After last month’s abseiling & white water rafting in Gopeng, a few of my adventure loving friends and I planned for another adventure – to hike up Bukit Larut (formerly known as Maxwell Hill) in Taiping, as part of our training for Kinabalu. And since my friends were coming all the way from KL/Selangor, I figured we might as well make it an overnight outing for them – on Saturday to visit some interesting places near Taiping, and on Sunday morning we’d hike up Bukit Larut.
So yep, last weekend, on Saturday, my friends came from KL, picked me up in Ipoh and off I went together with them. We had not gone far when a client called. Nope, it wasn’t the client-assigned MI ringtone, but the general tone. Wan, the Orang Asli lady called using another number, very likely her brother’s, because her own phone ran out of credit. She was supposed to go to Ipoh GH to get her monthly supply of ARV on that very day but didn’t have any money to come to Ipoh. After making sure she still had enough supply of ARV to last her for a few more days at least, I told her I’d get back to her on Monday.
Thank God after that there were no more calls to disturb my weekend retreat.
Our first stop was slightly north of Taiping. We went to Bukit Merah. First destination… Orangutan Island (hey, who says we’ve got to go to Borneo to have a look at Orangutans in the wild, huh?)
Then off to Bukit Merah Ecopark… to have a close-up look at some other animals. Quite a number of them, including…
We didn’t go to the Water Park though. After Ecopark, we went straight to the homestay in Kamunting which I had booked earlier, and after Maghrib, the next destination was the Taiping Zoo Night Safari…
Early Sunday morning was the much awaited hike up Bukit Larut. None of us had done that before. Yes, maybe one or two of us had gone up there by jeep many years ago, but going up on foot? We didn’t really know what to expect. But up we went anyway – the initial part through a jungle trail…
Then the next maybe two thirds or more of the way using the tarred road.
Little did we expect that we would have to walk uphill for almost 10km!! From what I’ve been reading on the internet, the average time people would take to hike all the way up was about 3 hours. But with lots and lots of photo-session stops, we ended up having to walk uphill for almost 4 hours before we finally made it to this signage!
No more photo session stops for me on the way down, so I managed to walk all the way down in 2 hours 35 minutes.
Just 2 days later, I was back in Taiping again. This time for clinic duty. It had been quite a while since I came for clinic duty in Taiping. The last one was 4 months ago I think. Only saw one case this time. 2 guys came into the room, the older guy looked Chinese, the younger one looked Malay… but the older guy said the younger one was his brother. Found out that they were actually Siamese Malaysians. I saw that the family needed help, and since the client was male, I decided to assign my vice-chairman to handle this case.
When I got out of the hospital building and as I was walking to my car parked outside, I took a look at the hills, and saw one with telecommunication towers. Ahh, that was the hill we actually went up to by foot last Sunday!