So I finally, FINALLY made time to climb a mountain. I’ve been thinking about it for ages; good friends have gone and I wasn’t able to make the time when those trips happened, but this year, the stars were aligned (and I put my foot down on work and committed to doing this, finally) and it happened! We were banging around trying to find common dates for the longest time, before finally settling on these July dates. The group grew larger and larger and I didn’t know everyone who on on this trip, but I was just glad it finally materialized!
The flight to Kota Kinabalu was at 0840 hours and some of the group wanted to meet at the check-in counter. I told them I’d see them on the plane. You see, I’ve realised after so many travels; some with friends for fun; some for work with a whole crew; some solo; that everyone has a different comfort level when it comes to timing. Will chat more about this in a another post, but simply put, some like to be at the airport two hours before departure; some like to go like REALLY early to chill and eat before boarding; and then there are people like me, who like to go at the last possible minute, and board the plane at the last possible minute. People who despise rushing hate the way someone like me cuts time so close because it makes them extremely anxious, while people like me feel like we are already going to waste some of our lives just SITTING on a plane – we’re not going any earlier than is absolutely necessary. So these days, unless I travel with my man (a fellow cut-it-close kinda person), I choose to meet people on the plane or when we alight at our destination to prevent any potential unhappiness!
Here’s some of our group happy in our vehicle that was bringing us to Sutera Lodge, the base of Mount Kinabalu where we would start our climb.
So many Catholic churches on the way up to our starting point and resting place for the night, Sutera Lodge. I felt sure I was going to be blessed and protected on this trip, and this was His sign!
Grocery run before hitting the resort! Highly recommend this if you’re watching your budget – stuff costs a lot more the higher up the mountain you get! I bought chocolate and instant noodles. That’s my crazy cousin doing her ‘thang in a KK supermart!
Our swanky digs for the night before starting the climb bright and early the next day. I must say, I was expecting conditions to be really rough, even for the first night, so this was a more-than-pleasant surprise!
We got settled in, then it was time for the mandatory briefing, which was a 5 minute walk from our lodge.
Here’s us annoyingly-addicted-to-being-connected Singaporeans enjoying the last bits of free wifi while waiting for the briefing to start.
Fun times at dinner!
Morning of the climb! Excuse the makeup-less face, lol. Weather looked great and everyone was super psyched as we headed down to checkout and for breakfast to fuel up before starting.
Except that it started absolutely POURING as we finished our breakfast. That was a slight dampener to our spirits (pun fully intended, heh). It didn’t crush us entirely though – suited up in our waterproofs, and off we went!
Part II with the actual climb in the next post!
All photos taken from Isaac Wong’s flickr album.