For a long time, I have sat and looked at the hills near our apartment and thought of hiking in them. Then, a long time ago, I found out there were trails all throughout the hills. Sometime more recently but still solidly in the past, I found a trail map for these trails and discovered that people regularly used them for hiking, running, biking, and other assorted hill and/or jungle related pursuits. So about a month ago, Iris and I finally decided to go hiking in Bukit Kiara.
Bukit means hill in Bahasa Malaysia. Kiara is the neighborhood right next to Desa Sri Hartamas, where we live. The trail map we used referred to this area as Pointless Condo land. We had a three day weekend for yet another Malaysian holiday so on Sunday we decided to hike up into the hills. First discovery: it is hot in the jungle. Now, this is a “jungle” in the sense that it is surrounded on all sides by urban growth but still a jungle. We did see a few snakes, including one that we could not decide whether we should step over and continue on the path or turn around and give up for the day. (We did mostly the latter-we gave up going on that path and tried another way!) There were monkeys too of course, and probably a lot of insects and other disgusting things we could not see. But back to my point: it was noticeably hotter than when we were walking on the street just a few minutes before.
As you can see, the first part of the path was very nice. There were a lot of side trails for mountain bikers in the early going. This is where a good photo journal of our adventure ends, because we got lost.
Very very lost.
Turns out the map we were using was 10 years old and extremely out of date or just plain wrong. Long story short, we navigated the trails by using our neighborhood and the otherside of the hill as reference points. The hills (and the park itself) splits Mount Kiara from TTDI. There is a highway that goes under the hills in a tunnel, so once we figured out where that was it was just another two hours to find our way out! We had fun, but seriously we were lost. At a certain point we ended up on a paved trail that goes right up to the highest point in the park (about 300 meters).
A lot of the jungle was made up of rubber trees, seen above. Someone has been harvesting latex from them apparently.
Almost at the top. Can’t wait to see that view!
Stupid obstructed view! But the is our neighborhood somewhere through those trees.
We got our view…eventually. We finally found the condo towers of Mount Kiara and used them to navigate ourselves to here:
What you can’t see is where that sounds just erodes and drops 15 feet, making it impossible to get down this way. We made out way into the jungle, bushwhacking style, until we found some homes built into the side of the hill. To call them homes is not fair, they were shacks that some of the construction workers built near their jobs presumably.
See that tiny building in the lower left that says Signature? That’s our building!
While we did see monkeys when we were hiking in the jungle, there was no way to get any pictures as they were leaping and jumping around. Of course, once we got back to civilization…
…we found this guy, just relaxing.
I apparently had fun, because I signed up last week to run an 8 mile race through Bukit Kiara in January as part of my Ultra Marathon training. Fun!