Jun 8, 2012

Kota Kinabalu Travelogue : Gearing Up!

The post on Villa Danieli marked my absence for a month and a week. Life has been hectic but I must say, "Hectic life is good!". I have been busy preparing for my Chartered Financial Analyst ("CFA") Level II exam for past few months and not forgetting, my one week escapade to Kota Kinabalu, where the mighty Mount Kinabalu, the highest mountain in Malay Archipelago, has rested upon.

The planning for the legendary trip started 6 months back in 2011, where 10 of us had mustered our guts to conquer the highest terrain in Malaysia. We managed to get a dirt cheap climbing package from  Horizon Borneo for RM700; so cheap that most people would just jump and say "Deal!". What I did not expect was the ensuing shopping duty, of which I was stunned at the extra costs we would be spending on those supplementaries. Wind proof and winter jacket and pants, long john, beanie, gloves, and hiking shoes... Can I just jump and shout like a mad woman?

Luckily Marcky's friend was kind enough to bring back two sets of The North Face's replica jacket and pants for us from Vietnam. Replica equals to cheap, cheap equals to happy! Can you imagine paying RM800 for The North Face real jacket and pants? I have gotten my wool long john from Winter Time for RM170, beanie and gloves from Universal Travel for RM60, and Columbia hiking shoes for RM282 (20% off price tag - 10% for last piece, another 10% for normal discount).

Gears ready! How about fitness? Most people would say "GOSH! I can't do this." but there were 6 months for me to train and hell no, I would make it! Fitness First, The Curve has since became my most loyal companion; you need not to be training alone, you need not to worry about where and when to train. All you need to do is to head to the gym and pump up your body strength (Body Pump classes or free weights), train your stamina (RPM and Body Attack classes).  Sounds easy? Provided you are willing to wake up at 6am and head to gym by 7am for morning classes, or reject all the evening plans you have and go to nowhere but gym. Who did that? The answer is none other than yours sincerely :)

Two weeks before the climb, I went to the extent of being paranoid because I was on leave and thus gym was not a feasible choice. Instead of gulping on my guilt, my mind drove me to head to Batu Caves and climb that 252 staircases, which is located less than 3km from my house. I climbed 3 rounds for the first time, 5 rounds for the second time, which would sum up to 1500 and 2500 steps respectively.

View from the entrance to Batu Caves

To pump my body further, I decided on a day to go to office tower and climb the staircases; 12 floors, 5 rounds, which should come up to about 3500 steps. The sense of achievement was strong but the followings few days, my calves were suffering until I had 5-6 protein shake to assist in my muscle recovery. I believe all these had somehow contributed to my agility in the climb. I am not complaining :D

Sleep tight and more posts on my Kota Kinabalu Travelogue shall unroll <3

Yours sincerely,


  1. Woah.. not sure if I can even climb 1 round up to Batu Caves!

    1. Lol, trust me, you can one ;) The key is not to be fast, but to be steady. It is a good outdoor activity for family too :) I am sure the kids would love it and as a mommy, you might need to polish up some facts on Batu Caves!

  2. HitOmi,

    So we have both traveled to higher altitudes!

    A couple weeks ago my lovely wife and I spent a few days along the south rim of the Grand Canyon, http://www.nps.gov/grca/index.htm. Altitude at the south rim is 7,260ft/2140m. So being near sea level residents we moved a little more slowly.

    Looking forward to pictures of your climb. With a bf who appears to be a Photoshop wizard your photos should be spectacular.

    Safe and happy climbing.


    1. Yeap, we have both conquered the higher altitudes! My boyfriend and I are using lightroom instead of photoshop and I edit my own pictures while he edits his.

      The pictures of the climb would come soon :)


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