MOUNTAIN OF FOOD EXPLORACE II – Second Day (July 19, 2012)
Still drained by the first day challenges, legs strained, but with new found spirit, finally the last day of challenges arrived. I woke up a bit late only and we had to quickly pack our bags to ready ourselves for a trip downhill. It was pretty exciting judging that we get to try different hotel, which equals different experience, and Awana Resort said to have beautiful surroundings.
So what about the challenges? No one knew anything aside that we had to wear light weight clothes and sports shoes. We were given the challenge to reach Awana with our luggage and arrived with the first bus from First World Hotel.
We all gathered around at the bus stop just in front of the lobby. The Indonesian envoys: me, my wife, Sara, and Julia all there together with the rest of our partners but not Inez. Her Malaysian partner left her stranded here while she had made an effort to arrive at Awana earlier. Perhaps she wanted to have the advantage or perceived this challenge as an extra point for those who arrive earlier, but it was actually needless and we were all laughing about it.
The jungle trekking
At Awana, we gathered around for a quick brief about the route we’re going to explore. It was a 1.8 kilometers jungle trekking and we were equipped with Watson medikit and plenty of mosquito patches. It was a bit surprising that our guides told us that this jungle trekking would involve small leeches as the obstacles. I was actually still quite confident judging that I had worn the right equipments and what I thought as a jungle would probably already paved and made safe.
But I was wrong..
At first we had to climb another flight of stairs. Well, I conquered the pagoda yesterday so this was an easy task. Afterwards we walked a bit, passing outdoor activity grounds and campsites. A Sarawak long house was discovered in the process and we took our pictures with it. I was very delighted to found that there were plenty of trash bins for outdoor grounds like these and most of all, they manage to keep it neat and tidy.
It was not long until we headed for the ‘real’ jungle trekking. It got dark, wet, slippery, harsh, and wild. The leeches or pacet were found everywhere and the girls were screaming when they found out that some of them swiftly ventured on their shoes. We also encountered millipedes, probably some snakes, ivies, planks, fragile bridge, and most of the time aside from the pacet, the precipice on the left side. I was quite furious that no one was told about the risks. We weren’t told to have a warm up session before or even asked of the readiness. Many of us surely weren’t up for this challenge but they had to go through and swallow their fears. I stayed behind to help my friends getting through the obstacles and led them to safety with all my might and thank God that my Indonesian friends were safe and sound. The Malaysian and Chinese teammates were also quite quick to subdue the jungle.
After God knew how long, we finally surfaced on the edge of the beautiful golf course of Awana Resort and took the much-needed break. Without knowing, I found my foot already bleeding because of one pacet strike and cured it right away. My mate, Evelyn, found five strikes on her feet and we helped cleaned her shoes from remaining pacets. She’s a brave young lady indeed! I saw no signs of fear, but only mere worries, which is very understandable. Though initially we all a bit scared about the leeches but at one point due to exhaustion, I couldn’t care less anymore as I just swept away all the attacking leeches by my bare hands.
We returned back for lunch at Rajawali Restaurant at Awana Resort. It was quite a long walk getting through the golf course but certainly much better than the jungle trekking. The spectacle was also beautiful. We can see the peak of Genting Highlands slowly getting swallowed by the mist from this far. I was hoping that I could ride one of those golf buggies but we were too busy with the challenges for today. Perhaps next time, I imagined.
The final challenges
The lunch was a decent one but my feet were killing me. One of the highlights was the Yong Tau Fu dish as the broth was thick and excellent, while the rest were just okay. After we had our lunch and rest, the stationmasters tested us with food guessing challenge and it went well for our team. Once done, we again headed outdoor again for the final challenge. At this point, we were just walking leisurely, a bit unmotivated because they not yet reveal the grand prizes are, and again because we’re all already exhausted.
The final challenge would be the 45 degree plank scaling. I forgot the real name was but we were to equip ourselves with safety tools and go uphill first for a trial. The challenge would be to downscale the planks as fast as we could for the best time among us. At first some of the challengers were a bit awkward but we conquered our fears fast and the competition became a thrilling and fun!
It’s all a wrap! We were just required to do some blogging for a while again with the 4G Yes! modems before readying ourselves again for the prize giving ceremony and dinner at Pondok Ikan Bakar nearby the Sarawak long house later tonight.
So, the challenges have come to an end and on the next post, I will write a bit about the closing ceremony and how we part ways with Malaysia. Had to admit that my last visit there was particularly memorable and my wife liked it there. So stay tune!
Pictures will be added soon!