was meant to be a rest and relaxing one, and hiking up a mountain doesn’t fit into either of the 2 categories. But somehow, I found myself waking up at dawn and pushed into the mini-van taking off to Kinabalu Park.
Then I found myself hiking up the mountain whereby I ended up failing to reach the first “proper” rest point of Layung Layung Hut (2,702m), some 836m from the Timpohon Gate (1,866m) where we started at. Beaten by my little brother, who is a non-exercising, hardcore nose-in-book nerd. I feel ashamed and it is definitely not going to happen again.
The following sequence of photos show how I was feeling towards the whole hiking experience every step of the way. Some good, mostly bad.
The hike started off well. I had momentum and I was breathing naturally. I was trying to remember all that the hiking instructor in Cape Town taught me. Trek slow, enough the walk, breathe slowly and deeply, use your hands to left yourself so you knees don’t strain too much. It was a great feeling having made it up the first 500m.
My knees were really hurting by this point and I told my brother I was going to stop, rest and make my way down. But no, he said we can’t be letting our little brother beat us (although he was already), so we marched on. Much to my disgust.
We took a while getting to this stop. There was probably a stop every 10 minutes. I kept telling my brother that I was going to stop at the next stop, only to be told to keep going. I was NOT happy chapette.
And this is how I felt at the next stop. Just to prove to my brother I meant business. (I realise I shouldn’t be smiling whilst giving the sign the finger)
We finally made it to the next stop. I realised this wasn’t the point we were meant to reach but I didn’t care. I just wanted some food, and so did the squirrels. So it was a good thing I stopped here. Feeding the squirrels reminded me of my time on site in Zambia where my site mother “adopted” some house squirrels as her “children”.
Thankfully my brother decided he wasn’t going to keep hiking. We had also come to realise we had been defeated by our little brother and we were okay with that. It just wasn’t going to happen again. EVER.
On the way down, there was more moaning and groaning. The knees were creaking louder than ever and they even gave up on me about 3 times. My butt was bruised and muddy as when we got back to the minivan. I would not have been able to walk another step if you paid me to!
All in all, a good way to spend the day. Even with all the bruises and scratches. It was a lot of hard work and but I will be back Mount Kinabalu! There is no way you are defeating me! Just let me train a bit and I’ll be back… in true Arnie style.