Thursday, January 29, 2009

Penang - part 2

The Penang Hill hike

Mrs Samo and the Grinchskies

Approaching station 3

Naughty and the kidz

Dinner with the Goh family

Our second day in Penang was special. 
We set out to Tg Bungah to pick up our kids and made a pit stop at Fettes Park for breakfast. The pace here, well, was slow. 
It took nearly 10-minutes or more for our hokkien mee breakfast to be served. After filling up, we picked up our dogs from the boarding home.
The owner told me that Sir Clifford McNaughty and Dame Queenie was well-behaved. It was unsual, but I guess in their new environment, they have to adapt.
I found that the air-conditioned pen in the boarding room kinda helped. Naughty and Queenie shared their living space with four other dogs.
There is a long-stay guest at one of the pens. It was a black and white colored mongrel which was very timid. I learned that the pooch was boarding for 14 days. Fuah!
After picking up our kids and outfitting them with their ruffwear doggy packs, we shot off to Air Item to pick up Eric Yee, Michelle's best buddy's hubby.
Our mission was to trek up the Penang Hill via the moongate trail. It was a seemingly moderate trek that takes about 45-minutes.
Once we've arrived at the Penang Youth Park, we found a sign that says: "Di larang membawa anjing ke trek ini" (no dogs allowed on this track).
One corner of my mind told me to fuck it. After all, we've driven nearly 400 kilometres and took a five hours drive to be rejected? No way.
There are two stages in the trail. We need to reach a point of referece called 'station 3' where there is a rest area for hikers. 
Enroute to the station, we came across a group of hikers with a little pug. It was trekking off leash. 
Queenie made friends with the toy pooch while the more aggressive Naugthy observes from a distance. There were a pack of strays in the area too. I came prepared with OC Pepper Spray and my trekking pole. 
From station 3, we hiked to the peak in the area called station 5. This was our goal and we reached it in the speculated time.
The view here isn't as breathtaking as some of the previous hikes we've done, but well, we needed the activity to expand our doggy's energy.
From the peak, it was another 45-minute hike downhill. Now, if you are taking a leisurely stroll, its fine. But when a dog is pulling on the leash, the strain is on your toes (braking) and knees (controlling the descent).
This made me realise that I am not young anymore. Pushing forties, I think there's plenty to be done - especially managing my weight.
The descent was faster than I had imagined and the scorching weather in Penang didn't made it an ideal day for trekking.
Nevertheless, we've fulfilled our mission. The rest was history. Our journey back to the Goh's residences took a while because this island state was experiencing some heavy traffic jam.
And I must say that Penang drivers are absolutely fabulous. I mean, they put racetrack drivers to shame. They jump queues, perform maniacal stunts on the road and so on. 
We've made it back to Air Itam in time for lunch and Magdaline (Michelle's bosom buddy) mum had cooked up a storm.
And in days like these, you'd appreciate some good home cooking! The dogs looked very settled after the hike. I spent some time with them and the kids at the Goh's residence.
Later, we tried to bring the Grinchskies to a public beach, but our attempt was futile. We took them to back to the boardig home instead and I noticed that the kidz did not resist. 
Having them cared for overnight in a place far away from home came as a blessing in disguise. With the dogs properly settled, we had plenty of time to move around. 
The Goh family hosted dinner for us and well, it was time to part ways with our friends. Perhaps in a year or two, we will meet up again.
After the dinner session, I hooked up with my buddy CM Khor and his wife Suan. We went to a coffee shop for some drinks and chatter. 
Just minutes before midnite, it was time to hit the sack. Cos, the day after that, we had a long drive back to KL.
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