Thursday, 29 April 2010


Throb, throb, throb went my right thigh

This was at about 8.30 pm on my bunk-bed in our tiny room at the Gunting Lagadan Dorm at Laban Rata some 10,000 ft. on Mount Kinabalu.

It was time to catch some much-needed sleep in preparation for the 2.30am assault of the SUMMIT - otherwise known by the very unassuming name Low's Peak.

We already had wolfed down a good buffet dinner at the resthouse cafetaria some 200 metres below, had a cold-to-tepid shower to wash off the day's exertions climbing 6km up from Timpohon Gate, and I had rubbed my tired legs with liberal lashings of funky-smelling Minyak Gamat Langkawi and even plastered Salonpas on the dodgy areas.

As I lay down and closed my eyes and wishing them to sleep, the throbbing started.

Throb, throb, throb

That's funny, I thought. It's my left hip and glutes that's usually wonky, but now they feel fine - but my right thigh's throbbing to a fifties rock-n-roll beat.

I groaned, switched on the light, fished out a Ponstan capsule left over from my last wisdom tooth extraction and swallowed it. I thought I wouldn't need any painkillers. My two young ladies already each had 2 paracetamol for their headaches at this oxygen-sparse altitude (10,000ft above sea-level). My hubby also had something for his problematic left ankle - from an injury in a high-speed motorbike accident.

We are to meet our guide down at the cafetaria for supper at 2 am before commencing the climb at 2.30.

I closed my eyes - trying to think beautiful thoughts. It was quiet, the whole dorm seemed to be sleeping. From the  2 overhead bunks - regular breathing, and from the other one below - reassuringly gentle snoring.

Throb, throb, throb

Some kind of brainwave made me put both palms under my bottom  as a cushion. That helped relax the muscles a bit. But still I couldn't sleep - the body being used to a 2 am beddy-bye on normal days. I massaged my legs with eyes closed, I turned to one side, then the other, I hear someone trudging to the restroom, luckily no eerie sounds, but all I could do was close my eyes while nursing a sore thigh.

Throb, throb, throb

The ponstan didn't take. My mind was restless, thinking about nothing and everything. I might have drifted somehow but I began to hear voices outside in the corridor. Soon hubby's alarm went off and it was time to get up. I reluctantly sat up, and then


That was my head.


The gang were getting dressed. It was decision time.


"You guys go on down. If I feel up to it, I'll have those 2 hard-boiled eggs for supper, then we'll meet up  outside."

"Are you sure?" asked one

"Are you sure?" asked another

"Yes, I haven't slept a wink and my head's thumping". The throbbing in the thigh seemed mild in comparison.

Off they went to supper.

I got up, took two paracetamol left over from my last root-canal treatment, opened the window louvres - aaah fresh biting-cold air, and put my head on the pillow to rest a little.

I went off like a light! What did you expect? It was almost 2 am - bed-time!

I awoke to the chirping of birds. It seemed like the most restful 3 hour sleep I had in ages. 

It was time for dawn prayers.

That was when the gang REACHED LOW'S PEAK!  YAY!!! So proud of them was I.

Through the cold and the pain and fatigue, THEY DID IT by sheer grit and determination!!! A man 58 years of age and 2 very young ladies! Congratulations and Jubilations!!!

 Laban Rata Resthouse - Kinabalu Base Camp

And so that was MY attempt at the peak of Kinabalu!

Not so inspirational huh? So let's take away that label off me and let me be an ordinary makcik again hehehe

The helipad on Laban Rata


NanaDJ said...

Never mind, try again another day (or in this case another time). The point is you did make a try. I dare not even want to try.
Never say die and never say never, atta girl!

tireless mom said...

Try again next time. No pain no gain.

mamasita said...

You were however their inspiration to conquer Mt Kinabalu??? Tu penting!

Congrats to RA and his beautiful daughters!
Okaylah..congrats to Slim Mama too!

Zendra-Maria said...

Thanks NanaDJ, you're all heart :) Next time I'll carry my grand-children to the summit, pssst... after arriving on laban rata by helicopter hahahah!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Zendra,
I'll gladly accompany you on the chopper ride. har har har *evil laughs*

Zendra-Maria said...

TM, how about - No (weight) gain no (thigh) pain? I think I should still shed some weight so my thighs won't protest should I make another attempt. And then take some whatever drugs like what my hubby spotted some matsalleh did during supper. Mengelatlah diorang..

Zendra-Maria said...

mamasita, I hope so lah I'm their inspiration but more likely not - they are all absolutely self-driven :D

Zendra-Maria said...

ooops thanks anyway mamasita

Cat...har har har let's go chop up a few mountain mice too, they are delicious so they say hehehe

what happened to the purrr meow? getting ferocious aren't we?

SMS said...

Tahniah! Even getting to Laban Rata is a big achievement by itself. Those are super strong legs, I must say.

Congratulations to the kiddos as well. I'm so proud to see them up there. They don't like like they were in pain at all (unlike me & fariz yg nampak macam nak collapse at any time)

Next: Gunung Bromo perhaps?

Zendra-Maria said...

Thanks Ina, am very proud of you and fariz too - boleh tahan juga cucu-cucu tokmi kan? So far about 10 of you guys have made it to the top including 3 uncles, plus 2 aunties to to laban rata.

Gunung Bromo? Jom!!! But where on earth is it?

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Zendra,
Come join me skiing this winter. Except that it's quite costly in OZ but NZ very cheap lor....Christchurch, Queenstown, Dunedin....lovely South Island. purrr....meow!

Tommy Yewfigure said...

Awww I really feel your dissapointment, so I shall refrain from rubbing it in, kenot be sooo mean all the time mah...giggles.

Like Franki Valli sang, "So close, so close & yet soooo far ahhhh"

Next time ok?


P/S - How come son #1 in KK did not join u guys?

PP/S - Wow that's a big walking stick u got there :)) Takut I, nanti kena belasah!

Zendra-Maria said...

Cat, in skiing no climbing is involved right? we just go downhill on 2 strips of wood and 2 tongkats. well, sounds like fun but you have some advantages, you have 4 legs and a tail as a natural tongkat, plus nine lives :)

Zendra-Maria said...

Hey Apek, if you don't get to bed right now, you'll get those hideous bags tomorrow hohoho!

Aiyah, my no 1 son was busy delivering babies at the hospital otherwise I could have asked him for some sleeping plls to knock me out before the summit climb. And then have him give me wake-up pills to re-energise me like those matsallehs did hehehe...

Actually the park authorities should organise day-climbs to the summit, then maybe just maybe I could just about make it hahaha

Tommy Yewfigure said...

Watching late nite Japanese sci-fi movie "Casshern", staying up for the Liverpool v A.Madrid semi-final mah..kekeke, sudah biasa night owl :)


P/S - Hehehe I'd always wanted to be a gynea too :))I love babies mah..kekeke

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Can't help it, love... I'm a blessed feline... purrr...meow!

Anonymous said...

,,,gunung tahan next ?. hehehe

Zendra-Maria said...

Tommy, errr are you sure you want to be a gynae? They only deliver babies as part of their job... not make them kekeke

Cat, what's a blessed feline who's not tasted mice?

,,,aah this anonymous is Capt Longhouse with the trademark commas preceding everything sentence - Gunung Tahan maybe I cannot tahan lah Tok

Tommy Yewfigure said...

Why lah u Zen, think of me lidat one? Did I tell u I worked in the medical centre ‘ER’ dept b4? I got the boot becoz I made too many ER..ror……hahaha.

Hey u know that verse ‘so close & yet so far’ I mentioned above, it brought back memories of the good old vinyl record 45 EP, (bet ur kids haven’t seen them b4) check this out;

My Eyes Adores You

Have a nice weekend nursing those aches…kekeke.


P/S – I didn’t want to play that song earlier coz I worry u & others might get the wrong idea that I carried your books from school…..muahaha. Jangan marah, joke2 aje.

Zendra-Maria said...

Gee Tommy, 45 EP's and 72? LP's hahaha
I bet you still remember the HMV gramaphone - woof,woof

Hey nobody would believe you carry my books - mana ada Malaysian schoolboy do lidat one? But actually I don't know, I went to all-girls' schools until MCE maaa - and the HM's were all stern and strict, tapi nice soppy song - if you not my twin horr, i sure get worried... ;)

Capt's Longhouse said...


,,,its the quality family time that you guys shall always remember forever and ever !...well done.

,,,next trip, over to kapas island, we have a small hill to climb too and the sunrise over the sea is just too beautiful to write plus the sunset....waaaduuuui !!
...Aziem will have lots of it..hihihi.
,,,60 houseguests just checked out another bunch checking-in later, just finished housekeeping and getting ready to pick-up the new group from marang. eeermmm !!

Wan Sharif said...

A brief quality time with your family that will be long remembered and cherished by everyone involved.
semuga Zen and Family happy sokmo..

P/s; your husband tu macam saya biasa lihat dan bertegur sapa di KLCC

Zendra-Maria said...

Waah can you really take in 60 house guests at the longhouse Capt? Spreading out the tikar on the balcony then?

Wow we can't wait to take up your offer to visit Kapas, I'll have to schedule everyone's holidays now to make it quality time for the whole family!!! :D

Zendra-Maria said...

Salam Wan, amin to your doa - I pray you and yours are happy sokmo too :)

Yes, my hubby knows of you - so you're right - he is who you think he is. Dia kirim salam and wish you success in your endeavours :)