If you’re a city dweller who doesn’t exercise and is considering hiking at Ah Pek Hill (or Bukit Putih), read on. I just Googled for blog posts relating to Ah Pek Hill hiking and the top results do not sound like my experience at all. I must be the most noob of the noob hikers-wannabe.
My friends and I were considering hiking to Chiling Waterfall, Kuala Kubu Bharu for our weekend outing. But not everyone was ready to get wet so we thought we’d choose either Broga Hill, Ah Pek Hill or Saga Hill — just random shortlist of places at the top of our minds without knowing much about each place. We chose Ah Pek Hill in the end because we thought that’s the most convenient and it’d not be too hard for us. Oh boy..
There were eight of us; seven girls and one boy; two fit young adults, two partially fit young adults and four no-exercise young adults. I was in the last category #noshame.
When we arrived at almost 9am at Jalan Awana 23 entrance, we saw so many people exiting the place. Yeah, a lot of ah pek (old men) so we were getting a little shy. Pretty sure the ah pek would be fitter and faster than us. We went ahead anyway, after passing by a happening food stall at the foot of the hill.
Our expectation for the hike was of Chilling Waterfall’s standard. Jungle trekking with gradual elevation towards the waterfall for a fun splash time at the waterfall. Ha-ha. The start of the trail itself made us speechless and breathless. “Up, up. Here we go, go. Up, up. Here we go, go.”
Within half an hour, we had to stop for a breather and that’s when I felt like I was going to faint… Do not halt when you’ve just got your heart to pump so hard and fast, way beyond its normal capacity. Very quickly, I felt my blood pressure and sugar level plunging, and (tadah!) my vision was spinning. I sat by the trail and my friends fed me with rehydrating salt water, 100 Plus, Oreo and soya bean (whatever sweet stuff that we had). I thought I wouldn’t recover but thank god I did.
I learned my lesson so I dared not stop abruptly no matter how tired I was trying to hike up the long uphill trail. I kept going and going. Even if I was as slow as a snail, I made sure I don’t stop moving up (no other direction to go). Even when my friends stopped for a short breather, I moved on too all the way to the top #proud. But I almost blacked out again when I slowed down at the resting station. LOL. And this round, another friend stole my (ahem) spotlight when she vomited. Twice. I did mention we’re noob, right?
Apparently, we still had some distance to go before we reach the peak. Yeah, Ah Pek Hill’s waterfall trail required us to hike to the peak and down to the waterfall. Oh no. We had no clue until the friendly ah pek hikers told us. We were glad they even told us what each route entails because there were so many junctions along the Ah Pek Hill hiking trail that lead to different places, including Saga Hill (I would not have gone to Ah Pek Hill if I knew it connects to Saga Hill because I knew Saga Hill is too challenging for me). Anyway, based on guidance by various ah pek hikers, we chose the longer but easier (less steep and less confusing) route to the waterfall.
Somehow, I made it to the peak and did not faint there. My friend did not vomit also. The peak was really happening. There were so many people there. A bunch of them were making tea. There was water stations for the public. And there was a drink stall too. I did not notice there’s jungle gym there probably because everyone used the apparent gym as resting bench.
From there, we moved on to the waterfall and even though it was just a descent from the peak, it was a no-joke descent. The descent was so steep! Some of the steps were as tall as our shoulders so we had to slide, swing and jump around a bit. If you have height phobia, you’d get an attack here because it’s so steep… We had two thoughts in our heads as we braced the descent: “why haven’t we hear the water?” and “how are we gonna go back up?”
We made it! And instead of having our planned fun splash time, we decide to just soak our feet in the cold water because the waterfall was pretty tiny and very shallow. Plus, we didn’t want to waste our energy playing because we can’t help but wonder how we gonna make it back out. Haha. We stayed at the waterfall eating and resting for about half an hour before heading back out.
Surprisingly, climbing (not hiking) back up to the peak wasn’t as tough as coming down the slope. In fact, we were faster and less tired. After the peak, we moved more swiftly down the hill with a little bit of ascent before going through tonnes of descents. The descent was so long it was getting tiring (and boring) and we wondered how we even made it up when we were so sick of the long, long descent #impressed.
Thinking back at the first half an hour of of this Ah Pek Hill hiking when we thought we would need to U-turn downhill to our cars, we were proud that we came out safe six hours later and that we accomplished our mission hiking to the waterfall even though we were mentally and physically unprepared for the uphill challenge (literally). After sipping some coconut water to refresh ourselves at the food stall at the foot of the hill, we left Ah Pek Hill thinking we’d never want to return in the near future. Then one of us vomited and so we may not return ever. LOL. What an interesting hike.