The hills of Broga truly are made for the romantic at heart. As the morning sun's rays peek through the gathering clouds set against the white mist shrouded valley, one couldn't simply help but imagine romantic couples sitting atop it's wind swept stones, cuddling against each other, the fires in their hearts warming their chilled bodies and looking into the distance, imagining wonderful possibilities and future adventures together in that great journey called, LIFE ;). If sitting here in front of the computer is enough for me to dream about this, think again as you stand among the tall stones high atop the hills, something which I did exactly this fine morning. It is my 3rd outing to Broga, having been there twice in the last year. In the 1st trip, I was primarily motivated by the simple innocent sense of adventure, exploring this nice new place some that I may add into my growing repetoire of hills, mountains and waterfalls I am have visit in this fair country of ours. The 2nd round, I was encouraged by the prospect of making new friends and strengthening the bonds of comradeship among the team of people whom I am beginning to count and consider as dear and close friends. This 3rd round however, I came with a somewhat heavy heart... loyalty and duty to a good friend the drive that powered my organizing this trip while lament and a little tinge of sadness the baggage that threatened to discourage me from actually coming in the first place. :) Successfully gathering a posse of 13 Trail Trackers (Aurelius, Linus, Carol, Dennis, Audrey, Chris, Henry, Annette, Nicole, Swee Min, Evian, Sum and myself), we set off from TTDI at close to 5:00am, a special 4 legged friend in tow (Footstool) courtesy of Linus Chung. We stopped by at our now regular mamak stall in Cheras for a quick breakfast before heading off to Semenyih at 6:00am in the morning.
Having breakfast at our friendly neighbourhood mamak stall...
Along the way, storm clouds seemed to threaten the event, forcing us to equip ourselves with rain coats and drawing cries of worry from first timers. However, the bulk of us were not perturbed. A little rain would hardly pose an obstacle to us 'veteran' Trail Trackers and the fact that the magic of Broga Hills can actually be enhanced by the 'after-rain' mist inspired us even more to take up the challenge. Not to mention of course the possibility that the now very popular hills will be less crowded by people with less of a stomach to drench themselves in rain ;).
The team gathers up for the trek ahead... Notice the newly minted couple at the back? ;) (So tight!) ;)
Arriving at the trail head near the rabbit farm, we find once more that there are still more of those with sturdier stomachs already gathered for the climb, cars dotting the surrounding oil palm estate. A little bit into the trail there is even now a makeshift stall, offering coconuts, soft drinks, mineral water and fruits catering to the growing number of weekend hikers coming to the hills!
Fruit and drinks stalls now have made their appearance at the starting trail... a sign of Malaysian entrepeneurship!
Strapping on my backpack, I powered up the hills, following Linus, Chris and Aurelius to the top. The trails were now very clearly defined with the added consolation of many people leading the way forward, therefore there is now little worry of people actually getting lost amongst the palm oil plantation and thus the need for close 'unit cohesion'. (I was pretty surprised though of being told that a group of would-be adventurers actually got themselves lost going up to Broga Hills a week before; perhaps they took the alternative, longer trek which required navigating to jungle, perhaps it could just be the 'Ghost' month? ;)) The couples, well... they took their time, obviously having other motivations beyond us singletons. Not that there is anything to rush either as dawn was already upon us as we set out.
Tracking about during the night in Broga is alot easier now than then... ;)
I was the first to reach the summit of the first hill among our group, newly 'carved' steps along the slippery slopes aiding my ascent greatly. The surrounding sights were still no less impressive, despite the noticable decrease in the density of the familiar long grasses that grew around the hills. Cool air was blowing up the hill although the much expected and hoped for mist didn't materialize. Still it was sufficient to draw down the temperature of my panting body. Linus came along with Footstool, Chris and Sum shortly after and together, we started memorializing the event by doing our fair share of camwhoring. ;) The sight of peeping rays of a rising sun through the gray clouds of a recent rainfall did not dissappoint and even I, a close to hopeless 'singleton' was drawn by the magic of the moment, my thoughts admitedly flying away into the wind to a land beyond the horizon. ;) Some dreams and visions were shared in that brief instant, technology now no longer a barrier to communication, although my rational mind urged time, consideration and understanding, reigning in for a briefest period, the flutter of my lonely heart. :) We visited the other hills after that, myself setting foot on the 3rd and 4th hills for the first time.
Arriving on the last hill of the Broga chain...
On the further most hill, we made a fool of ourselves, Linus as usual being himself as he mounted a naturally made stage comprising of boulders forming an outcrop overlooking all 3 lower hills, while Sum and I being the followers adding in a little bit of spice to his madness. ;) Dennis spent his time flying Audrey's kite while Aurelius, Nicole, Evian, Swee Min, Chris and Audrey sat atop the flat opening on the 4th hill, chatting, joking, exchanging recorded mp3 through handphones, occasionally joining Linus in his madness, playing with Footstool as well as reassuring the other alarmed looking visitors of it's non-violent nature.
The man and man's best friend :D (Sorry Lily)
Conspicuously missing were Henry and Annette, who we knew were down below having their share of 'quality' time together. ;)
Linus on the 'podium' doing what he does best, in this case, trying to shatter the quiet tranquility of Broga Hills...
Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight? - The look of an axe murderer...
Our members frolick while some are conspicuously missing... :)
Thunderclouds started to gather as the ninth hour of the first half of this fine Sunday approached, threatening to drench us in rain and accompanying lightning potentially turning Dennis's curly locks into a permanent Afro, as he seemed to be attempting to replicate old Ben Franklin's experiment! :) We headed down, stopping by the lowest hill to collect Henry and Annette who were huddled together among the stones, still enjoying the view. ;) Nearby, another couple in the throes of love sat, occasionally exchanging a passionate kiss.
A perfect place for couples
Ahh.... soooo romantic... ;) And thus, as we move down the hill, myself leading the way, and finding myself looking up the windswept hills... my mind allowed itself once more a brief moment of escape, to remember a time passed no so long ago... a time when I sat among the stones overlooking the valley below, wondering into the yonder of... "When oh when will the fates grant me the opportunity for me to share that magical moment of sitting with the someone I love among the green hills of Broga Valley, looking up into the sky, watching as the sun rise through the clouds and dreaming of what castles to build..."(Yeah I know it's kinda long but hey, it's a LAMENT... and laments can go on and on ya know... :p)
The lament of an eternal 'singleton'... who shall be my fair maiden? ;)
Congratulations Annette and Henry... You truly are a match made in heaven. Cheers and Godspeed! :D