1.2 Google up, the clouds of information are hanging low - useful links for information related to Mt. Murud
1 Raja Raja 19:11a ...."keluarlah dan berdiri di atas gunung itu di hadapan Tuhan".
1.3 Nepenthe, drink up and let go
One of the best thing in climbing up a tropical mount, for me, is the chance of seeing my favourite plant in the world, Nepenthes (kukuanga = in my mother's tongue) (layman term = pitcher plant) in their natural habitat. one of the highlights in ascending any tropical mountains.
i spent years studying pitcher plants. They fascinate me.
The scientific name for this amazing plant originated from old Greek word 'nepenthe', found in their myth to be a strong drug given by Helen to tired, broken sailors on the ship rowing home to Troy. Nepenthe means, to forget of sorrow and pain.
I was desperate for the potion when i replied (mid January) to a certain friend if i was interested in joining her to attend the prayer revival meeting in July at Mt. Murud. I knew i was spiritually drained. i was in pain and in bad need of God's nepenthe, not just to forget my sorrow and pain, but to cast it away, to let it go.
The climb up _what to expect?
If you're lucky to start climbing at Lepoh Bunga and are moderately active with no major health issue, you'd be able to reach Gedung Haleluyah in 2 hours (or so said the cheeky guides). i did mine at approximately a little over 5 hours.
from Lepoh Bunga its going uphill all the way until you reach Jambatan Sukacita.
Then, from Jambatan Sukacita, (bersukacitalah for a while for the wooden plank walkway) its going to be the 'never ending' mud trail. However, from here on, i started to spot pitcher plants hanging near the trail clearings. So, no matter how i detest the mud trail, i got distracted and snapped at those beauties happily with my compact camera.
after the struggle with mud trail, we climbed a very steep 'cliff', (okey, i'm being dramatic here, but it sure look like a cliff), a little while later, (if you're still breathing and walking), the stunted trees will start to appear and before you know it, you reach the peak of Batu Linanit (2250 m a.s.l). take your time here. look around, take pictures, enjoy the pristine mountain air, have a picnic lunch (and a little tips here: if the locals offer you their food, take it. offer them yours too, if you have anything to offer). mingle with the other pilgrims here.
because its still quite a long way to reach Gedung Haleluyah. From Batu Linanit, its going downhill (more curious pitcher plants, sadly, none that i never seen before. i spotted 7-9 species) N. lowii gosh! they're awfully elegant!
then, the gleam of hope, gleam from zinc roof, assurance of you're almost there. errr.. not yet, dont get too excited, in the sea of greens, your eyes can be manipulative. its a steep downhill to a small patch of God's chosen spot, the holy ground. enter in with reverence. be glad that you survive the coming in journey.
Lepoh Bunga --(2-3 hrs)--Jambatan Sukacita--(2-3 hrs)--Batu Linanit--(1-2 hrs)-- Gedung Haleluyah
My heart leaped for joy when i first saw the settlement. I love wooden plank bridge and especially homesick because of the crisp mountain air. I am a highlander at heart. I was born and raised in Ranau, home of the highest mountain in South-East Asia. There's this familiar, comfortable feel about this place. It felt like coming home.
Bugger, what if you're very unlucky and have to start hiking from Ba kelalan? welcome to the true experience of jungle trekking friend. It'll be 3 days hike up (with no qualm i said yes, i'd trek from Ba Kelalan up to Gedung Haleluyah if there's no 4WD to take us up to Lepoh Bunga. sound like boasting? No, i know God will never test me more than i can handle. He sent us, the rugged driver)
Ba kelalan ---(1 day)--Pa Rebata--(1 day)--lepoh bunga--(1 day)--Gedung Haleluyah to Mt. Murud
The climb up_what to bring?
in my backpack:
1. water (500ml)
2. 100 plus (1.5 L)
3. halls candy (2 tubes)
4. goodie bag from the cheery people of TMC
5. chocolate bar
6. milo and foccacia bread (i didnt realize its in my bag)
7. dry clothes (to change to when i arrive)
10. small bag of first aid kit -gauze, ointment, plaster, some pills
tips: line up the inside of your backpack with plastic to make it super waterproof
things i wish i brought along.
1. anything salty (peanuts!)
Did i manage to take a sip of that nepenthe? i realized that, when you're not too focus on yourself, when you start to reach out and try to help others, our own pain subsides. I climbed up with an old woman, Ibu Bulan. I felt her physical pain climbing up, her weak knees, pain on her hip. But, as weak as she was, i drew strength from her. She pleaded God for strength all the way up. She cried when we reached Batu Linanit. She said "Tuhanlah kekuatanku" . That word is the nepenthe i've been seeking.
next: 1.4 cutie pie, i know its hard, but..