Thursday, March 12, 2015

Prelude to Fabulous Nepal Trip

Screening down things to pack

The first thing I packed was my toiletries
to ensure I wont forsake my beauty regime ;)

This posting is a prelude to my trip to Nepal. It's not an ordinary sightseeing travel. It's enjoying nature, outdoor style. The kind that I like. So I was game for it from the beginning. I didn't think too much when Mahfiz sent the invitation. I just go with the flow. I persuaded Awang to go too. He agreed finally!

According to Mahfiz, it's very cold over there in Nepal, because it's still winter. Day time temperature was 15°C-25°C and night time could go down to 5°C. I prepared myself my various jackets (don't copy me, this was unnecessary), thick stockings for day and night, a fluffy pyjamas, muffler, buff and thermal underlining wears. I didn't bring gloves as I planned to buy it over there. 

Mahfiz shared with us most of his previous travel to Nepal including videos of his ABC (Annapurna Basecamp) achievement which was awesome! All my information was through Mahfiz, I was just too pampered and plain lazy to do my own research. I trust he knows Nepal pretty well by now. And most importantly, I want to surprise myself. It could be fun.

According to Mahfiz, we could get all our outdoor gears in Kathmandu or Pokhara. It was a way lot cheaper in comparison with Malaysia. So I had this in mind. I didn't pack much of clothing and outdoor gear at all. I want to surprise myself with what shopping has to offer. Lalala... 

It's winter in Nepal, I need these jackets!
But I had to leave the furry one to travel light :(
This trip has been planned almost a year in advance. My kind of adventure, a bit of trekking, sightseeing and shopping. Money money money... it won't be possible without money. Flight via Air Asia to Kathmandu from Kuala Lumpur cost me RM1,180+-. The amount was inclusive of travel insurance, meals and 20kg luggage to and fro. 

We were supposed to travel on 18th February till 24th February, a 7-day trip. There were 16 of us. The package price was USD$400 per person by Third Eye Adventure. However those who bought tickets from Air Asia, i.e. 11 of us had to travel earlier on 17th February due to flight cancellation by Air Asia. Reason being, commercial issues. I just couldn't understand that! And to get back a refund was 30-60 days process. Why so slow? To call the customer service was like impossible. We made do via chatting service and finally call the premium number. We had no choice but to speed up our itinerary a day earlier with extra meals and lodging costs. 

So now we had one extra day in Kathmandu. We took it positively that we could leisurely scout the streets of Kathmandu, familiarise ourselves and do our shopping while awaiting the rest of our members who were travelling via MAS and Malindo Air.

Changing RM to USD is advisable as it will be easier to change to Nepali Rupees (NPL) in Kathmandu

Travelling itinerary: 

17th Feb (Tuesday): Travelling from KL to KTM. 11 members via Air Asia. Free activities

18th Feb (Wed): Arrival of another 5 members flying with MAS and Malindo Air. Free activities

19th Feb (Thur): Taking flight to Pokhara. Take a boatride at Phewa Lake to cross over to Lychee Hill and trekking up to visit Peace Pagoda.

20th Feb (Fri): Flying to Sarangkot and  trekking up to the guest house. 

21st Feb (Sat): Trekking down and travelling to Phedi via private vehicle then hiking to Dhampus.

22nd Feb (Sun): Trekking down to Phedi and travelling back to Kathmandu via private vehicle

23rd Feb (Mon): Sightseeing at Kathmandu Valley, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and last day shopping

24th Feb (Tue): Travelling back to KL 

The details of my travelling continues in the next posting.

Friday, March 06, 2015

Broga Hill

Sunrise around 7.30 am 
Penniseturn polystachyon, Foxtail Grass
A bit outdated, I know but I still want to write about this for a record. I went to Broga Hill for the first time with new climbing friends. It was like a break-the-ice little climb to familiarise ourselves with each other before our Nepal Trekking Trip.

I was enthusiastic to know my level of fitness as well. Yours truly was already in her 40s and she's not been doing real hiking for again more than a couple of years. Sudah old school but still acting young. 

31st January 2015, Saturday 

With my BFF Awang aka Dean Muzaiddin
6.30 am: Arrived at the car park. I was surprised to see so many cars already parked. The parking was manage by a private operator; owner of the land, I presumed. RM2.00 per entrance. There were Surau and toilets facilities. Very organised, I would say. 

7.30 am: Assembled near entrance @ the toilet to be exact, lol! All members who were not punctual finally arrived. I am paranoid with time, as my father trained me that way. My defect. Pheww... so we started our ascend after the day already breaking.  

9.30 am: Arrived at the top. Not so top really, because I didn't go to the highest peak. Too many people crawling over there. Not really important to me anyway, just a normal scene. What matters most was the fact that I did it with Awang my BFF and Mahfiz, my outdoor BFF. Hehehe... Adding to that, I met other new friends. They were all really kind (one couple brought food for all of us. Mahfiz as well but he was always like that, not surprised), courteous (polite and some were quiet for the first impression) and friendly (some were naturally bubbly like me). I got some ideas of what to expect for our next trip together.  

10.30 am: Descending time took less than one hour. Can run if you like but I am protecting my old knees. Lalala...  

Facts about Broga Hill

Located in Broga town, Selangor, near the border of Negeri Sembilan. Driving there from KL will take about 45 minutes to an hour time. It is approximately at the heights of 400m. Broga takes its name from the River Broga which runs through the area. The name Broga is believed to be derived from Buragas, a mythical beast that lives in the forest (from wikipedia). I wonder what is Barugas. But I leave it to you all to figure it out. This is out of my intelligence. 

It is very famous among weekend hikers from the surrounding areas including people living in Kuala Lumpur. Most people do Broga especially beginners' training for higher mountains. The trail starting from an oil palm estate. As you go up, there were lesser trees. Only big boulders, shrubby plants and grasses. It's pretty easy to climb for all levels. No worries. If you are fit, please run up the hill.  

Love the grasses here
I so love the grass, i.e. Foxtail Grass. So beautiful and foxy. It's every where on top. You really can't resist the temptation to touch them. I had fond memories of these grass too. A long time ago, I got this grass as an expression of love; instead of a bouquet I got a handful of grass. No wonder it didn't last. Hahaha!   

 Yours truly signing off for now. Take care. Mwah! Mwah!

Monday, March 02, 2015

Sunset in Bali

Sunset in Kuta Beach, Bali
 In December 2014, I went to Bali to chill with my then loved one. It was supposed to be a romantic 3-day 4-night short break for me. Things didn't go as planned. Instead I reminisced my previous best time when I went climbing Mount Rinjani in Lombok via Bali.

Nice door carving
I thought it was nice to spend my year end vacation away from home. I took a plunge and lived for the moment.

Moment of happiness
My abode was at an exquisitely architectured hotel, namely Agung Cottage. It was located in Legian Street. Kuta Beach was just a walking distance of 15 minutes from the hotel.

The accommodation rate was Malaysian Ringgit (RM) 130 per night with breakfast for a King Size Bedroom. It was basic but clean and comfortable. What I liked most was the wood carving of the bedroom door and windows. Simply Bali to the core. You get these feelings of tranquillity and restful by just looking at your surroundings. Unfortunately in my haste to spring-clean the phone memory, I have unintentionally deleted most photos. Huhuhu...  
The door

The window
Muslim travellers who are concern about halal food can find a few Jawa Muslim Restaurant Operators around the area of Legian Street to Kuta Beach. I can remember all the nooks and corners by now because I walked these streets a lot of times on my trips to Bali. I would say that Malaysians love to eat. In our ranking of 10, I would give bali only a 5. This is because, the food is expensive and little in portion. Unsatisfying for Malaysian taste unless you are willing to buy double. We love to splurge ourselves with abundance of food. Ooppss.

That's all about Bali, folks, I am playing catching up here before writing about the Himalayas dream. Ahh... that has to wait.

After a year hiatus!

Yours truly is back to write some more stories. Photo taken in Sarangkot, Nepal.
Hello blogers and readers of my humble blog. Thank you so much if you happened to come to this first posting of 2015. Please know that I am really honoured to even have a visitor after all this time. Time flies unnoticed. I have been missing from the blogging world for more than a year! I can't believe it myself.

It's been a volatile year for me. The ups and downs in life. The choices that I had to make. I was busy with family and self. I don't really care about other stuffs. It's a turning 40s and all that depressing matters. Huhuhu. But pheww... I got through it all still intact.

My followers would have known my evolution and transition from one phase of life to another. They would have known my activities, interest, passions and philosophies recorded almost a decade in here. I started in 2005, inspired by a dear Global Vagabond. Read his travelling awesome blog and you would get inspired too.

Gentlecreation started with stories of my life journey, social issues, nature activities, hiking, voluntarism, events, my obsession towards semi precious stones, birds and others. It was colourful indeed. This is like a life record for me and I am happy to share it with the world. Have a moment to read all the links, ya. You might get something, i.e. new knowledge, be amused or just passing time. Hahaha!

Carpe diem!


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