Escapades: Broga Hill

Destination: Broga Hill, Semenyih
Date: 3 May 2015, Sunday
Total time spent on Broga: 4 hours
Photography Gear: Honor 6 Phone camera (9mp)
Difficulty: Easy for casual-to-seasoned hikers; Difficult for rookies.
I have a confession to make. I’m wasn’t very excited about this trip. For one, I was incredibly unfit. I couldn’t even go up a small slope in my college without panting like a dehydrated dog. That’s how unfit I am. So I was quite worried if I would die or at least comatose on the way up. Secondly, my sister is bringing her friends along. Look like a wimp in front of brats?! NEVER! 
Night outs the day before said hiking trip is a mistake. DO NOT. EVER. GO OUT ON LATE NIGHT BEFORE. NEVER. I ended up with only 2 hours sleep, with 1 hour being actual sleep. Needless to say, I woke up fresh as a zombie,craving for coffee.
After a cup of coffee and peanut butter toast, we set off. I think it’s about 4am-4:30am.
Moon on the way to Broga. Looks beautiful naked eye, but not so much in pictures.
Broga Hill is approximately 33km from Seremban, but because everyone is in zombie state, we drove extremely slow, probably about 80km/h. We reached the bottom of Broga Hill at about 5am. Sorry, zombie me isn’t really observant with time.
Once we reached the bottom, there will be an oil palm plantation/parking space. A woman in tracksuit and a smile, no doubt because of the visitors she’s getting, will collect RM2 as parking fee. Then someone, armed with a flashlight, will guide you to your parking.
Stretch before you go, especially if you’re not someone accustomed to this. Don’t bring too much stuff also. I brought a 2-liter bottle of water to share with my family (3 person including me). We still have half of it left by the time we left Broga. So, I guess it’s safe to say that 1 liter of water is enough, less if you’re going by yourself. Torchlight/ torchlight phone app is vital is you want to catch the sunrise. The trail is too dark and sometimes really slippery, especially if it was raining the day before like today.  There’s a stretch of uphill walking before reaching the actual foot of Broga Hill, so don’t waste your energy running up.
The journey was really a strain on my poor legs. Being top-heavy with tiny feet, it was a burden to carry my heavy-zombie self to the top. Remember the peanut butter toast? It’s now near the bottom of Broga. Gradually, everyone turned mono-syllabic. Ropes appeared somewhere in the middle to help the climbing, but with so many people tugging at it from different directions, it proved to be more of a nuisance to me than help. 
We reached the first peak of Broga (880ft above sea level) at about 6am. Ffffff, the crowd is no kidding! We were panting like mad, so we rested on the first peak while waiting for the sunrise. Besides fresh morning air, we also introduced an endless whiff of cigarette smoke into our lungs. Not one smoker, not two smoker, tonnes! I counted 5 at least, and let’s just say I have slightly better sight than bats. Please la. Don’t smoke in somewhere where hordes of people are gasping for breath. Please la. Be a little bit civic minded please.
Silhouettes against the mountains. 

Over-exposed photo of sunrise. First break of sunlight! 

Closup of sunrise

People everywhere! 

Morning mist.
Maybe it’s the weather, but sunrise is not as spectacular as rumoured. I was really disappointed. The sun remain hidden until the sky is fully bright, even then, there are only bits of yellow in the sky. The sun is still nowhere to be seen. By 7:30am-8am, we went on to the second peak (about 1000ft above sea level). The reason why we din’t go there the first place is that we thought it was difficult to go there and we would miss the sunrise by the time we decided to go there. But it was surprisingly easy! It took 10 minutes tops to reach the top. 

Second peak, here we come!

The view from the second peak was better than the first. Dewdrops hanging on the ends of lalang (wild grass); morning mist shrouding the cities below Broga; people milling and crowding on the first peak (scoff). The sun remain the same though. Not spectacular. 

Mist shrouding anything below

Sunrise from second peak
The hills are alive, with the sound of music.
I couldn’t go on to the third peak. My legs aren’t really wobbly, but they aren’t feeling super either. Besides, they always say that we have to leave something for next time right? 
Being in a charitable mood, I fed mosquitoes for a while while waiting for the rest of the brats to get down from the 3rd peak, We headed down at about 9am. By then, even the second peak has become crowded. Although it’s bright when we set out downhill, it was quite a challenge to go down as well. It was slippery, it was crowded; the ropes din’t help either. BUT if you’re used to hiking, this is easy. Kids were racing down with each other. That’s how easy it was. 
Just before the old palm plantation, stalls were everywhere. Wares ranges from kuih-muih (local cakes), drinks like coconut, sugarcane, syrup bandung and T shirts (RM12/each). Toilet lines are insane! At least those people din’t pee in the bushes. 
What to bring: 
– Torchlight
– Water, not too much
– Newspaper to line car seats.
– 100 plus or any electrolyte replenishing drinks
– Good pair of shoes. A lot of shoe soles laying around= people lost their soles.
– Mosquito repellent
– Extra T-shirt to change
Total expeditures:
RM2 for parking.  
Final note: 
Overall, it was quite a good experience. There’s a Chinese proverb that said “you can only see the best of people in the worst of times“. It wasn’t far from the truth. People helped one another to go up. Along the road, you can hear encouragements from people that are resting at the sides. If you feel sick like I did, someone will always look at you with enquiring eyes in typical Malaysian kepohness (nosiness). Some would even offer chocolate or water depending on your luck.
As usual Malaysian fashion, people can’t resist throwing trash on the ground. On the way back, there are plastic bottles and food wrappers littered everywhere. Preservation of the earth yo! It would also be a better experience if there weren’t smokers. It’s already very difficult to breathe for us rookies, adding the smoke, it was hellish.

Even after I reached home, there wasn’t much sore. I could still go about my usual activities, no problem! Only places I felt really unbearable was my knee, so I would advise those with knee problems to train a bit or find some solution to lessen the burden before conquering Broga Hill.

Ratings: 4/5 stars Deducted points for the amount of rubbish found on the hill and the smoking crowd. It’s also quite crowded when I went, so it added a bit of challenge on an already difficult challenge. 

Would I go again? Definitely! For one, it’s great exercise. I would like to try to come here on a weekday next time to see if I can have the view to myself. Next time, I would conquer the third peak!
That’s all for now. Thanks for reading!
April 9, 2015
May 13, 2015

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