Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Setia Alam Community Trail: A jaunt

Addresses are a funny thing in the Klang Valley. A new housing development might be nowhere near Kuala Lumpur, but the spin doctors will tell you that it's only 20 minutes away from KLCC (at 5 AM on a weekend maybe).

This is the case for mine and Enfant Terrible's neighborhood-to-be, where the developer is actually still building the roads (!) that lead in to it. Not that we're complaining, because we fancy that it'll be a nice, quiet place that attracts hobbit types like ourselves.

(One possible inconvenience is that no one seems to be able to agree on what district we're in. The land assessment fee is imposed by Kuala Selangor but the developer says our postcode will be that of Sungei Buloh, Shah Alam is just a turn-off away, and the ad promos say that it's a part of Greater KL, which is a whole other postcode. I think I'll hold off on the online shopping for the moment.)

Anyway, there are lots of green areas around our new place, which includes oil palm plantations and the Setia Alam Community Trail (apparently there are wild boars there?!). The idea was to find our way to Peak Garden at the top of the hill via the Alam Budiman end on the Good Morning trail, which was a barren, rocky, HOT entrance that led into what appeared to be a refuge for all the mosquitoes in Selangor.

The route. Theoretically.

We would've been just fine if we'd followed the map and stuck to the double-track trails (trails created by bulldozers and similarly sized heavy vehicles), but ET insisted on taking the single-track turn-offs (which are barely wide enough for one mountain biker/walker/runner/animal).

An off-road highway.

In my experience, single-track trails ALWAYS have thin whippy branches that are likely as not to have bits that stick to your clothes or poke you, or both. And that is exactly what happened to me.

At one point, I was almost certain that a branch that had poked me was actually steel wire. Currently, I have so many scratches on my lower legs that 50 Shades of Grey ain't got nothin' on me.

Once we were back on the right track, it was a simple but steep! trot to Peak Garden. The recent dry weather had turned the slope into something resembling Mount Doom. It'll probably be very interesting (muddy) after it rains.

The peak proper was kind of a non-event, as trees obscure the view, though there's nothing stopping you from walking past them for a look. Further up, or down the slope, as it were, is Peak Garden.

Vista of Greater KL.

Peak Garden is some kind of resting point for the motley crew you find on a trail, I guess. A sign hanging on the shack gave me the idea that 4x4 enthusiasts had built it (we encountered 4 trucks on our way there). There was a little terrace area and someone had planted bananas and pineapples on the slope. It looked idyllic, but seeing all the land clearing going on at road level, I wonder how long it will last.


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