Thursday, January 24, 2008

The 'toughest' trail in Southern Penang...

Today is Thaipusam day and we made our first hiking trip to Pantai Pasir Panjang, Balik Pulau from Gertak Sanggul. There are 16 of us in total.

To depart, drive onto Gertak Sanggul road and you will reach an end. The departure point is just at the end of the road, as pointed by the arrow.

Almost half of the trail is cement-paved. The width is about the size of a single motorcycle-lane, although the beginning of the path allows a car to drive through.

There are few junctions where we need to make decision if to go left or right. Anyway, our guide CH and AS made the decision with the help from map and information from URLs below:

I am regret of not bringing pen and paper to mark down the trail we had followed for future reference. Based on my memory, for the first junction, the left road is gated. Thus we have no difficulties making the judgment, to follow the right trail :). For second and third junction, we follow the left path. For subsequent junction, we follow right path. There are two useful indicators: sunquick plastic strip and red arrow signboard. If you see any of these indicators, you are on the correct path and you can save your sweat :)

The trail we took is along the coast line. It was sunrise when we first depart and the scenery is nice.

There were birds chirping along the trail and you can feel you are in the heart of the jungle :) There are some fruit plantation e.g. banana, nutmeg and durian. And cannot be left out is the rubber tree, you might see rubber tappers along your hike :). Some nutmeg tree is tide with a long ladder and FS called it The Ladder to The Heaven.

Keep walking, and you will see the Kem Bina Negara and Pantai Pasir Panjang. It is so near but yet so far. It is right in front of my eyes, but it took us another 2 hours to reach there.

After around 1.5 hours hike, we reach an important junction, which flip today hiking experience to the most exciting page. Looking at the photo below (you might notice sunquick plastic strip and red arrow signboard in the middle), as according to the map, both trail lead you to the same destination, with the left trail is solely jungle trekking, passing by some bushes; while the right trail is possibly longer, which lead you to the banana farm, then tar road to Pantai Pasir Panjang. For the sake of saving time, we have chosen to use the left trail and the unexpected adventurous hike began :)

Apparently, this trail has not been used for quite some time. The bushes and erosion blocked our journey.

Luckily there were few heroes e.g. FS, BH and WH to pioneer a new route for us. The new route is tough, as the heroes need to create a path in the bushes, and it was slippery with thorny plants around. We need to watch our steps very carefully and we were proceeding terribly slowly, although it is less than one kilometer, but it took us around 1.5 hours to complete it. Holly cow! I called that the toughest trail I have had so far. We have to pioneer new trail and believe we are in correct direction. The guide CH tried convinced us with ‘We are ALMOST there’ and positively, everyone was able to continue the journey. Thanks to the heroes and we finally reached the destination, Pantai Pasir Panjang :)

The beach is nice and we have had relaxing rest at the beach. We decided to take another trail for our return trip, as we wish to stay away from the bushy newly pioneered route. We walked towards the tar road and then we reached Hai Ching restaurant for lunch.

On our return journey, we passed by a temple. Can you see the banana farm behind the temple? We need to climb to almost hill top in order to get back to the trail. It was hot and the road is a bit steep.

No pain no gain, the nice scenery from top of the hill is the reward we got :)

The return journey took shorter time, around 2.5 hours including the tar road from Pantai Pasir Panjang to Hai Ching restaurant. This was an interesting hiking trail and we will come back one day later if we manage to come in big group! But definitely not pioneering another new bushy path :)

Oh, if you have not seen fresh nutmeg on the tree, here you go.


Connie said...

Never ask me go hiking... you bad... ;p

mk said...

hehe ok ok, next time when you are back will ask you for a hike. But remember to tell us when you ever come back again oh :p

Kuen Hoong said...

I have hiked on this trail for 2 times. :-p.

skypaul said...

我两个礼拜后要去pasir panjang。看来不是一条那么直接的路。pantai kerachut还是monkey beach都显得简单了点。

alena said...

looks nice!!