Sunday, January 31, 2010


بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِارَّحْمَنِ ارَّحِي

It's never too late to have my new year resolutions. It's been ages that I don't have any new year resolution. I guess the reason being I never kept track the resolutions I made until the year end. By the end of the year, I forgot completely about the resolutions as in most instances I never wrote them down!

This time around I intend to keep track of my new year resolution. After all, I don't have that many resolutions this year, the only resolution is to read 8 books. Told my colleague about that resolution and she mentioned why not make it a stretch target of 12 books. Well, it's quite easy to reach the target as I have about 5 books that I read half way only, with the book marks still inside.

Years ago, I read about 15 books a year, both fiction and non-fiction. However as I got engrossed with the internet - what it offers - I abandoned the habit. It's time to pick up the good habit again. And I am glad to announce that I just finished reading the above book.

I am not going to give my review of the book. I bought the book years ago and I don't remember exactly when. I read it half way too. It's a trilogy about a child who is a victim of abuse by her own mother. The first book by the author, Dave Pelver is 'A Child Called It', followed by 'The Lost Boy'. I read the first two books years ago. After so many years, I could still remember what I read from the first book, how he endured the pain from abuse by his own mother. His mother simply called him 'It'.

I didn't read the book where I left off years ago. I started reading the book all over again. It's a good thing as the first two chapters of the book dedicated to his early childhood as "A Child called It' and going through adolescence in "The Lost Boy". The books really touch my heart and make me grateful of I have been having all these years.

I will update about other books that I read soon.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِارَّحْمَنِ ارَّحِي

Small Hiker went to check out whether Ayer Hitam Forest Reserve was already open as what was told to him by a friend. Sad to say, it wasn't yet and the notice from Jabatan Perhutanan Selangor was still there. He didn't dare to proceed, scared that he'd unnecessarily get caught and had to pay hefty penalty.

As planned, he left immediately for his Plan B, Bukit Gasing, armed with his new DSLR, a basic Nikon D3000.

Without wasting much time, after having his roti canai breakfast with 'Milo tarik' at Raju he drove off to the entrance of Bukit Gasing. He was lucky as he got a parking spot near the entrance. It was already late (around 8.45am) and some people were already leaving

A very popular weekend hiking spot and both sides of the road leading to the entrance were lined up with cars by the time hew was there. Quite a number of them were on family trip and few of the youths were jogging along the trails. How he wished that he could just join the youths jogging but then thinking about his knees that he's trying to protect, he wouldn't!

Small Hiker was taking it slow and enjoyed the time taking pictures with his new camera. And it took him almost 2 hours to complete the trip. He was also using a different trail for the exit, a third one. The first exit was using the same entrance, the second exit was at the suspension bridge and this was jut the opposite children playground.

There will be no hiking activity next week as Small Hiker is planning to run some errands! The next activity will be Bukit Tabur and it's open for guys only!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


A friend who was with Small Hiker during the last trip to Gunung Datuk was saying that she's very interested to go to Ayer Hitam Forest Reserve in Puchong. She heard that the place has been open back to public. Small Hiker has to find out more about the news. The last time he heard, it was close and there was notice at the entrance on the closure and the penalty to those who enter the prohibited zone.

As usual, part of quest to get more information, Small Hiker login to the net and googled.

Below is the latest news that appeared in The Star on January 12, 2010:

PUCHONG residents received a New Year gift from the Selangor state government in the form of a promise not to develop the Ayer Hitam Forest Reserve.

In a New Year celebration in Puchong on Saturday morning, Selangor Tourism, Consumer and Environment Committee chairman Elizabeth Wong announced the state’s decision to abort the proposed cemetery project in the forest reserve.

Since April 2004, the residents had been fighting for the project to be scrapped so that the forest would remain a green lung.

In 2008, more than 1,500 residents from Saujana Puchong, Lestari Puchong, Bandar Bukit Puchong, Gateway Puchong and Mutiara Indah submitted a petition, protesting against the development, to the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ).

Wong described the state’s decision as a victory for the people.

“The forest reserve is rich with flora and fauna and thus should not be developed,” Wong said.

The forest is believed to have been settled by the Temuan orang asli tribe 400 years ago, and they are now living in two villages nearby.

Orginally, the forest spanned some 4,270ha, but it was degazetted for a variety of land uses over the years.

As of February 2009, 1,217ha had been gazetted by the Selangor government as an education and research forest.

Under the jurisdiction of the Selangor Forestry Department, the forest is on an 80-year lease, dating from 1996, to Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).

Wong said the forest reserve was exclusively for scientific research and not open to the public, except with permission from the forestry department.

Nonetheless, following the residents’ demand, the state government is now looking at degazetting a part of the forest reserve for a recreational forest.

“If possible, the site should be a degraded forest.

“We’ll probably cut some trails and make it into a site like Bukit Gasing.

“But we are not going to chop down trees for this, so as not to defeat the whole purpose,” Wong said.

The orang asli, who have vast knowledge of the forest, would be invited to be part of this plan by working as guides or guardians.

Wong added that the effort in retaining the forest reserve was in line with the United Nations’ International Year of Biodiversity, which was launched on Monday in Berlin, Germany.

“It is a celebration of life on earth and of the value of biodiversity in our lives.

“We will do more this year to avert the crisis,” Wong said.

Meanwhile, the state government, through the state planners, is looking for a more suitable site for the cemetery project.

Small Hiker has to see it with his own eyes that the Forest Reserve is open to all again. So, this weekend, he'd go there alone. He's got Plan B, if it's close, he'd just proceed to Bukit Gasing!

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Small hiker and a friend went to Bukit Tabur - East Side last Saturday. Not many groups at all on that day. At most, there were 3 groups. At the parking area, there were so many cars, without a doubt that they were at West Side (the more popular side) instead.

What makes East Side less popular? Small Hiker can only think of a few reasons as below:
1. Climbing up East side is more challenging for the first 30 minutes. It's really like climbing Gunung Datuk (the first 1/3).
2. The presence of ants. There are a lot of ants on trees and ropes. Luckily the bite from the ants is not that stinging!
3. The last obstacle/trail where people need to hang on to ropes trying to climb an almost vertical 2 storey high rock surface is very challenging especially those who are scared of height.
4. Have to use the same trail to go up and down. Unlike West Tabur, people can choose to descend by going through the Dusun Buah!

As for a different route to go back, Small Hiker ventured out with his friend! He saw a trail going down the hill after the vertical climb. It's rather challenging as the surface was covered with dried leaves, therefore it was very slippery. He went ahead anyway! Half way down, he got to put on his knee guards as the trail was steep with no visible steps. As usual at this stage, strong knees were important to control his step so as not to fall down. He was pleasantly surprised that the trail led to a Dusun Buah. And finally he came out at construction site of three storey bungalow that was visible from the hill itself.

It was less challenging as compared to coming down using the same trail. However, he had fun! Most of the times, on the way down from a mountain/hill, people just want to reach the base as soon as possible minus the challenges! That's when accident happens as people are rushing and becoming less careful! Small hiker is no exception, he had his share of falling down on the way down!

Perhaps he will use this trail instead for his future trips to the East side!

Sunday, January 10, 2010


The first hiking trip this year for me and colleagues went on smoothly. There were 32 of us including 2 children of less than 7 years old.

I left my house at 6.10am to meet up and pick up people along the way to Seremban R&R. On the way there, someone sent sms saying he's already there. Ooops, he didn't get the email that the meeting time at Seremban R&R has been rescheduled to 7.30am instead of 5.30. Some people complained that they may not be able to drag themselves out of bed that early, therefore the time change!

At Seremban R&R, I was so pleased to see that everybody was punctual with the exception of one car (I thought he's not joining as he didn't pick up call and replied sms). I was glad that he called later on saying that he's on the way as well.

We gathered again after Pedas Linggi toll (exit 322) and we waited for 5 more cars to arrive but upon contacting them, they opted for a different route, exit at Senawang instead. By the time, we reached the base camp, everybody was there.

After a short briefing, we started the climb around 9am with me leading the way armed with dual color confetti that I dropped along the way. The first group reached the 1st Check Point half hour later. The first check point is 1/3 of the trail. That means we'll reach the peak 1 hour later. I must thank John Iverson for agreeing to be our sweeper on this trip. John did a splendid job, ensuring that a guy being sent back to the base as he was unfit to continue.

I had good chat with the other two trekkers who are first timers to Gunung Datuk. Both of them (a guy and a lady) were very fit and they had no problem at all to reach the peak. Along the way up from the first Check Point, I met one familiar face and it turned out that we were in the same group in Ulu Semangkuk.

At the peak, the wind was strong and weather was good. We could see Straits of Malacca too. The last few people reached the peak an hour later with John with them to ensure that everybody reached the peak safely. After enjoying the view, having energy bar/snack and resting at the peak, it was time to leave the rocks covered peak.

On the way down, I became the sweeper and it was challenging as one girl was very tired and she fell a few times and suffered minor cuts on her fingers. I must salute the mother and her child, despite the numerous falls (the mother fell one time too!), they never grumbled, instead they were grateful that nobody got injured. And we reached the base 2 hours later!

It was a good trip and everybody enjoyed themselves. I am glad that they know how to enjoy the trip, it's the climb that's important, not the peak. It's the journey and not just the destination. I hope to arrange for similar trips soon. Gunung Ledang, perhaps? And it's for serious hikers only!

Thursday, January 7, 2010


It was Broga Hill last week and it was raining when I reached the parking lot. Much to my surprise, I had to pay for parking now, it cost RM2 per entry.

At first I thought of turning back as the trails were slippery and there were pot holes here and there. However, I decided to proceed after all I had already driven miles to get there.

It's easier now to climb up the hill as some good Samaritans have created steps all the way through. Sorry, no pictures! I still haven't bought my new camera as yet.

It was almost 9 am when I started ascending and at that time, people were already descending, which was a good thing as it allowed the surface to dry up a bit when I was coming down an hour later.

The steps were there all the way to the third peak. It's much easier to climb. And judging from the number of cars at the parking lot, I can say there were about 200 people going up that day. Which is normal for weekend.

A lot of people may not want to heed the advice of not going for hiking when it's raining. Well, I am not one of those, as much as possible I don't want to go hiking when it's raining. The trails are slippery and I tend to slip and fall.

For this trip I was very careful and going very slowly so as not to fall. Thank God, I didn't. Some were not as lucky as I could see from their dirty pants.

Next week - Gunung Datuk (big group!).