It was another HTTB event, titled "Hike and Historical Trip Day Trip (Sunrise at Broga Hill + Malacca) organised by Hiker Lillian and SP, the elder of the group.
The response was so hot that the initial 12 slots were taken up within minutes when it went 'LIVE' on HTTB meetup site and finally, it was increased to 26. Either Lillian is hot or the trip to Broga Hill is hot, or maybe both are equally hot. Dora was the one who prompted me about this trip and thanks to her, she did all the follow up for me. She worked fast (her fingers worked even faster) and she managed to confirm one slot for me without me breaking a sweat - what a lucky fella I am (sweat)!
For S$60 per person, which included coach transfer and a decent peranakan lunch in Malacca (the climb is free though), it is definitely worth everthing I must say. This was also my first trip organised by Hiker Lillian and I was looking forward to it.
On 6 Sat, Saturday at 2245 hrs, we assembled at Marsiling station for our coach. I arrived very early, more than an hour before the scheduled coach departure. CK joined me a while later, he was early too. Slowly, everyone started to stream in. I don't know many in the group but there were few familiar faces like Edmund and his ahem, girlfriend (the last time, they are not steady yet but this time, they are on liao), Poon, Jacky and his wife, May, Anna, SP, CK and of course, Dora. Soon, these new faces become kakis. Some of these old faces whom I have not met for a while and it was certainly good feeling to re-group for another hike.
We slept on the coach as we planned to arrive before first light to watch the sunrise at the peak. Broga Hill is in the border of Selangor state in this small town called Seminyih which is about 40-min drive from KL city. I have not been to Broga Hill but I did goggle search from some its details, to prepare myself. I know it is not a tough hike but it is also not a walk in the park affair either.
It was around 0600 hrs when we reached the start of the hike and when SP requested for someone to volunteer as last man, I gamely volunteered. It was still dark, each of us put on our headlight before the start of the hike. Even at that early hour and also, it was a weekend, the place was already streaming with many people. Once all 26 of us were accounted for, we moved off and soon, we joined the other hikers on the way up. There were some blind hikers (yes, they are completely blind) and they were escorted by able-bodied assistants. I was covering the back, making sure no one in our group has fallen behind me for safety sake.
Broga Hill stands at some 300 metres above sea level, it is definitely doable by almost anyone. A young girl, aged probably five or six was hiking on own but I believe her parents must be somewhere around. She was not escorted at all. She is quite a brave little girl, moving up confidently and at ease too but I still do not think it is a good idea to leave this little girl on own to trek especially it was still dark and she was not even equipped with headlight. Who am I to tell that to her parents, sigh.
Broga Hill may be a hill but there are some steep and rocky paths along the way. I can see some struggled quite a bit with the climb. The surge of crowd on the weekend also can 'kill off' some interest. Some in our group also did not come prepared, not even the basic necessity like the headlight.
In less than an hour, most of us reached close to the peak. There are three peaks, which follows one after another. Some of us gathered at the second last peak. We were not motivated to go to the third peak as it was packed with people and it was also getting misty. The view was blinded by the mist, no chance to get any good view at all.
By 0900 hrs, we were at the foot of the hill and soon, we were heading to Malacca town for a short day tour and lunch. Throughout the journey, I was sleeping away but by my reckoning, it took us less than 3 hours to reach Malacca. Admittedly, the peranakan lunch was so-so and some of us were already looking forward to try the famous 'chendol' at Jonker street after our lunch. Dora and I went for our massage while CK, Anna and the rest roamed the Jonker street. We gathered back at the Red House for our coach to pick us. I was afraid that we will be caught in a heavy jam on a typical Sunday outing but to my surprise, it was smooth traffic all the way to the Singapore side. We were dropped at Marsiling Station well before 1900 hrs.
Thumbs up to Hiker Lillian and SP for a good short trip. I look forward to another with them.