Friday, November 27, 2009

Penang Bridge Marathon 2009 (5)

Leisure Travel and Penang Hill

Sunday 22 November 2009
After the run, we returned to B-Suite hotel at around 8am; refreshed and rest, and we were ready to start our leisure travel at 10:30 a.m. With the main navigator, Alexis, and the co-navigator, Josie, we started our travel to Gurney Drive area hunting for the famous Penang hawker food.

Sight-seeing at Snake Temple ... Josie

Equipped with a map (that cost me RM 30) and another map from the hotel, we started our ‘expedition’ quite excitedly in two cars. The other car, a brand new dark-blue Toyota Altis, was driven by Cheah. We started from Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah and after a while, we realized that we were lost. Instead of joining to Jalan Gelugor, we were traveling on Jalan Jelutong, heading to different area.
Savouring the yummy ice chendol

We went round and round not able to connect the road on the map with the actual location. Finally, after two hours of ‘groping’ (now in bright daylight), we finally get to have our lunch. Hmmm … the food in Penang tastes superb; possibly we were also hungry after the run.
Swift operation management -- The owner is busy dishing out orders non-stop!

Alexis took another great effort to locate the famous ice chendol which is near to Komtar. From the road sign, it reads: Lebuh Keng Kwee, off Jalan Penang. My first impression from far was that why would there be so many people standing at a back lane? Was there a commotion? Later, I was also one of them standing there savoring the delicious ice chendol.

Alexis at Gurney Drive. Lots of development with high-rise buildings around this area.

While Josie’s group went to Kek Lok Si temple, we spent the late afternoon in Gurney Plaza shopping complex (along Gurney Drive) as it was drizzling outside. We later have our early dinner at the famous hawker centre near the roundabout of Gurney Drive. In the evening we went to Batu Ferringhi beach for an evening walk at the pasar malam there. There were not many people around as it was still drizzling in the evening.
Yours truly (KC)

Monday 23 November 2009
The thought of going up Penang Hill after the Penang Bridge run must be quite intimidating; finally, only Alexis and yours truly (both EBC certified trekkers… ahem!) took the challenge again. I believe it has to be a hybrid of runner and trekker in order to go up the Penang Hill after the run.

We arrived at the Botanical Garden at 7am, the starting point of the route to Penang Hill. The terrain is divided into three tiers with the first and last tiers in steep slopes. It was a pleasant morning with the cold breeze gently blowing and the air was fresh.
Lots of power is required to overcome the steepness

The first rest area is labeled as Location 46, what a unique identification. At the first tier of the hill, we could still see a few persons walking down the hill. At mid-hill, certain part of Penang Island was visible from the unblocked view. Most of the time, the route is devoid of people. While on the way up, we saw three cyclists going up the hill in mountain bicycles. For once, we walked almost of the same pace as the speed of the cyclist. At the mid-hill, there is a run-down shelter labeled as 84 and without any people.
The final stretch before arriving at the peak of Penang Hill

We arrived at the peak at 9am after walking for two hours and after having scaled 800m above sea level. We walked around the Penang Hill areas enjoying the scenery and the cool fresh air. We later went for a refreshment break at the stalls there. The laksa was good and cost only RM 2.50 per bowl though the quantity of the noodle was very much less. Alexis ordered a second bowl and the owner quipped, "Boleh sakit perut!" (can cause stomach ache). The teh tarik from one of the stalls (second from left) was superb – the drink was strong with rich-flavoured brew laced with condensed milk for a creamy taste. It was indeed a good feeling having our refreshment there after walking all the way up to Penang Hill.
The serene peak of Penang Hill

The Penang Bridge is at the background. In the early hours of the run on Penang Bridge on Sunday, I could see light from this direction.

ahh... there is a tram arriving!

Lots of tourists in Penang as it is the start of a long, year-end school holidays.

Good choice -- The photographers have a field day shooting flowers, insects, scenery and model.

Since we were rushing for time, we run down the hill starting at 10am. Going downhill with steepness involved internal braking system in the leg muscles. We have to be careful not to injure our knees. We tried a few methods to avoid forward and direct movement. Alexis devised a method that walked sideway somewhat similar to the movement of a crab: a mixture of lateral movement while on a forward and downward advancement. The movement looked amusing! I did try walking backward which caused a bit of disorientation. Nevertheless, it took us only 50 minutes to return to base. Timing: Ascent = 2 hours; descent = 50 minutes.

Alexis running down the Hill
Maybe next time, we can try the trekking trail. But we need assistance/guide from the trekkers in Penang. [If you are familiar with the trekking trail going up Penang Hill, appreciate it if you could contact me… thanks]

A strategically located bungalow overseeing the horizon and the Penang island
The way up Penang Hill

Written by KC

1 comment:

May Ching said...

i salute - good time for penang as well as you managed to FIND the chendol place!!! the restaurant next to it served good CKT.. and i agree, i also saw penang hill on the bridge during the run.. it was a good trip and looks like the high altitude training did u well :-).. u going to SCSM?