Monday, June 22, 2015

TSDayOut Bukit Kutu Expedition

6 June 2015 marked another milestone of probably the most challenging TSDAYout I’ve ever anticipated. However, my mind and soul could not comprehend the euphoria feeling of self satisfaction. Allow me to breathe in and breathe out before I spill out the beans of my last adventure!

For those of you who are still clueless what is TSDAYout all about, fret not of being left out. It’s the initiative from the Tourism Selangor of organizing a 1-day event or activities around the beautiful land of Selangor! Honestly, I didn’t realize that Selangor has so many amazing things to see and do until I joined their TSDAYout (Tourism Selangor Day Out) few years ago. This Stunning Selangor not only offers great varieties of places and scenery but also crafting valuable lesson of life and experiences in my life. And it keeps getting more interesting than ever thanks to the brainchild of amazing group of people working in Tourism Selangor. 

So when Tourism Selangor announced at their Facebook page about Bukit Kutu expedition, I was like woahhhh ! this, i have to participate! 
I got myself registered and waited for a spot. Guyz, if you have been reading my blogs about the other TSDAYOut and still not convince to join, I’ll rest my case. But if you are convinced and not able to join them, please.. i reckon you to go out there, plan your time and start exploring the sassy Selangor!. Bring your family, friends or even your pet and start getting inspired!

As I lead my life with ‘Live life interestingly!” motto, there’s no secret to this principle. 

I am passionate of what I do, and I do what I am passionate about. So when people talk about mountains and rainforest,  its like a tingling feeling in my veins and spine where it flow like minions in their chambers singing bana-naaa. 

There’s something about these lush beauty that capture my attention since I was young. How could I not be, I was born and raised in a small kampong at Mentakab, Pahang. Deep down, I was, still am and always will be a kampong girl that simply light up with excitement like a kid in a candy store when I am close to nature especially with backdrop layers of magnificent mountains. Just the thought of the exquisite Mother Nature gives me goosebump.  I was pretty excited when I got selected and quickly check out with the rest of the clan. Kanmani and Khai managed to join in this time too.

So what and where is Bukit Kutu? Its actually a mountain located at Hulu Selangor in Kuala Kubu Bharu. Previously known as Trecher's Hill with 1053m above sea level, it was once a colonial hill station for the British. However it was left abandoned after the bombing attack by the Japanese during World War II. They actually built a bungalow with chimney at the peak of Bukit Kutu. Yes! you got me right..a bungalow with a chimney and further and I will show you the remaining of the bungalow. What puzzled me was the chimney is still very much intact even though bushes and weed were crippling the site.Who would have thought that it is now a regular spot for adventure seekers and outdoor campers? 

The hike shall takes about 3-5 hours depending on your speed and stamina. So that Saturday morning around 615am, Kanmani and I were relying on google map apps from Setapak to Kuala Kubu Bharu. It was pitch dark and at one point I felt like we might not gonna make it on time since the app brought us to places that seems like an old village blocks twice!. But, finally an hour later, we reached Dataran Kuala Kubu Bharu and saw some familiar faces at the registration counter. After signing the letter of indemnity, we were given the trademark TSDayout t-shirt and this time was pink! Supposed to start at 7am but due to late comers, we only managed to start climbing at 9am. 
registration counter at the dataran Kuala Kubu Bharu
Briefing by the important person in Tourism Selangor : Ms Renuga and the team
We had our delicious breakfast before proceed to the foothill of Bukit Kutu. There are some Orang Asli villages around there. To hike Bukit Kutu, it is advisable to get a guide even though there are marks and ribbons tied along the way. Never take for granted especially if it’s about your life or others.
simple delicious kampung noodle. 
Upon reaching there, we were briefed by our guide on the do’s and don’t  but most importantly incase we are lost in the deep forest is to STOP!
Briefing by the guide. 
Very important when we think we are lost : 

When it comes to mountain climbing, you will either love it or dislike about it. To me, it is all about empowerment and seeing how far I could go mentally, physically and spiritually. There are times you will be asking yourself..what on earth did I put myself in to..but trust me, once you reach the top, the unveiling  achievement is basically a pat on the back. And the satisfaction is simply indescribable. After short briefing and some stretching, all of us slowly walk together with the hope of reaching up and coming down safely.
as we crossed the river
River flowing so calmly
guess who decided to visit..hi there Lassie. haha
The broken brigde..there's always a hand to lend
While I was ascending Bukit Kutu, i could not help it but to admire the ray of light that was beaming with pride between the bamboo trees and landed on the earth almost effortlessly. I looked up and stare at these peaceful sights of calm and tranquility. The ray of sun burst into spiral of shinning firework except for the loud noise just like our hopes and dreams when it finally came true.
ahhh I am a sucker for beautiful ray of lights
Such an astonishing site of tree that not only so tall but it stayed intact 45 degree from the ground. photo taken by Kanmani
Plenty of signage of reminding us to love the river, nature and Bukit Kutu
Left or right? u choose your path. 

happy faces early in the morning..hehehe

After rain effect
An abandoned orang asli tree house
u crawl, kneel down and walk like a duck..ur choice.
i do..after pass cross the obstacles ahead..:) 
Each checkpoint left a different phase of transition level where we need to cross a broken bridge, passing by the river (it was icy cold simply chilled to the bone as my feet touched the water), then almost 45 degree hike with protruding roots, followed by bamboo and more bamboo trees (i bet the pandas will love it here), and huge boulders as we nearly reaching the peak. It was a little humid and i felt like there was waterfall flowing in my body.   
tall bamboo trees where is KUNGFU panda?
I might have underestimated the level of difficulty of climbing Bukit Kutu initially, but its certainly was not a walk in the park when I could literally start listening to my own heart beat with few moments of out of breath.  It definitely a moment of realization when i felt the hike was quite tiring. Took me almost 4.5hours to ascend and 2.5 hours to descend, well it getting tougher when the pouring rain lead to a muddy, sticky slippery slide. But it was not the timing or to compete with anyone that I was chasing for, it was the anticipation!
like an alien invasion..the root that was off from earth
walking down the streets of greens!
huge tall trees..woah..i felt so tiny..but i prefer to see this than a concrete jungle..wink!
ready? 45 degree uphill
thorny branches..careful what you touch while hiking.
The interesting part of this journey was the company that we had and the distinctive level of intense beauty. Take for example when we reached few site of the bamboo trees that formed a zig zag shape tunnel and we have to gracefully move like a capoeira dancer trying to avoid the high and low of the fallen bamboo. We literally slide, glide, kneel, crawl,  jump, climb and even hang on the branches of trees as support. What a great workout!
zig zag tunnel of bamboo! 

Still wondering where is the kutu? or why it was called Bukit Kutu.
friendship built during hiking like this is simply unavoidable..chemistry is overwhelming.
Kanmani and Anis could not stop swearing and Adam probably regretted his choice of spending that Saturday there, but Khai was optimistic and cheering others to go further. There are so many other personalities that you could see and its almost endearing because if this was a diving/snorkeling activities, I probably would have been the grumpy one..hahaha  But this fetish of mine towards greens on earth is still a fascination i cant explain and I love how we motivate each other because that’s life is all about. The more we fight with the things that we dislike, the more frustrated we will be. So try distracting your pain, sore and ‘bengang-ness’ by admiring the splashing sounds of the leaves, the echo of serendipity of the winds, the rain drops or even the smell of fresh mountain dew. And its also nice to meet people with the same interest by listening to their stories and experiences along the way.    
rest jap//pic taken by kanmani
The bomba team was there to escort us as well. 
Look up ..its green likey!
Love the river..but i dont see any over here..
HI there..katak biru!
We thought we are going to reach the peak in another 5 minutes but only to be disappointed when we were told that it will takes us another 30 minutes or more depending on our speed and stamina. .GULP! So i stopped at this giant boulder pit stop for a while before continuing the journey again. 
giant boulder pit stop
We were nearly there as we reached the point where the remaining chimney located. Kanmani and Adam decided to have their lunch while Khai, Suraya and I decided to check out the chimney. 
Makan dulu!
Khai even did some explanation on the history of the place. After some exploration around, we decided to make our final push which was climbing the ladders to the outmost peak of Bukit Kutu.We have to wait for the rest to come down as the peak only have limited space with 3 boulders that you need to cross before reaching the outmost peak.
Khai, yours truly and Suraya
the kinda creepy chimney
view from the waiting point on top
As I finally reached the peak, i could not help it but to sit, chill out and admire the amazing view. I am speechless with the amount of work God has created for us to witness this fabulous serene view. While I was sitting calmly on the rock, my mind was slowly immersed into deep realization. Normally I am not the type that afraid of heights, but with the limited space, offguarded and standing 1053m above sea level , it does made me a little shaky.
Time for some reflection. Pic taken by Kanmani
over the edge
Well it was all Yellow ! 
BUtterfly are yellow too :)  
Jeng Jeng jeng! 1053 metre above sea level
you gotta climbed another 3 huge boulders with ladders before you could reach the top. not for the faint hearted
Well, if the majestic mountain and jungle could speak, i would probably have asked thousand and one questions that were running in my medulla oblongata. But the ever mysteriousness of this God’s creation has its own distinctive way of expression that lead my soul almost effortlessly awe in deep admiration. As if the seductive mountains are caressing each other and ignite the spirit of intuition into a deep state of mind. The trees that emerged and flowing up and down hill sinfully shaping a prominent lyrical form which simply amazed me. Extremely a humbling experience, I could only “take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprint”. There was so much purity in it with indescribable feeling of rewarding and liberation. the peak of Bukit Kutu! pic taken by Ding Xiang.tq!
Gorgeous..the lake and the lushful greens! its all here in Selangor!
After some Kodak moments up there, my stomach was serenading some rhythm like the girls in pitch perfect movie. So i went back to the rest spot and quickly took out the packed of rice and chicken curry by Tourism Selangor for late lunch. I swear, that was one of the best chicken curry i had for a long time. Pergh..! I was enjoying my late lunch while Kanmani, Khai, Adam, Anis, Suraya and Ding were chit chatting and waiting for me as they had their lunch much earlier.
hiker with his glove.
We descended the minute i finished my meal. Rain started to pour and we covered ourselves with disposable raincoat while some covered themselves with plastic bags. It was already 3pm when we started to descend. I quicken my steps coz if I stop, it might take me longer to recharge. And as we descended, i managed to capture some of this astonishing art of nature of flora and fauna found along the way. My visions was beaming with happiness. 
What a unique spiral of branches
red flowers..not sure what species it is
what a lovely triple lid of roses
the ants territory
stay curious
mushrooms like this are everywhere
berry green!
fiercely red flower
caught in a spiderweb? 

the lonely branches above
after rain sunset

There were times when I noticed that i was walking alone, there were no one ahead or behind of me, I must admit that I felt a little worried but there were also a part of me assuring that the spirit of jungle was there to protect me and giving me an opportunity to appreciate all this beautiful flora and fauna even more. So, as I was descending solo and start to reminisce a lot of things in my life, I am blessed and thankful for this opportunity.
sweating and drenched wet
muddy, slippery and tired. its all in the package.. :) 
time to soak my legs in the cold water...aahhhh ...bliss
look at the ray of lights..amazing view
Truth to be told, as Sir Edmund Hillary famous quote : 

It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves. 

So did i conquer myself that Saturday? Well.. every mountain / hills that I hike be it Tabur Hill, Santubong, Gunung Dato, Mount Sapa or even Mount Kinabalu, i continue to learn that every journey to this incredible masterpieces create different feelings of lifetime experience, exploration and aspiration.  I bet to those of you who has climbed Bukit Kutu for the first time that Saturday might swear that they would never climb any mountain ever again..hahah never say never coz soon you might wanna start to have the itch to hike again. Till then, keep discovering yourself, search your passion and who knows you might also find your inner peace that you were looking for all this while. So be inspired, be excited, find the joy and happiness in this amazing life of yours! 
im always a fighter .. pic taken by kanmani
I've reached the foothill almost 6pm, waited for the rest to arrive at 7pm and finally we had our final briefing with prize ceremony for the 6 best instagram photo winners being announced. My maxis line decided to stay under radar, so i didnt managed to upload any good photos but nevertheless i get to be closer to nature with the absence of internet and wireless. Better still, right?

So Stay Curious, Stay Hungry and Stay Motivated! Best part is you don’t even need to go so far, you might just find it all in this abundance state of Selangor. So who says that Selangor don't have any mountain to climb..head down here guyz! let's do this again!

Orait, i've compiled something for you guyz...enjoy the journey of my little adventure with Tourism Selangor at Bukit Kutu :

You've inspired me, Bukit Kutu.
Oh ya, don’t forget to like Tourism Selangor at Facebook, follow them at Instagram @discoverselangor and on Twitter!

Cant wait for their coming TSDAYout Special! I wonder what would it be my next’ll just gotta wait and see. Or best still..join with me next round! There are plenty of things to see, do, eat and explore at Selangor because its the year of Discover Selangor /  Terokai Selangor ! what are you waiting for?

Some of the interesting lines up that you might want to do the next time you are in Selangor! 
Skypark 2013


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