Up Bukit Broga Part 2: Lessons Learned

We didn't stay there forever. We eventually moved on to the next three peaks.

The second peak was delightful. It reminded me of the field in Holden Caulfield's imagination. You know, the one in Catcher in the Rye. In the book, he said he wanted to be that guy who kept kids from falling off the field's borders, the guy who kept them from falling off the edge of the cliff. I could imagine him in his red hunting cap keeping all the mountain - err, hill climbers safe and in check.

I barely noticed the third peak. This one had a bunch of graffiti stones in it. I guess a lot of people wanted to leave their marks there.

The fourth peak was the most memorable. There were two ways to go about it. One way was a lot shorter but involved a rope and a couple of big boulders. The other way was longer, but involved a lot more climbing and sliding.

We decided to try our luck with the short way first.


"I have a very weak upper-body strength," I admitted as I clung on to the rope.

"I don't have any strength!" Next-door-officemate exclaimed.

We decided to go the other way. Before we turned back, though, two little kids - a boy and a girl, maybe six or seven - began to climb up with their mother. We decided to stick around and watch. We wanted to know how they would go about the climb.

Brother gave sister a boost. Sister pulled brother up. Mother supported both of them all the way. With the two kids up, we wondered how the mother was going to get herself on top of that rock.

Being quite fit and skinny, the woman simply fit herself through the crack between the two boulders. And just like that, she was up.

Our eyes went as big as Bukit Broga pebbles. "We're not as skinny as that!"

Eventually, we decided to go through the long way. Well, despite lots of slipping, we finally made it up the 400m point. Yahoo!

Photo by Next-door-officemate

Going down was easier. We just... slid. And imitated a bunch of hermit crabs.

The climb taught me a lot of things. First, as mentioned in my previous entry, I wasn't as strong as I thought I was. But then again, I was a whole lot stronger than I eventually thought I was.

Second, the view from above is always worth it. The journey is tiring. It requires a tonne of effort. But the end of it all, if you don't give up and just follow the footsteps of all those who had gone ahead before you, you'll find that the view is more spectacular than you have ever imagined, even prettier than any Photoshopped image could ever be.

Third, you'll have to bring other people up to the top again, next time. Maybe you can wait until your body has recovered. But you can not let people experience just your words and photographs - they have to experience the whole climb, because it's the journey that makes it worth it. Are you going to deny someone that?

So, yeah, once my body has fully recovered, let's go hiking again next time, shall we? 

I dare you.

Up Bukit Broga Part 1: An Unexpected Journey

We went hiking last week. We went up Bukit Broga. I only used to see the signs on the road whenever we came home after visiting Mantin or Malacca. 

Simpang Bukit Broga 500m. Simpang Bukit Broga 200m. Simpang Bukit Broga 100m.

We never actually made an exit to that area. And we never actually knew (I think) that we could hike there.

"I want to go hiking," a next-door-officemate said one Saturday, while we were all having breakfast in the pantry.

"Where? Kota Kinabalu?"

"That's not hiking! That's climbing!" came her remark. "I want to hike up Bukit Broga."

"Oh... Broga... When?"

"Tuesday. It's a holiday."


I was on sick leave just the day before. I was deliberating whether or not it was safe to engage in such a strenuous physical activity so soon.

"Don't go," a kababayan said. "There are forty-five-degree inclines. It's scary and tiring!"

My next-door-officemate sent a mass email a few minutes after. I typed out "Broga Hill" in the Google Image search bar. The results generated had some pretty amazing shots.

"I'm in!" I sent as a reply.

We met up at Cyberjaya at 7:00am and set out to Semenyih at around 7:30am. There was only three of us. We were supposed to be four but the fourth gal overslept. Well, it turned out that three was quite plenty.

When we got to the hill's base, there were already so many people. The parking lot was actually bursting in its figurative seams.

"Don't be surprised that there are so many people," next-door-officemate said. "Ever since some famous actors took some shots here two years ago, the public suddenly came flocking in. People now climb here to do prenup photos, too."

"Is that so?" I answered in between huffs.

Hiking up a Malaysian Hill turned out to be... difficult. There were a lot of almost vertical inclines. There were plenty of people pushing in from all sides, too. You couldn't really stop in the middle of climbing, though I forced the three of us to do so, several times.

"One minute, one minute."

"Thirty seconds."

"Five minutes!"

It turns out that I wasn't as strong as I thought I was. So much for those evenings at the gym. I was huffing and puffing like I was seriously out of shape.

But in the end it turned out that I was stronger than I eventually thought I was.

"Keep pushing, Mari! Were' almost there! Just fifteen steps more!"

"I can't... I .... can't! Give me five minutes!"

We got to the first peak eventually. It was all worth it. The view was spectacular. The wind was delightful. There were tiny birds gliding around, showing off as they tried to ride against the wind. We spent maybe an hour there. Taking photos, telling stories, ranting stuff out. 

"Can we stay here forever?" I asked. I didn't want to to to the next three peaks. I didn't want to go back to Cyberjaya either.

(To be continued)

The view.

Next-door-officemate. :D

The hills are alive... with the sound of muuuusiiiicccc...

Let's stay here forever!

Cafe Hopping, Anyone?

So - 12 days later - happy new year! I am so sorry for this late "first post of the year". But things had been busy. Very busy. Plus, I needed some time to gain momentum. And to contemplate some more about what 2014 has in store.

There are so many things I want to do this year, really. Like write a book. Go to Legoland. Bake more sweet treats. Go on hikes. Volunteer. Discover more of KL. Go Cafe hopping.

Cafe hopping! Who knew there were so many cozy coffee shops here in KL, aside from the popular green, brown, and red franchises? Last year Partner-in-Crime and I went to this cute shop in Bangsar called "Poco Homemade" (note to self: write about that soon). This Saturday, the iPad GPS and I went on an adventure to find "Coffee Famille" in Kota Damansara (another note to self: write about this, too). When I went to the counter to pay, I saw one of these "maps" they had up for grabs.

Tada! Your handy cafe hopping companion! They also have an online version! Yey! (See how four exclamation points are used in succession?) This is bound to make the year more interesting. While discovering new places, I could enjoy the atmosphere and, at the same time, push myself to grab those moments to write, write, and write some more. And this would be a good way to bond with friends who are interested in discovering new coffee nooks, too!

Ohh, I'm getting so giddy and my heart is starting to palpitate already. Now, who wants to grab a cup of coffee with me? 

Mmm. Coffee Famille's "Sweet Dreams"
and cheesecake.