Jesselton City: Mesilau's Menace

I had my alarm set to 6am. Can't sleep any much longer because the mattress slopes downwards in the middle and it's cold! I was bundled in a jacket and the thin blankets in the dorm doesn't help matters.

Evan, an extremely light sleeper practically jumped out of bed before my alarm starts to ring -___- (my iPhone alarm vibrates for a split second first before emiting sound). I didn't bother la, turned off the alarm and just lay awake, too lazy to get up.

Then Evan said, "I'm scared".

I replied, "I'm sked oso".

Evan went, "I'm cold".

I told him to get up first and test the cold on his feet lol. That fired him up hahahaha. Even my rubber slippers were cold! Brushed our teeth, and the sounds started waking up the others in the dorm one by one.

I then changed into my lightweight shorts and dry-fit top for the hike. It was getting bright by then and I was banking on a sunny day and the heat from the hike to nicely warm my body up even though the morning is still a bit cold.

Re-checked my backpack (I have tons of snacks- Nips, Snickers - a little towel to wipe sweat, plastic poncho, my trusty camera and extra batteries, one 1.5L water bottle, a 100Plus isotonic drink 500mL, a jacket in case it gets cold and an extra pair of shirt to change into) and lugged our luggages (with things that we don't need in the hike) to Wilson's 4WD. Our stuff will be kept in the Kinabalu National Park HQ at RM10 or so for the night. Then we proceed to have breakfast at the rest house cafe.

Filling up the suggestion form lol. All sorts of crap written.

"Blankets not thick enough."
"Some of the bed frames are slightly unstable."
"The gardens should be landscaped with more native plant species to attract more native wildlife to the campsite grounds."

As expected, Evan was the one who wrote the last suggestion. I think he still beh ka muan he didn't get to herp the night before.

Can't deny that I start getting nervous hehhehe. Can't help it, just comes naturally whether I like it or not. Maybe I should call it anticipation? lol. Anyways breakfast spread is pretty large. There were fried meehoon, nasi lemak and loads of other heavy stuff. I had sausages, eggs, baked beans, pancakes and a large cheesy omelette. Then munched on a chocolate power bar I bought from the gym in KL.

Cross section of the really cheesy omelette.

Stomach squirmed and went into the loo for round 2 rofl. Soon after, all of us were gathered in front of the cafe and did some stretching to warm up the muscles. Then we got our consolidated rucksacks to weight at the starting point of the Mesilau trail. 36kgs! Each kg will cost RM9, which brings to a total of RM324 for the 11 of us.

We were then introduced to our porters, and only these 2 will be carrying our 36kg load up -___- Geng-ness.

After making all necessary payments, collected our lunch box and bottled water, we took a group picture before the start of the trail and off we go!

Hike started close to 9am.

The trail up with the view that follows is soooo beautiful. Every turn brings something a fresh scenery. It just makes you wanna keep on going and going.

The weather is great for a hike. Still cooling but it just nicely cools us down as we hike.

Evan, SJ and Zi Xiang were ahead of the pack followed by TY and I both taking our own sweet time, but in a more disciplined way lol.

The Mesilau route is about 2km longer than the Timpohon route. Back in those days, the Mesilau route is used mainly for researchers on the lookout for the native plant and wildlife species. Mesilau is also the more scenic route. So, 2km longer or not, it is still worth every trickle of sweat climbing up this way. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

An hour into the hike. Awesome view. Still a long way to go.

I was so tempted to bring out my camera and snap at every turn. So many interesting shots to be taken! But I had to resist otherwise we will only reach the Laban Rata resthouse close to midnight lol.

Wild orchids.

It's just me and my trusty hiking stick. I am glad I made the decision to get the stick! A complete saver of my knees and thigh muscles. Reduces the impact and also helps me to even out the force on my feet.

An hour plus into the hike, TY suddenly realizes that the keys to our Mesilau dorm room is still with us! rofl... A few attempts to call and a quick text to inform Wilson resumed.

The route I wouldn't say is a walk in the park. First we were going uphill and up and up, which is fine. At a point in the hike, the trail started going downhill. I believe it went even further down from the point where we started our trail at the Rest House!

At least we have great views like these to keep ourselves distracted from the tired feet.

Little bridge crossing over a river.

Up and down then it's all up, up, up again...

Gradually, changes in the trees and wildlife start to change into more stunted looking ones.

With more creepers and dangling climbing plants.

Rain drizzled every now and then and we had to get our plastic ponchos out to protect our bags.

Joshua, looking much like Sinyu in Doraemon heheheh.

Stumbled into a number of 'monkey cups' or the Nepenthes species.

But I think we saw only the Nepenthes Villosa (correct me if I am wrong). We didn't get to see the Nepenthes Lowii (gourd-shaped) nor the Nepenthes Rajah (larger species).

Don't they look adorable? Lol. The mouth opening of the plant looks like it's circled with bright red phone cord :)

Over 3 hours into the hike, it started raining heavily and thank goodness we then close to our meet up point with the porters, or at KM4.5 mark, Pondok Lompoyou.

There is already a pretty large group resting in the small hut but we managed to get place for us to sit anyways. Got our packed lunch out by the rest house. Thick pieces of chicken ham sandwich, two hard-boiled eggs, a piece of fried chicken and an apple for lunch. Gobbled down all that and also some energy gel.

Even when we were done with lunch, it was still drizzling. Mist rolled over the mountain and our visibility is reduced to a mere 20 metres.

We saw loads of these old man beard-like climbing plant on branches.

Pretty flowers.

Here you catch a glimpse of some of the porters whizzing past by us even with their shoulders laden with bags. From the back you only see a huge load supported by two firm and sturdy legs.

Close to KM6, we reached the junction in our trail where the Timpohon route meets our trail on the way up.

And on we trudged.... Stopping every now and then to catch our breath, drinking water at intervals... Photo snapping has reduced by about 50% lol because it is a bit of a hassle to bring out the camera.

My legs were still doing fine, just my body feeling slightly tired and we were all hoping we were closer to the Laban Rata rest house than we thought...

Watch the landscapes evolve.

Lol. Not very sure what made them line up in such a grumpy way.

Gnarled and stunted trees greet us.

Lazy to type out captions for every picture d.

Thank god I look fresher than some people...

Flower peeking out from a montane shrub.

I believe at this point we were somewhere along KM7. All of us were getting tired now and it has slowed us down a little bit. Time is 3pm or so I think.

You can imagine how frustrating it can be, knowing that you are close, but not really grasping how much more to go...

Our group after splitting up in many places finally reunite Faces look tired with sweaty hair plastered to the sides of the face hahahahha.

Stop leering at us already!

And finally! Time is 4:00pm when we finally caught a glimpse of a large building ahead. It's Laban Rata! Our porter told us that tea/early dinner or whatever you call it will be served from 4:30 onwards.

As our lodgings will be further up and we didn't want to climb up to our hut then down for the dinner and then up again, we decided to wait for 4:30 to come by, re-fill our tummies in Laban Rata, then trudge up to our hut (Gunting Lagadan) and call it a night.

It starts to get cold at this point onwards. I think temperature is around 16? Maybe less, I can't be too sure. Can see puffs of vapor when we breathe.

Lol. No, this isn't all we had, least of all only salad! The buffet spread is wide, ranging from salad, baked beans (again), sausages (again), fried rice, beef stew, stir fried mixed vegetables, miniature burger, omelettes and assorted cakes and dessert.

Prices for anything at all sold here is exorbitant. A bottle of 100 Plus isotonic drink is sold at RM10! But I guess you can't really blame them... raw materials are carried up by porters and they ain't cheap. Apparently our buffet spread should cost RM30+. Got this information from Wikitravel. Not sure if the information is still valid though.

While TY fixes his tripod to get some pictures, the bunch of us rush to the front to squeeze into the frame. More of the group cramps in, taking some time, until the mist start shrouding the mountain in the background lol. Pointless really :p

Evan is always happy talking to me.


Once we were properly stuffed (we even tabao-ed some of the dinner items into a food container so that we don't have to come down again for supper the next day) we collected our towels from the reception and proceeded the short hike up to our huts.

Gunting Lagadan hut is where we shall be spending the night.

View is awesome yet again.

KM6 marks the distance for hikers starting up from Timpohon. For us Mesilau trailers, it's 8 freaking kilometres alright!

Waseh, see that fler kang-kanging at the back there lol.

Anyways, while feasting in Laban Rata, we read a notice posted on the wall that there seems to be some form of water shortage in the huts and that due to overwhelming usage, heaters might not be functioning properly. I was like... wtf? After hiking, drenched in the rain and stinking hair then I don't get to bathe T___T

Moved my stuff into our room (two double deckers, I take the bottom one while TY takes the top, and the other bed is for Joshua the uncle and Ying Qi) , it's really a small one and if two grown men were to stand between the double deckers, you would feel it is crowded already. But the room is only for one night and it serves its purpose better than the bed in Mesilau Nature Resort. At least the mattress in Laban Rata is firmer and the bed stands are not as squeaky.

Soon after that, I dug out my toiletries from the bags that the porters have delivered for us and got into the bathrooms. Bless the water heater, it's working! Quickly took a shower (I have heard horror stories of the heater suddenly stop working and in the midst of a hot shower, cold icy water gushes out instead) but didn't want to risk washing my hair by lengthening the usage time of the heater lol.

Coming out of a hot shower feels so good! Bundled myself in long johns and a thick sweater before stepping out into the doorway again to catch the beautiful sunset. Photo taken from TY again.

That night we slapped on counter pain cream and Yoko-yoko all over the legs, shoulders and necks. The counter pain cream gave a chilly feeling to the skin which is not what I want in that weather! Lol... but it was too late and because TY encouraged me to apply more T___T Evan's room (sharing with Jojo, SJ and ZX) ended up being some sort of counter pain sauna because of the fumes that are emitted lol. Some more there were half naked people in the room as we were applying the cream over so we didn't want the door open in case some people want to sue us or something lol. So tahan the fumes lor hahahaha.

Munched on some snacks and by the time the clock hits 8pm, we were so dead tired. Made final arrangements and packing for the next day's hike. By 8:30pm I was fast asleep and still as a corpse. We are starting out the final hike at 2:30am tomorrow!


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