Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Mt Kinabalu Expedition - Day Two Part Two

One of the porters I shared a bed with.

Literally shared a bed.


More on that later.
Spot Eunice!

Beautiful, ain't it?

Sigh, why can't the hills and mountains in Pen MY be as breathtaking? (Bad odors not counted)

There's a rest stop every kilometer where you can use the loo (it flushes! but no toilet paper, so bring your own!) and fill your bottle with fresh piped spring water. I've not tried drinking the water myself, but have read of many accounts where people drank it without purifying it and had nothing happen to them.

Each rest stop has a name, but I'm not sure what they're named after. Shall ask the next time I'm there. (2011, here I come!)

My first time seeing a pitcher plant that's not growing in a pot.

The area around KM5 is loaded with them, and they are all HUGE!

Banyak banyak cantik~~

If you'll pay for my trip, I won't mind going again even as early as next weekend.

(I've Friday to Sunday off every week, so anyone want to sponsor me? :D )

At the crossroads. If you think you really really really cannot make it up anymore, turn back down here via Timpohon.

But don't.

Really, don't.

After the first 3km or so, the track gets a little harder as it gets rockier.

It's less tiring for me though as I prefer walking on the rocks themselves rather than searching for a route around them.

Smart mountain squirrel knows how to open up a pack of wheat bars.
My group was lucky that day as it didn't rain during our ascent. At that time, it had been raining heavily daily and strong winds were blowing. I can imagine how much harder it'll be to climb in the rain, especially on the rocky area. =(

After 9 hours, I finally reached Laban Rata.

Although I took longer than the average 6-8 hours, I'm proud to say that for a noob climber carrying her own 7kg pack, I did quite well from starting out at the end but coming up around the middle. =)

Yes la, for being so unfit, I'm happy as long as I'm not the last to reach Laban Rata.


The untouched lunch pack. Not mine of course, I'm a pig. But then again, no one finished their lunch pack. Reason? Crap food and lack of appetite.

Everyone ate their apple though. =D

After coming out from the icy cold shower taken ala ninja (jumping and twisting around to avoid getting the cold water on anywhere other than the dirty/soapy bits) I went down to the dining area with the rest for dinner (Our dorms were heated so it's right above the dining area).

Being tired and annoyed with my not clean enough state, I totally forgot about sunset, until some of my group reminded me.

Going out into the cold once again without a jacket was worth it for this shot.
Yes, that's the moon.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Mt Kinabalu Expedition - Day Two Part One

*Finally, after more than a month, I can upload photos to Blogger again! Goodbye Error 400! The upload time's a little slow, but it's all good~*

Setting my sights on the goal.

But only after a hearty breakfast, which I regretted. Before strenuous activity, never eat until stuffed.

Somewhere around the restaurant.

One of our guides, the one who brought me down from Hell in the Sky.

All freshfaced and clean before our climb. Just prior to taking that photo, I was trying to open my tube of deep heat rub to warm up my legs. The seal was stuck very tightly, so I used my teeth to pull it off.

Yeap, it squirted into my mouth.

Spitting and rinsing straight after couldn't get all of it out, so for the next 30 minutes I had a very strong minty feeling in my mouth.

The start of the Mesilau trail. Comparable to the part of Gunung Nuang that's right after Camp Two. Easy jungle trekking as it's practically like walking up a badly made flight of stairs.

The Mesilau route is about 2km longer than the Timpohon route. However, I'll definitely take that way up again as it's very much more scenic than Timpohon and less tiring in a sense that Timpohon is uphill all the way while Mesilau has some descents.

However, I won't take Mesilau down the mountain as I think it's harder to descent Mesilau than ascent and vice versa with Timpohon, as Mesilau has certain areas which can get quite hard to scramble down rather than climb up.

Darren @ KM0.5

It's so depressing seeing the first 4 markers.

After walking for what seems like hours the marker announces that you've only gone 500 meters.

Not fun.

Especially not when it's only your second ever climb, you know you've a lot more distance to cover and you're lugging a 7 kg backpack (without hipstraps or proper padding I might add).

But the view is magnificent and worth all the sweat, pain and mental torture.

See, easy trail. By the way, that's one of the porters behind Mei Yee, carrying about 25-30kg worth of stuff in a gunny sack.

At KM2.5, with 6 more to go before Laban Rata and a hot shower, or so I thought.

Oh, see that stick on my left? That's the "walking stick" I got for only RM3 from the Kinabalu Park van driver. A much needed bargain. Much needed to take some weight off my knees and a bargain because that's the price from years ago. It's been reported that people are selling the walking sticks for up to RM10, RM5 being the basic now.

*Disclaimer: Not all the photos are mine. Most are from the other climbers.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Can you say...

... no time to even poop.

...no time to totally relax.

...no energy for almost everything.

Until I started looking forward to Weekend Climbs/Treks/Walks.

Call me irresponsible or whatever, but I need My Time again.

And yay!

I is can upload photos now?

And no, I'm not married...yet.

Update (2 hours later): Bah humbug. I think I can only upload pics one by one. Been trying to upload 5 a shot and it's been in the "uploading" status for two hours.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Bad Service

A dark cloud seems to be following me around lately.

I've not had exceptionally great service recently. Instead, many places just seem to not care about their clients anymore. In this time of recession, you would think companies will try and improve their customer service to increase/retain their piece of the pie (since it incurs practically no cost anyway). Some businesses I have dealt/am dealing with seem to go against that point of common sense.

Companies directing you to websites that does not work.

Companies not replying customers' emails (both privately and through their website), even if it's a query about their product.

Companies that simply ignore certain customers, but reply others.

Companies that don't do what they are supposed to do.

(I'm surprisingly quite calm about this. No The Hulk rage. Hmm, I wonder what's up?)

One company I'm fuming (Read line above. I know, I'm quite angry at them, but still quite calm. Does not make sense. =/) about is SecureXpress.

Some backstory first:

I won a L'oreal Infallible Lipstick from a competition from My Women Stuff recently (or not so recently. It's been about month). After a couple of weeks, I updated ParisB that I've not gotten the prize yet and when she checked with L'oreal, they told her it hasn't been delivered because their courier (SecureXpress) does not know where my location is, hence they didn't deliver it.

1: A courier company does not know a location.
2: They can't even simply GoogleMap it.
3: They didn't even bother informing L'oreal.

Within a day, L'oreal called me to ask for permission to give my number to SecureXpress so they can liaise with them directly (Now that's what I call efficiency and good customer service). Obviously I was ok with it. A week or so later, while I was on my way back from class, I got a call from a SecureXpress deliveryguy, asking for directions. After giving it, I asked where he was to check whether I'll reach home before he does. He said he was on the LDP, which gives me ample time to reach home before him (I was really near at that time) but I still asked him to wait for me, just in case he reaches first.

He reached first. Less than 5 minutes earlier in fact.

But he didn't wait.

Since he obviously just left my housing area, I tried calling his handphone again but he didn't pick up, so I called the branch office. After making me wait 15 minutes for them to check my number, address etc, they told me they will try to contact their driver and will call me later.

No call came.

Last Wednesday, I called SecureXpress again to arrange another delivery on Friday. The person who picked up the phone seemed unsure about everything, and I believe in the end I spoke to the same deliveryman again, and he confirmed that they will deliver my prize on Friday.

I kept Friday free so I can stay at home to wait for my package.

It never came.

5.30PM came and went, while calls made were not picked up. Fine, so they are closed by 5.30PM.

I called again at 9.15AM this morning. Again, no one picked up the phone, so I called the general tracking line (I Googled it, a "skill" that everyone at SecureXpress don't seem to have) and was told that the latest update in their system is that my item could not be delivered because I was not home i.e. their first attempt to deliver my item. My fuse started burning.

I was asked to contact the branch office again to check and when I told them no one picked up the phone, the lady said "maybe you can try at 9.45 like that, as it's quite early for them now". Fine.

I called the branch office at 9.45AM but my call was only answered at my third call. After giving my tracking number again, I was once again told that they would call me back. This time round, I got a name (so I know who I can screw later on).

It's now 11.20AM. I am on the phone, waiting for that person to get on the line, after I called them.

Five minutes later, she finally comes on the line. After explaining who I was three times, she finally remembers and checks on the status of my parcel.

Now she's telling me that they tried to deliver it three times.


I missed their first delivery by 5 minutes, and their second delivery (which I called to arrange) never came.

And she made me speak in Malay, which I've not used much ever since highschool.

Ok, The Hulk has made an appearance.

Without apologizing or even giving any excuses, she finally tells me that my item is with them, and asks when am I free for them to deliver. She adds that if I'm not free, they can leave it in my postbox.

Yea, if I allow them to leave it in my postbox, they will probably take my prize and use it themselves and then say they've already "left it in your postbox". As if I'm that stupid.

Screw them.

If 18th September comes and they once again DON'T deliver my prize, I am writing many many emails.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Error 400 ptui!

Ugh! I STILL can't upload photos to this blog, from this account.

For some reason, I still can upload photos to Syiok Sendiri Sisters using that account but Blogger won't let me successfully upload photos to here.