Thursday, May 07, 2009

From Batu Caves to Maran: Day 2

A Walk-umentary: Day 2

The Day of Blistering Heat and Blisters...

I woke up around 2:00am. I slept Ok despite the fact that the temple was located right next to the KL-Karak highway. So you can imagine the traffic noise from the heavy vehicles. Here zoom there zoom everywhere zoom zoom!

Finding an empty toilet could be a problem. Usually the queue was long. Thank God 300 people didn’t have to go at the same time; otherwise the sewage system would explode. I did my morning business near at the toilet in a petrol station behind the temple. Less people. Less suffocation! Heheh!

Supper was simple – crackers and very dilute coffee and tea. I ate a little just to prevent walking on an empty stomach.

After a briefing, we started the walk at 4am. While the rest of Karak population were in dreamland, we braved the chilly morning and chanted, “ Vel! Vel” as we moved East towards Maran.

Just like the day before, we had to walk in the darkness. The road was narrower as we had already left the KL-KARAK highway. So, we had to rely on our torch lights.

At 6:30am, I reached the breakfast station. I had no idea where that was. It was dark. Hot putu mayam (stringhopper) was served with dhal curry! Instant energy! Yummy!

I didn't rest long there as I knew I still had a long day ahead of me.

The morning was misty. The walk was quite enjoyable actually. What a beautiful morning. Misty mountain ranges in the distance. Rustic but serene villages along the way. Seemed like a road heading towrds home.

In fact it was - if I were to walk along this road till the end, I would reach my hometown, Pekan. (Insert John Denver's Country Road here).

The road was flatter compared to yesterday's stretch, but it was still undulating.

Chatted with Mr. Naga, a regular from Johor Bahru. He brought a whole "troupe" from JB including his son.

Refreshment stop. Time for some home made ginger tea. The tea was sponsored and prepared by an old lady in the picture below. The tea was sweet but I think her gesture was even sweeter.

I feel very blessed throughout the journey. We were showered with generosity and kindness from total strangers.

About 9:30am, I reached a hall in Lanchang were the second breakfast was served - fried bee hoon. I rested for a while and reapplied my sun block. The sun was beginning to get hot.

Still a long way to go feet already aching. My skin was burning. My shoulders were hurting. My camera felt like a brick in my hand. I could feel blisters were developing. My count - three blisters. One on my left sole, two on my right toes.

But I kept walking under the blistering hot sun.

12:30pm. I caught up with Julie, resting at the refreshment station serving watermelon. Ice cold watermelon! I gobbled up a few pieces.

I decided to perform a minor "operation" to my foot. Got myself a safety pin from Julie and burst the blister on my left sole. Drained the liquid out and slapped a plaster on it. Felt much better.

We were way behind time for lunch at the next stop. So, we were "cordially invited" up onto the truck. Heheh!

Hahah! Wai Mun also "kena sapu" (being swept) by the truck!

Amelia? She was a real trooper. She was already at the temple when we arrived in the truck.

This is the Sri Maha Subramaniar Temple in Mentakab.

Yay! Lunch! Banana leaf rice.

Seemed like everybody got some sort of foot problems. All of us got blisters. We were lucky that at each major stop, we would get some medical officers to help us.

After lunch, I got the rest of my blisters drained out. This time, no safety pin involded...:) See the video. Heheh!

We left the Sri Maha Subramaniar Temple around 2:30pm, after some sort of token of appreciations presentation to some VIPs.

The sun? Hot! Hot! Hot!

The road? Hot! Hot! Hot too!. I could feel the heat rising from the tarmac.

Somehow, there were people who walked barefooted on the hot tar road! I must find out their secrets! Heheh!

That was Julie, being interviewed by a reporter from China Press.

Yours truly also got interviewed. I was told the article was published in China Press but I didn't managed to get a copy because I didn't know when it was published. Oh well!

I was "ambushed" by the following woman at the next refreshment stop! She was throwing some yellow water (I think it was tumeric) at the guests! I ran for cover and thank God it didn't splash on my camera! For blessing, she said. :)

At that refreshment station, I was introduced to a special drink Moru which I will talk about it in the food section later. :)

The next stop was another temple which was under going heavy renovation - the Sri Mariamman Temple, Mentakab.

Tea was served. I must say that the food here was DELICIOUS!!!! :D Thank you to all the volunteers!

After tea, four of us decided that our feet couldn't carry ourselves further. We still have around 18km before the next destination. We hopped into the St. John Ambulance shamelessly. LOL!

The last stop of the day was Sri Subramaniar Temple in Temerloh. A tiny temple in the middle of a palm oil plantation.

Bathing time! Splash! Splash!

Yup! This was how we bathed, at least for the guys. Heheh! Out in the open....

Suddenly it rained very heavily. We told ourselves that we were lucky that we took a ride in the ambulance otherwise we would have been caught in the heavy rain.

I was quite amazed with this little temple. Check out the snake shrine! :)

I didn't have much time to explore around the temple as it was already dark.

The small temple hall could hardly accommodate all of us. The organiser decided to send fourty people back to the Sri Mariamman Temple in Mentakab where we had tea just now for the night. Four of us agreed to go.

After dinner, we packed our stuff and hopped into the truck.

What a ride! We were pacled like sardine behind the truck. I could hardly see my own hands as it was so dark. Luckily no roaming hands! Heheh!

We arrived at the destination safely aound 10:30pm. The sleeping place was much cleaner and spacious. Time for zzzzzzz......

Summary of Day 2. Click Play!

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