Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Hike to Pantai Kerachut

My choice of exercise is a long, leisurely walk at the mall. Cardio? A brisk jog to the nearest sale. Sweltering under the blistering hot sun? Peddling on a bike that doesn't go anywhere in the gym? Pffffffft. In fact, I'm getting tired at the mere thought of exercise. Pass me the bag of chips please :)

You should have seen the incredulous look I gave my team mates when they announced that for this team building, we were going on an hour long hike to Pantai Kerachut, one of Penang's most remote beaches located within the National Park. Naturally, I tried to weasel my way out of it by inventing sudden business critical reasons why I'd to remain in the office, I'm allergic to sweat, what if I get eaten by a bear ...

"Cut the crap, we're going this Friday and you're coming together with us." Siew bluntly told me.

Armed with loads of mossie repellent, water and assurances that they wouldn't abandon me despite my many whines, I found myself strangely excited about a hike through wilderness with some very fun company. This is us, all in buoyant moods and chirpy. In case you were wondering, yes, I'm the one wearing Birkenstocks on a hike while others were sensibly clad in sports shoes.

The hike was looooooooong to say the least; the steps were covered with tree roots, wet leaves and most of the path was a simple dirt road. Some parts were very steep and I'd to carefully grip the sides to not lose my balance. At some points where we were trekking uphill, I peeped down the terrain and gulped, praying hard that I wouldn't take a wrong step and tumble down. The humidity was crazy, we were all sweating buckets and mosquitoes kept darting close to us.

The fun part of a small group was that we took frequent breaks and grateful for the picnic lunch that we packed. Who knew that sausages and fried egg sandwiches could taste so egg-cellent? We met a few other hikers and the most interesting was this guy, who looked as old as my Dad, hiking bare chested and bare footed!

I've to say: my Birkenstocks were amazing during the hike even though everyone kept saying I was nuts for not wearing proper gear. They had really good grip, a comfortable sole and the raised sides protected my uncovered toes. I'd to constantly re-apply mossie repellent and make sure I didn't accidentally kick any jagged stones/sharp twigs but these were minor gripes. Given that I bought these when I was pregnant with Bubs, the Birkenstocks have been such a fab purchase.

What was supposed to have been a 60 minute turned into 2 hours and we were more than elated when we reached this bridge: signalling the end of the long and arduous journey.

So doggone tired ... At this point, we were all craving for a cup of Starbucks.

The views were stunning and in a way, I felt that it was well worth the hike to reach such a pristine beach. The sand was powdery soft, free of litter and scattered with tiny pine cones from the casuarina trees. My only regret? We were all too dehydrated and tired to truly enjoy ourselves here.

Yayyyy, we made it!

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