Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Camping Solo Overnight In A Jungle

I'm gonna pull another Glutton For Punishment stunt in the next 2-3 days time. What is it this time? CAMPING SOLO OVERNIGHT !!!
How can that be a glutton for punishment activity? You see, in my entire life, I've only been in a camp twice. Once was 2 years ago at Bagan Lalang in a reality TV show and another at Perhentian Island Challenge.

Both had the tents all set up and ready. I just had to sleep in it. All the facilities were there: lights, food, toilet, security and even women.
But this time, it's the whole works for me. I have to find a spot, set up the tent, cook my own food, start a fire(and not cause a forest fire) and quite simply, staying overnight alone in a jungle. I'm basically a 4 year old when it comes to anything and everything to do with camping. In fact, I just learnt how to set up a tent 4 days ago in my living room and it took me an hour. And as for survival skills like lighting a fire or staying dry, I've got zero knowledge and zero logic in this department.

Why am I doing this, you may ask? It's because of one guy and his name is Bear Grylls. He is the host of Man Vs Wild, a Discovery Channel program. Check some of his videos out

This is a show whereby Bear Grylls is dropped off in the middle of nowhere be it in a Venezuelan jungle, Mojave desert, the everglades, the Arctic, the Alps, African savannah or just about anywhere where it is imposibble to live. His objective is to find his way from the middle of nowhere to civilization with just his knife and a firestarter(Drew Barrymore not included).
A camera crew will follow him while he teaches us how to survive in that kind of harsh environment. Whenever he finds a place to sleep for the night, whether in a cave or inside a deer carcass(to keep warm), the camera crew will be whisked off by helicopter and come back the next morning to resume shooting until he reaches civilization.

I wonder if the camera crew wishes that when they come back the next morning, they'd find him dead "Damn it, he's still alive. I have to walk under the scorching sun for another day or dodge angry bull elephants again with this bastard"

This program is exciting and I've had huge fights with my ex girlfriend with regards to this series because I refuse to wash the dishes until the show is over. Why can't women understand the important things in a man's life? Men want to see other men bite the head of a live snake or drink elephant urine. Is that too much to ask?

Anyway, I figured, since I'm a virgin in all these, I should take baby steps. So, my destination is Bukit Apeh Hill(http://www.waterfallsofmalaysia.com/114bukitapeh.php) in Cheras. I've been there before. It's got a small waterfall and I've got to find somewhere to pitch my tent. There are no camping grounds there and like Bear Grylls, I have to rough it out. There's cell reception on this hill and all I have to do is not get my cellphone submerged in water.

I think I can rough it out but what concerns me the MOST is ...have you guys watched The Blair Witch Project?

Yup, that's what I'm afraid of. Although I don't believe in such things, a lot of people advised me on the do's and don'ts when I'm in the jungle and I'm like "Tskk, you took Science after Form 3 and you talk about this kind of stuff?Did you graduate at all? I work with satellites and I shouldn't be even believing in this kind of hocus pocus ........ or should I?

You must be asking, why don't I go with someone? The truth is , I only have 7 friends and they do not want to risk their life with someone who doesn't even know how to pronounce or spell "carru-bensi...??" I still don't know how to spell or pronounce it or know what this tool does but It looks something like this, a common tool used during camping or hiking :

I intend to camp overnight by myself this coming Thursday(1st of May) and emerge the next morning unscathed. So, wait for the pics and videos.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

KL International Marathon 2008

Marathon = lengthy, long winded and epic. That's the definition of marathon coming from Thesaurus.

I've never been in a marathon before so why did I want to participate in one? There are 3 main reasons for this.

  • Go the distance. I wanted to test my limits to see how far I can be pushed.

  • Having an Ipod strapped to your arm looks pretty cool

  • Being able to run half naked in the streets of KL.

Did I train for this? Not really. I probably only ran 3km on random days in a week one month before the marathon. Sometimes it's only 2 days in a week that I ran that distance or even shorter. During my training, there was this nagging pain at the back of my right knee after 20 minutes of jogging. I was pretty worried because I was going to 3 countries immediately after the marathon and if some tendon got torn off, it'll throw a monkey wrench in my travels. My travels consist of a lot of walking because I'm a cheap bastard. Hence , the concern.

A few people told me that it's not feasible to complete a marathon with this kind of pathetic training. I agreed with them but I also wanted to prove that the legs may give in halfway BUT not the heart. Semangat.

Anyway, there I was , at Dataran Merdeka,4am, with Eric Carmen (He's the singer to the song "All By Myself") We were flagged off at 6am and without any proper training and a pain that I know will start to emerge after 30 minutes to my right knee, I have come to accept that I'm a GLUTTON FOR PUNISHMENT!

The first song on my Ipod was Maroon 5's "I Won't Go Home Without You". Rnning alone, the darkness, the silence of dawn, the pitter patter of other jogging shoes and with the right song, it's just so peaceful....

The route and I won't go into details here started at Dataran Merdeka and then Mid Valley-Sg Besi Highway-Pudu Jail-Bukit Bintang-Hard Rock Cafe-Maju Junction-Dataran Merdeka.You get the drift on the distance. 21km and more like 3 hours of running.

An hour later, approaching Mid Valley, I had already taken off my singlet and decided to run half naked all the way. My close friends will know the reasons for my desire towards nudity. It's a bad desire. Here's one example on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQoDjCm3SKA).

Pudu Jail

Why so grumpy Mr Policeman?

I hope LV will sponsor me for next year's marathon

Upon reaching the Sg Besi Highway, the pain in my right knee has started. I soldiered on despite having to angle my right foot to at least 15 degrees while running to ease the pain.

930am, after 31/2 hours, I reached Maju Junction with this incredible pain that I had to endure from the Sg Besi highway. Thoughts of giving up ran through my mind. If I continued and something serious were to happen to my leg, I have to forgo my travels to Bangkok, Turkey and Dubai or should I continue and go the distance?Maju Junction and Dataran Merdeka(Finishing Line) was only at least 2km in length.

Limping towards the finishing line

I paused for a minute and took the weight off my left leg. On my Ipod, I now selected the theme to Rocky by Bill Conti. You all know how the theme goes. Listening to the theme, suddenly an adrenaline wave of enthusiasm and gusto rushed throughout my body. I continued eventhough I was limping quite badly but as I reached the finishing line, there were other participants and on lookers and even the DBKL staffs were shouting encouraging words and clapping their hands. It felt good to hear the cheers. Out of nowhere, someone shouted "Oi Pakai baju lah!!" Where did that come from?

Finally, after nearly 4 hours and an excrutiating pain that I endured for 2 hours along the way, I went the distance......half naked.

So, what's my next "Glutton For Punishment" activity? Solo camping trip in the jungle and I've never camped before in my life....