Wednesday, May 29, 2013

setting your sights


I'm not a very outdoorsy person although I'd like to think I am. I love walking the beach and discovering new trails in the city but when it comes to hiking, I cringe at the thought of getting my shoes muddy and having to battle leeches and various other killer-blood-sucking insects.

But when my bestie suggested we visit one of Malaysia many waterfalls for the holidays, I jumped up and said "YES!"

We headed to Hulu Langat towards Pangsun. The goal was to reach Lepok falls for a nice afternoon swim, indulge in homemade sandwiches and then head home. We found the small Orang Asli village at the foot of the hill and made our way into an area with Durian Orchards and Bamboo forests.

It wasn't durian season thankfully so I didn't have to add the fear of falling durians to my already thumping heart. One of the guides told us the trail was leech-free but my eyes kept a look-out anyway.  Hutan mana tak ada lintah!?

It was pretty much a pleasurable walk in the forest. After awhile you stopped hearing the river and all you heard was forest sounds. It was a hard track at times but I kept telling myself that the end was gonna be worth it. I prayed through our journey. It helped me draw my focus away from my overactive imagination.

The trail was steep at times and slippery and sometimes gross with leeches waving in the air, waiting for unsuspecting humans to leech on. We stumbled along, losing the path every so often, but we carried on. I got to thinking that if I was alone, I'd probably have turned back. Keeping my eyes glued to the ground, ears peeled, we marched on.

After about an hour and a half we heard water and quickened our pace. We could see the river up ahead and noticed a few other hikers who had reached before us. We settled further down stream and explored a little. The water was clear and there were little catchments where you could dunk in. I just wanted to rip my shoes off and cool my feet in the cool water. But we weren't at the best part yet.

We decided to move further up nearer the falls and it was a tough climb but we arrived at the foot of the falls where there was a deep pool you could swim in. It was amazing. The clear COLD water and the gushing stream. We couldn't wait to change and dive in!

The trip got me thinking about how much our life was like a hike to the falls. The journey is rough with muddy trails and strange sounds and insects just waiting to have a go at you. But with the right people walking with you, egging you on, and the idea of that clear cold waterfall waiting for you at the top, you've just gotta set your sights on what's ahead and press on. And when you think you've reached, there's almost always a few more rocks and boulders to climb over before you reach the Best Part.

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