13th December 2015, marks another big step for my best old buddy, Awg Alifirdaus Hj Hambrin who is turning 22 y/o. And for his present, today we embarked a memorable journey at Bukit Shahbandar, LOST.
430pm we entered Bukit Shahbandar to hike, not knowing what lies ahead in the future. Fully trusted my bud as he is more familiar with the place. My bud lead the way and we managed to go halfway through and we were in search of the next pondok, pondok 6. But then we have seem to lost our way when we found ourselves at a small river and he mentioned, “this river seems unfamiliar”. Reluctantly to go back the road, we place our bets looking for our own way, going into an seemingly unfamiliar and not ever a human being ever pass by the road.
It was around 6pm, we felt LOST, finding ourselves in puzzle, kept on meeting similar signs saying ‘pondok 6 & pondok 8‘ but differs in distances. Where the hell is pondok 7 ? Keep on meeting and going over a small river for almost 3 times. Keep on going up and down the hills. Then the time came around 6.30pm, where we met yet another small river, but this time he told me he’s tired, having palpitation that time, why not we stay the night or even shout for help. Seems to be on top of my head to shout for help, but given the option, continue the journey while there is still some light or rest. Given his instinct to follow the road noises, told him we should just continue before night falls. It was getting darker and darker, I can’t seem to have my vision clearly without my spectacles. Luckily he wore his contact lenses which he just bought the day before. With his better vision, he lead to continue our journey.
Our shoes were wet from crossing the rivers, soaked in sweat, cruising the forest, literally forest lies ahead, with twigs and trees branches keeps on hitting. Then there was that time when we felt really lost, whether we should go back the road or continue keep on climbing the unfamiliar hills; times when we rested our leg muscles; times when I say just continue our way though we were lost; times when we was thirsty wanting to drink the water from the river, but I warned him that he might get some nasty organism; times where I hold on to his shirt just to make sure we stay together. Keep on moving forward they say. Our next hope is to find a pondok, where we can rest or stay the night.
At some point, we found a marked trees, and we followed it, then we lost it, found it again, and followed the markings again. Thanks to that markings we found a pondok and it seems to be a familiar place that we passed by before. Told him we found some bees at that pondok place before we were lost. It was 7pm. Alhamdulilah, a pondok seems to lit our hope. The washed off map board was not helpful. Then there was the sign saying ‘pondok 8 153m and exit 382m‘. We kept on hoping, when we find the next sign, lets go for the exit. But this time, going by the exit sign, seems to go away from the direction of the road noises. We didn’t want to follow the ‘pondok 8’ sign as we afraid we might go in circle again. Fully trust our guts, then we decided to just follow the exit sign.
From then on, our light of hope just keep on getting brighter and brighter as we were walking down a familiar road, not just some unrecognized bushy hills. Met another 2 pondok where I believed to be the first 2 pondok that we would encounter at start; met the cemented staircase and from then on we descend down the stairs and make our way out of the dark forest, 7.45pm.
What helps the most was, being with my best old buddy at that time. We managed to keep CALM all the way, and keep on looking on the bright side that we will make our way out ! Best memoires; viewed best scene of city lights from far ahead, found a firefly in the middle of the forest, spent 3 hours in the forest, best record ever for us !
From this great yet crazy adventure, I can say that being CALM, have hopes, positive thinking, keep on moving forward and never look back and lastly be there always for your friend, are just as important to have in LIFE.
“Nothing beats nature” – Daus