It's been years since I last exercised. Or months, if you count dancing as exercise, and for some strange reasons, I wanted to do something healthy again this time I'm back in Ipoh. Add that with a sense of nostalgia, and that's how, I ended up in Kledang Hill (Bukit Kledang in Malay) together with my friends today for a short hiking trip.
Located at the outskirts of Ipoh near the Jelapang/Menglembu area and the old highway to Lumut, Bukit Kledang has always been a favorite hiking spot for us Ipoh people. My father used to bring me and my siblings there when we were young, and as I wanted to try exercising again, I thought Kledang hill would be a great place to visit due to its breathtaking views and closeness to nature.
|view of bukit kledang from afar. source: hasbullahhamzah.blogspot.com|
I managed to catch my buddy Jimmy and my friend Clare to be my hiking buddies for the day, as both of them love to exercise too, and I hate going alone.
As this is the first time I'm going to hike in a long long time, I took the safer road that my father used to take us, sort of like a dirt road that leads to the middle of the hill, instead of a more challenging route through the forest that leads straight to the top of the hill. Wasn't too sure if we were able to hit the hilltop, to be honest. Words wouldn't be able gonna describe the experience sufficiently so I'm gonna let the pictures do most of the talking. Thank goodness my S3 was light enough to be taken together for the trip.
|start of our trail! with clare terribly afraid of the sunlight|
|mr jimmy ng, my second companion for the day. also adidas + nike spokesperson|
|and me, who is the least properly dressed for the day|
Note to self: Bring some exercise outfit the next time you're going home or travelling. You'll never know when you will need it. But then again, it might be the last time I might be wearing a NUS shirt which is why I have been wearing NUS shirts non-stop since I came back.
The ascent was more tiring than what I remember though, maybe because my legs were still aching from the Laser Tag matches from the previous day, but by the time we finished this dirt path and reached the tarred road at the middle of the hill, I was panting like a dog. Speaks volume about the current state of my body. Not to mention that the three of us have cleverly forgot to bring our water bottles along because we were afraid that it would be too heavy.
|one of the many criss crossing dirt staircases along our first path|
|both of them seem to be enjoying the experience|
|le view as soon as we exited our first path|
|me panting like a dog. the asphalt road is just behind|
I must say that the overall condition of the entire hill has improved considerably since the last time I have been here though. I don't know who's responsible for the upgrading works but all along the dirt path that we took there were man made staircases using cement/steel pillars and unused tires to help hikers scale the hill better and safer. In some places there were even interlocking bricks to help you climb easier. Such a far cry from the early days where almost everything is dirt.
We decided to push on, despite feeling tired and stupid for not bringing water bottles along, and we stuck to the dirt staircases path instead of the asphalt road.
|I call this picture, road to heaven (thanks to the sun behind the hill)|
|finishing our third dirt path|
|some dirt paths such as this are filled with greenery|
I think I forgot to mention that Bukit Kledang has two types of paths that you can choose depending on what you like. The first one is the asphalt road that most beginners used as it is easier to scale (albeit a little longer) and the second one are the various dirt and jungle paths that are not tarred, which are a little bit more challenging but takes less time for you to reach the hilltop. We took the less challenging dirt path as we wanted something not too easy nor too difficult on our first try.
After some while, we managed to reach the destination that we intended for the day, a rest station with various exercising equipment located around the middle of the hill and near the top.
|le resting station|
|le tired hikers|
|le tired and not-really-fit blogger|
Of course, resting station also meant photo taking sessions.
|nike sponsored our trip|
|clare, me and jimmy|
Resting station also meant place where funny stuff happens.
|and yes, i can't even stay in a push up position long enough for a camera shot|
Kinda sad though to see how much I degraded over the years. On the other hand, Jimmy had a fun time laughing at me while Clare was busily clicking away to made sure everything was caught on cam. Oh, the embarrassment. And not to mention there were people around too.
Nevertheless, it was fun hiking up Kledang again. I personally enjoyed it more than jogging though at maybe Pologround or some other places, because it has a great view of Ipoh from the top. And great view also meant great photo opportunities.
|do you think i have what it takes to be a wedding photographer? :p|
Sadly though, we weren't able to reach the top as 2 out of 3 of us were out of shape, so we managed to conquer only slightly more than half of the hill, so no awesome photos from the top. Never mind though, perhaps next time when I'm a little bit fitter. And from today's experience, I think I am beginning to enjoy hiking again. Jimmy told me that there's a hill near Bukit Batok (maybe it's called Bukit Batok?) that many Singaporeans go to for hiking. Think I'll pay that place a visit when I get back to Singapore. Anyone know where that is?
And maybe it's time for me to rethink my exercise dress code.