Previously known as : I Just Got Stong-ed Part 1
A little tanned, a little cuts and scratches, a little aches on the thigh and calves, a little lack of sleep, a little bit hungry and it was worth every little damn little of everything. Did I get you a little bit confused?
I had a great experience in outdoor last weekend with more than 2 dozen of strangers. I had been striking out the days anticipating the hiking + camping trip since last year. No, the idea of surrounded by total strangers do not bothers me. The state of being outdoor, surrounded by trees, crashing gallons of revitalizing water on centuries polished rocks and taking in cool fresh air outweighs all those silly questions. Honestly, I preferred it that way, not having known associates around me, as it forces me to socialize a bit more. Come out of my shell. Think it took me more than 24 hours before I eased up and moved around.
I was the first to arrive at the rendezvous point, McD, KL Sentral at 730pm. Sat the dead weight I had on my shoulder on first empty table I found. Rested while my eyes darted around the room looking for anyone who has a bloody huge backpack eating at their shoulders. Nope, none yet, just a couple of cute chicks. I ordered myself Spicy McDeluxe and waited. A handful of french fries and two bites into my burger later, I could make out a huge frame accompanied by a much smaller individual appear at the narrow entrance. Each have big bags and they so happen to be the organizers for this trip. Met them once last year when I went for the Gunung Irau, Cameron Highlands trip. Waved, offered seats and introduced myself. It was after 10 minutes before others arrive. And man, did they pack… I was intimidated of course. These guys know their stuff. All look seasoned and polished. Of course, they looked clean. Guys are shaved. Girls hair tidy. Too many people and I did not approached them. Just linger by the side smiling if eyes met, but looked the other way soon after. Time was 820pm and there are several person who have not arrived. The train leaves at 830pm. Dang… but luckily our train system could be depended on – arrival delayed. The party was formed and we crowded around the tv checking out the mini riots and hoo haa that took place earlier in view of Perak’s unstable political state.
Finally the gates opened and we flooded the stairs and got on board the train. I have not got on a train for years and this would be a first where I have to sleep 10 plus hours on it. Got the top bunk for myself. I brought 2 carabiners with me and I used them to hook up my bags. Eventually offered one of my carabiner to the person opposite of me when he seemed to have trouble keeping his backpack in place. A brand new one too. The carabiner I borrowed him never returned. And I regretted borrowing it. More about it later though. First, here’s some tips for people who would like to take a long arduous journey on Malaysian train.
- The odd numbers are for top bunks and even number for lower bunks.
- The top ones are a little low, I can’t sit up straight when I am on it, and I am about 174m. Lower ones, has a little more vertical space.
- Lower bunks are supposed to be RM10 extra.
- A pillow and a sheet is provided. Reading lamp too.
- Those who can’t sleep in brightly lit room better bring sleep masks/eye covers, the compartment lights are on 24/7.
- Toilets have bare necessities. Option for squat or sit. For the sit ones, I prefer to hover.
- Leg space is limited after you put your bag on your bed.
- The arrival and departure time are merely estimation. Most of the time they are late.
Apart from this, I managed to catch some shut eye on the ride. It was much better than I had imagined. I slept through all the swishing and swashing but woke up every time we stopped at a station. Perhaps the swaying and rocking reminds me of my infant days. Chilling on my baby bed. Downed a bottle of chicken essence before I slept.
We reached Dabong at 730am. Drama ensued on the foggy railroad while most were still rubbing the sleep off their eyes.