Sunday, December 22, 2013

Up (continued) and Down

Arise at 2am, breakfast, then off we trek in the dark, at first through a final stretch of stunted rainforest and then onto exposed granite. I'm thankful that we can't see beyond the beam of my headlight as there are bits where we have to grab onto a rope to haul ourselves up, but mostly I'd rather not see just how far it is to the summit. But eventually, after three hours, we make it and are rewarded with amazing views of the sun rising above its sister-peaks in the East (er, where else?) and the swirling clouds below.
As daylight establishes itself, the landscape is revealed in all it's surreal, almost lunar glory. But before too long we're descending and I'm praying that my knees will hold out. The first third, back down to the overnight lodge, is OK, but the rest of the trail down to the Park Gate is agony. We pass pitcher plants, but unfortunately no Rafflesia (the largest single flower in the world), hear all sorts of birdlife, but see no other animal life, though there are orangutans, leopard cats and Bornean ferret-badgers somewhere out there.
Arriving back at our resort, somehow I manage the 100 steps from car to room.

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