Solo Hike at Setia Alam Community Hiking Trail Jan 2018

My first hike of 2018 turned out to be an impromptu solo hike at Setia Alam Community Hiking Trail. I’ve travelled solo to Taiwan last year April and kinda hiked solo to arrive at a shrine. However, it wasn’t like a 4.5km hike that I had today.

I’ve always wanted to hike more since I recovered from my abdomen surgery but the problems are (1) waking up early, (2) driving to hiking site and (3) getting hiking companions. Lazy factors aside, syncing up schedules with friends is quite a challenge. Moreover, most of friends who hike are not in Klang so I end up aggravating problem #1 and #2.

I woke up at 7am this morning and thought hard about whether or not I should exercise. Well, doctor wants me to exercise at least 3 hours a week and I don’t think I’ve ever hit the target. After 30min of contemplation, I decided to change into sports attire and just head out.

Cap on! Earphone on! Was considering a sunshade because the sun was quite high already but that’d be weird.

Honestly, I really wasn’t sure about it. I knew safety wouldn’t be a problem because there are always hikers along the trail at Setia Alam on Sunday morning. In fact, my mom was also hiking there about 10min before I started mine. And as long as I stay on the familiar trail, I wouldn’t get lost (like before). My biggest concern was if I’d feel unwell midway. 😂

Me feeling unwell during a hike is a real problem. I started blogging about hiking because I pretty much blacked out twice during my hike at Ah Pek Hill even though other hikers call it an easy hike. Besides blacking out, I sometimes have the tendency to get tummy ache during hike too. Holding in makes me feel nauseated before I want to black out again. So yeah.

But I managed to gather enough confidence that my body could handle it so I headed out. Gulps.

Funny thing was, I didn’t tell my mom I’d go solo hiking because she’d say no. Plus, she’s there too so she’d ask me to follow her. But I really wanted to do it alone as a personal milestone and some me-time.

I mentally prepared some scripts to tell her in case I bump into her. I tried to make my presence subtle by wearing a cap (even though it’s bright pink). I tried not to lift my head while hiking until I spotted her at the first peak, heading to another direction from a distance! Wow, I actually caught a sight of my mom from the back some 50m away. Phew.

Photo was taken 5sec after my mom went into the foliage. FYI, this way to Bukit Sapu Tangan. I’ve never been there before because I heard the trail is pretty long.

From that moment, I felt free. My body felt lighter for a moment before my legs turned heavy. “Oh man. Will I faint from the heat and sweat before I reach the top?” as I pulled myself up to the peak.

Wee! I made it!

The iconic Jalur Gemilang at Peak Garden.

I spent some time people watching and eavesdropping. Because why not? Then I considered chilling and reading my e-book under the shelter…until I was reminded of the scorching sun and my mom. LOL. I parked my car at a prominent spot. Even though I knew my mom would take longer due to the route she took, I didn’t want to risk being carried away.

It was past 9am when I descended Peak Garden. I decided to take Route B down even though I was only familiar with Route A because the first peak (The Wall) at Route A is an open terrain (read: get BBQ-ed by the sun).

Two thoughts came to my mind as I was taking Route B down the hill. Firstly, no wonder I tore something inside my abdomen when I hiked 3 months post-surgery. I could feel my core muscles being engaged as I cautiously hiked down this steeper terrain.

Secondly, stick to Route A (the easy and popular trail) for female solo hikers. As I was hiking up via Route A, I bump into hikers every 30 steps. In fact, it felt like a party at The Wall at 8.45am. But Route B was noticeably quieter at 9.30am. I probably only bumped into 10 groups of hikers during my 30-min descend. Another option is to hike slightly earlier, between 7.30am to 8.00am perhaps.

Anyway, I think I’ve written enough about the trail at Setia Alam. For beginners, stick to Route A before venturing others. Be ready to get lost a little if you’re unfamiliar with the route. Signages are improving but still insufficient. The route is popular over the weekend so you can just follow along. Don’t be surprised to see many little kids and sometimes dogs hiking under supervision; just admire how they hit the trail and use it as motivation to keep going.

Lastly, enjoy the beauty of nature along the way! I think I’ve stopped the most times this round to admire the gift of nature. Guess hiking alone gave me more freedom to follow my pace and gaze.

Always my favourite part of the trail because it’s not like your typical forest trail in Malaysia.
Green green green leaves.
Hi, ants! Where are you going? This tree trunk blocked my way but I liked it that way. #obstaclecourse
Trust me. My eyes brightened when I saw the sun flare. This was in the middle of the trail.
Nice or not? Actually, it was crazy hot. But I kinda saw the ray so even though my eyes were blinded, I took this photo regardless. That was at the end of my hike.
The trail today. I overshot at one point and turned back after checking the trail map. Not sure why there’s a loop. Did I make a loop without realizing?
Taking Route B down was shorter but steeper thus I respect those who always choose to take that route up for the challenge.
Heart rate chart from my Fitbit Charge HR. 15min of Peak heart rate. That’s quite rare for me. I think my heart rate went especially high from the climb and heat. Took over 6k steps during the hike alone.
Mood lifted from the sweat session and personal sense of achievement. I think I can do this again.

If you know me personally and you want to go hiking with me, please invite me (for easy hikes haha). Let’s hike more~

P/s For the record, I told my mom about my solo hike already because I’ve proven that I could do it myself. Her heart dropped for 5sec but I knew she’d take it easier now than before. Action speaks louder than words, doesn’t it?

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