"I’m dancing on my own//I make the moves up as I go."

Bukit kutu
The new staircase does lead somewhere. Looks lovely
The plan was to get out of the house by 4, meet up at kuala kubu baru after bfast then hike up at 8. Trek back down by lunch time and mandi in sungai chilling.
It was a totally random trip. I’ve never met these people. They’re friends of a friend via whatsapp group.
What happened was I tried to sleep early by 10. I’m not sure when I finally dozed off. I felt like I was oncall, slept v lightly n kept waking up at 1.30 then 2.30 then again at 3.30 which was the time I was supposed to wake up to cook burgers n pack. I dunno why I can never pack ahead of time. So by 3.30 I cannot imagine how I fell asleep again! Only to be woken up buat phonecall. I haven’t showered! Or packed! I rushed apologetically and got my way to their townhouse.
Another drama ensues. One of the guys lost his motorcycle. We were already late as it is but went to the police station to make a report. It was a converted shop house so turns out that it wasn’t a proper police station. In the end he decided not to go coz he had to go and make a report at the main police station.
We stopped for fajr at the r&r. Had breakfast at kkb. I only managed to finish 1 1/2 of my roti kosong double, a habit i picked up in kajang. Was a shame but I didn’t wanna puke half way up the climb.
We organized ourselves and finally started the trek at 9.30am. So off we went uphill (the rest of this will neither be capitalized not punctuated coz im now typing on the laptop, i havent written in so long that i will do just that, ramble on and on) 

(i had a lot to write just now. i was even gonna start rereading that new john grisham i just got. but u kno i got distracted with skeletons in the closet popping up, or rather me digging them up, but they replied anyway. anyway dont you just hate it when people say things in retrospect, when it wont mean anything, it shouldve have been told in the moment, when it mattered, when something couldve have been done about it)

ok back to the trek, where was i

right, initially the trip was supposed to be 8 ppl, then 18 then on the day there was a turn out of 32! not bad ey. i went with one of the organisers so i was automically a sweeper. which meant i could go in my own sweet time and pretend to be all cool. even though the last time i hiked was well over a year ago. my confidence level was boosted by the fact that they said it was mostly first timers. i forgot to factor in the fact that ive been doing zumba for quite a while now. i finished my first membership card, which meant i already went to 14 lessons plus that raya party. 

the last session was friday night, which was 2 days before the trip. i maxed out my energy and my heart felt like it was jumping out of my ribcage pumping so hard. thats how i missed the zumba party the next day. which i already paid rm50. i was nauseated post work out that night, but empty stomach so nothing came up. my whole body was shaking in a tremor. i downed a mild pain killer and tried to sleep it off. i even dressed for the party the next day but decided against it because i was still shaking. plus i havent had breakfast, so i doubt i could dance for 2 straight hours. i might pass out, and be unable to drive myself home. my muscles needed to rest pre hiking trip anyway.

because of the large number and the newbie factor we reached the peak later than anticipated, i ddnt really keep track of time. the first person we sweeped had a heavy bag weighing her down so the boys offered to carry that. she was quite fast after that. some had cramps on the way up. i owned up to being a doctor so i had to tend to them. we were sweeping anyway, so they ended up last in the line before us. the only thing in the first aid helpful to muscle cramps were analgesics oral and topic. i gave him both. his quadriceps were acting up. he had a muffin top, and ddnt look like the outdoorsy type. it was my clinical judgement not my social judgement. but he did say it was the first time hiking. alhamdulillah the pills and the gel worked. on the way down it was his sister who had muscle problems, this time it was the say grace before tea group of muscles (pes anserinus) where the attachemnt is in the upper thigh. i prescribed n applied the same treatment. i also adviced to go down in a sideways manner kind of step, so as to activate another group of muscle.

we ate chocolate and breakfast bars on the way up. before going up i already emptied my bladder at the mamak but my body hasnt finished processing the customary two drinks i had. i was holding it in and was refusing a jungle latrine type of deal. so i didnt tell the 2 boys. there was a small stream hidden in a small cave like feature. you had to climb down and it was well hidden. i finally caved in (pun intended). one of my first comfortable toileting experiences in the wild. why i hate extended trips, more than a few days. im a creature of comfort. this cave was well hidden, the stream was fast but shallow. 

on the way up we met with a these two guys who looked like theyve had miles of experience hiking under their belt. we heard them lecturing the people in front of us on how her clothes were unsuitable coz it was so thick, she had on a tshirt and very thick zipped sweatshirt. she was sweating her fluids away. so he was talking about dehydration and all. she ddnt take it of coz the tshirt was short sleeved. she only took it of later after being drenched in the river and the top became super heavy.

the boys asked me when i wanted to change and i said this is what im wearing. they were surprised and said it was the first time they saw people hiked in such an outfit because they said my outfit looked like a grannies outfit like i was going to the mall. baju mak nenek nk pergi midvalley to be exact. i deliberated the choice for several days. the pervious trip i wore khakis. there are different types and functions of khakis. i thought i was wearing a sturdy one but because of the weight of the mud and the material’s ability to absorb water, it ripped! my khakis turned into capris! i was desperately trying to hold it up using a severed sock which became a long tube. for my top i wanted something airy and quick drying, so hello cotton blouse! my shawl was the type which if i washed it barely needed to be hung out to dry, it was synthetic but worked well. in the picture it didnt show but i had an abstract pattern on my head, flowery ones for my top and my bottom was boxy stripes! what a combo, but it looked like i had an all grey outfit. the only people who complimented me were those weathered trekkers giving out free advice on hydration, they said my choice of colour was good and the material was ok. they also reminded us girls to drink and eat, they kno we dont eat because of the toilet issues, ie not wanting to go.

we ddnt really buy or pack any lunch to eat at the top. i had half a sardine sandwich someone offered. and another breakfast bar. i stayed well hydrated knowing i could go again later on the way down. but my body still had functioning urine concentrating abilities so i ddnt need to go.

on the way down we were radioded that a girl was stung by a bee/wasp (not sure). i was praying to dear God she didnt go and have an anaphylactic shock. i found out via the walkie talkie that she didnt have asthma or any allergies. she could still breath but they had to help her walk. we “shoot” or shot forward to them, as the terminology goes. i found her in pain, but breathing, her right thigh tourniqued with a bandanna. some smart guy alec who was later questioning why i was asking her weight before administering the meds. she was actually quite small, and i havent been dosing patients so i wanted to get this one right (in the middle of the jungle!). i gave her an nsaid and the topical. i removed the tourniquet at the protest of that smart alec ofcourse. i insisted she removed her legging so i could make sure the bee sting wasnt still injecting venom into the anterior thigh. there was no stinger left in the skin, but she was screaming when i tried to palpate for it. when i was doubly sure i applied the analgesic. 

someone even suggested that the poison be sucked out of her, right, u want to suck on her thigh? another guy tried to carry her, she was fine until he started smoking in her face. she was about 40+kg, but she said she could walk. after removing the tourniquet she said she was becoming numb like the venom was spreading or something. i wanted to scream thats the blood returning to your legs! or theyll just be deprived of oxygen or something. im just glad it was localized though. the reddish area was about 8cm in diameter there was a small wheal too.

note to self read up on more emergencies your are likely to encounter in the middle of the forest!

on the way up and down we encountered swarms of bee/wasp creatures which tried to get into our clothes, i gently removed each and everyone trying not to upset them.

on the way down it started to drizzle. i put on the eurodisney rain cover once it started to pour. but it was stifflingly hot! so i ended up taking it off again. that later became the prayer mat. even though it rained, the rainforest canopy provided adequate cover, it did however make the trek down trickier because of all the mud. 

the girl who had a cramp on the way down was also a first timer, so was a bit icky about the whole mud situation. we were telling her it was safer and not to mention easier to sit down and slide the way down, she might fall down anyway. she refused and only did it after i duly demonstrated her how. my pants were the colour of teh tarik by then. she was still icky about the mud and we had to lighten our load so we gave her mineral water to wash her hands with. 

on the way up we crossed a river. i was so upset they tole me not to bother with bringing slippers so my new shoes were inaugarated by the lovely stream. it was crystal clear. and i was squishing my way up the trail. on the way down the stream was the colour of teh tarik, it was freezing, up to my waist and the current was so strong! everyone was trying to save their electronics, my drybag was brimming with phones powerbanks and cameras. the boys in the team made a human/bamboo chain the girls could cross the river with. i unintentially pushed that smart alec a bit too hard en route, oops. my bad, it was the current not me. 

by the time our group finished, another group which consisted mostly of ladies arrived. they were so relieved the boys stayed on to help them cross. by this time it was 6.30 and we were scrambling to pray. i was caked in mud, i cleaned whatever i could made my ablution. 

i lathered and washed the clothes i had on me. 

we had dinner, but this will be continued in another post.