Since long ago, I have this idea of round the Penang Island on foot. At first, the idea was merely a thought, but as time passes, it became a small dream of mine. If you ask me why would I have such dream? I would say that I want to experience something different. I jot down this trip of mine in this blog as not to prove anything, it is just a note to remind me of the crazy things I have done during my youth. Of course, it will be better if this little trip of mine can somehow inspire others. I told myself that I only live once, so I must live the way I want to and walk on a narrow path that was less taken.
Before I departed, I have made some preparations. I brought some buns, two tins of Red Bull, two raincoats, one notebook, wallet, mobile phone, tripod and camera with me. I glanced through the routes on Google Maps and jotted down the checkpoints that I will pass through for every hour. The original plan was to departed on 2 AM (to avoid walking on the mountain road at night) but I have departed 10 minutes earlier (cant wait for it XD). After 20 minutes from departing, I reached the flyover before the Queensbay roundabout. The above photo (Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway) was taken on the flyover. I have recorded the time (according to my camera time) in all my photos for a better understanding about the time taken for me from one point to reach another point.
The first Penang Bridge (5 KM) is the first checkpoint for the trip and I have used less than one hour to reach there, which mean that I have walked faster than Google Maps estimation. To tell the truth, I was actually a coward that was afraid of dark and ghost. So, one of the objectives of this trip was to overcome my fear (those who has watched horror movies with me should know how cowardly I was). During the first few minutes after departing, I was actually stress (all sort of horror scenes started to appear in my mind). However, after 10 to 20 minutes of walking, the fear that was built within me disappeared (and I ain't feel afraid for the rest of the trip). The thing is, one just have to face their fear to overcome it, but what I didn't expected was that I have actually overcame my fear in just few minutes!
There are cars along the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway that accompanied me throughout the expressway (Penangites really no need sleep one!). Of course, the motorcycle racing party came to join in the fun as well.
On the way, I saw a car with double signal parked at the roadside. This could be a really bad timing for a car to breakdown at a time like this.
I walked for about two hours and then I reached Karpal Singh Drive. I rest for about 5 minutes and jot down some notes regards my earlier journey. Then, I walked along Karpal Singh Drive and I saw people along the way (Penangites seriously didn't sleep one!). They were there for dating, fishing, chitchatting, and photographing.
At first I thought that I can reach further by passing through Karpal Singh Drive, who knows in the end I was back to where I came. This junction (flyover near Bali-Bali food court) is actually the second checkpoint for the trip (10 KM). By taking a mistaking route, I ended up reaching the checkpoint seven minutes later.
I reached George Town at 4.30 AM. The town was quite with no one around. The cars passing through were way more lesser than that of the expressway. Though I have ever stayed until late night at George Town, but that was during the deity's birthday celebration so the town was quit lively. This was the first time that I was in such quite George Town alone.
When I was near to Tan Jetty, I started to feel rain drops on my body. Soon, the drizzling rain started to pour down. At that time, the coffee stalls in front of Tan Jetty was already opened for business so I decided to have my breakfast at there. Surprisingly, just when I was about to sit down, the heavy rain poured down all over the place! I was really lucky to have went into the stall before the heavy rain come!
Soon after I sat down, ordered a breakfast and a kopi o, the sudden heavy rain was stopped! The heavy rain was at most last for three minutes only! If it was not a joke by the God, then he must be cleaning the road for my trip.
I don't really like the road after the rain as it was all wet with the dirty water. Certainly I will get my legs dirty when I walked on it.
It was already 5 AM when I reached this clock tower. According to Google Maps calculation, I should be reaching the protestant cemetery by now. The rain started to pour down again but it was not a big deal as it was just some drizzling rain. Thus I continued moving forward.
The rain is getting heavier as I continued walking. I stared to walk faster hoping I can find somewhere to hide from the rain. Soon, I saw a footbridge and I stopped beneath it. I took out the raincoat (luckily I have brought it) from my bag and wore it. Then, I continued walking under the rain. From time to time I passed through places with dim light. At that moment, I feel that I was pitiful. All the drivers that passed through me will stares at me at least once. I bet they were thinking that "wasn't that the Hungry Ghost Festival ended already?".
I reached Gurney Drive at 6 AM and the rain has stopped. I rest at there for about 10 minutes and do some record. Though the sky was still dark, there were some joggers jogged along the seaside already. After a four hours of walking, part of my legs were injured due to the friction between my legs and the slippers.
Precinct 10 is the fourth checkpoint of the trip. I was supposed to reach there at 6 AM but I was half an hour late. Before this, when I was resting at Gurney Drive, I have took off my raincoat as the rain has stopped, but when I reached here, it started to rain again so I wore back my raincoat. Afterwards, the rain stopped and then rain again and then stopped and so on. So I have decided to wear my raincoat all the time.
It was 7 AM now and the sky has it's light came through! It was still raining at that time and my camera was getting all wet (luckily nothing bad happened). I have reached the Penang Swimming Club by this time and it was the second furthest place that I have walked on Penang Island (the furthest one was when I walked to Gertak Sanggul). I still remembered that I came here to celebrate 【My Life Via Lens】 one year old birthday.
The following checkpoint is this Flamingo Hotel (23 KM). According to the plan, I should have reached here at 7 AM but I was late for about 20 minutes. According to the previous checkpoint, I have used less than one hour to reach this checkpoint, which means I was walking at a faster pace. Right now, my legs weren't feel so painful as I have get use to the pain. The troublesome thing was the rain as it was really inconvenience for me to take photo in the rain.
Have been walking for 23 KM, I started to feel slightly difficult to walk. So, I rested at somewhere along the way and ate two of my buns. As for drinking water, I do not bring any with me. At first, I was thinking of drinking a tin of Red Bull, but come to think of it I still have a long way to go so it is better to save it for later. I rested for 10 minutes and then continued my journey.
再往前走些就来到了丹绒武雅水上回教堂。遇见这间水上回教堂之前我对它抱有很高期望，遇见后就有点失望了，并没有我想象中的美。目前为止见过最美的回教堂（加上天空）是在玻璃市港口的Masjid Al Hussain。
Walking further down and I came to the Tanjung Bungah floating mosque. Before I met with this mosque, I have a high expectation towards it. After I met it, it turns me down as it was not as beautiful as I thought it would be. So far, the most beautiful mosque (with sky) I have seen is Masjid Al Hussain at Kuala Perlis.
Passing through the floating mosque and I came to the mountain road, which means that I have reached Batu Feringgi. The time was 8 AM, which according to the plan I was supposed to reach The Ship by now.
It was more difficult to walk on the mountain road, especially those road that were going up the hill. Thus, my walking speed has been pretty much slow down and I have dragged a lot of time at here.
The beautiful beach was seen on my right hand side along the mountain road. Too bad that I don't have the time to enjoy the beautiful scene.
Walking further ahead and I saw the so call Asia's first sea water adventure park, but to me it wasn't attractive at all. The ticket price for children is RM30 per two hours and Rm40 per two hours for adult. It was quite expensive.
Saw this safety mirror at the roadside and it is time for selfie! Though the road wasn't too long, yet I was starting to feel tired. The two most unfavorable things in a walking trip is the mountain road (the most difficult mountain road I have ever walked is the one going up to Air Itam Dam) and the super hot sun (the hottest sun of my walking trip is during the time I walked to Bagan Serai).
Soon after passing through the mountain road I came to the next checkpoint, The Ship (29 KM). I was one hour late than the planned schedule and the mountain road is the main factor that caused this delayed.
This may seem to be a normal bridge for many people, but for me it is a precious memory. Last time when I joined the She Fu camp, we have took a photo on this bridge. It really brought back the happy memory when I saw this bridge. By the way, I have never noticed that this bridge is actually located just beside Hard Rock Hotel!
I saw a helicopter parked on a opened field not far away. The helicopter doesn't surprised me as this is the rich people area and helicopter is just one of their toys.
Soon, I was back to the mountain road again. I saw a signboard on the way and it was written that Bayan Lepas is 37 KM away. I was thinking that perhaps I have been walking half of the trip already but when I checked back with my notes I just realised that I have another 10 KM to go to reach half the trip.
I was really tired to have walked 30 KM continuously. I saw this small shrine of Dua Pek Kong and I have rested a little at there. I ate one bun and drank one Red Bull. I looked at the sky and it seems like the rain has stopped for real this time and so I took off my raincoat. After rested for ten minutes, I bid goodbye to Dua Pek Kong and continued my journey. After I have left the shrine, I just realised that two more days later was actually the birthday of Dua Pek Kong. and I forgot to wish him a Happy Birthday. Oops~
After parting with Dua Pek Kong, I felt that my walking became easier. I was thinking was it that Dua Pek Kong has lend me some strength? But deep down I know that this was actually caused by my attitude. I was thankful for meeting with Dua Pek Kong and that gives me a positive attitude, which became a source of my strength.
In the end, I still have to face the reality. Just after a few minutes of walking and I began to slow down my pace. It was really hard for me to be optimistic under these circumstances.
On the way, I saw a small road that was connecting to the beach. Without a second thought, I walked towards the beach. When I reached the beach, I started to feel regret. The beach wasn't as solid as the mountain road and it was hard to walk on. But still, I was able to see the beautiful sea view and that was more than enough to keep me moving forward.
Saw these two dogs lying on the beach. They really know how to enjoy themselves!
After passing through the beach and a fisherman village, I came to the Teluk Bahang roundabout. I was really thirsty when I reached there so I have bought a 1.5 litter mineral water. At first, I decided not to bring water with me because it is inconvenience for me to carry it. But now, it seems that I really need some water as I was continuously dehydrating.
This toy museum is another checkpoint (34 KM). The plan was to reach here at 9 AM but I have been late for almost two hours. By the way, this is the third toy museum I have seen in Penang Island, the other two are at Acheen Street and Batu Feringgi.
Walking further a bit and I came to the ESCAPE Adventureplay Theme Park. This is one place that I have always wanted to go as it looks very challenging! However, due to the expensive entrance fee, I have yet to step foot into it.
Next to ESCAPE theme park is the Penang Butterfly Farm. I thought of two friends of mine who are really afraid of the butterfly when I passed through here.
Next to butterfly farm is the Teluk Bahang Forest Eco Park and I never knew it's existence! The weather started to turn hot and the water from the ground started to evaporate. The steam was making the temperature around to rise.
After passing the forest eco park, I have to walk on the slanting road all the way up to Teluk Bahang dam. It was kinda difficult to walk on the slanting road given my condition at that time. On the way, I saw two cyclists were doing their best cycling up to Teluk Bahang dam. When we cross each other, we looked at each other and smile. At this moment, a new thought came across my mind - hmm, maybe I should buy a bicycle next time.
This is the long slanting road that I was having a hard time with. While walking on it, I felt sleepy and I think it was mostly caused by the hot weather.
After 10 minutes of walked on the slanting road (but at that time I felt like I have took pretty long time!), I have finally reached Teluk Bahang Dam. I have came here once in the evening and I saw many people were jogging at there.
The weather at that time was very hot so I have decided to take a rest at the dam and make some notes for my earlier journey. I really felt like taking a nap when I sat down on the bench as the hot weather really made me felt sleepy! I rested for about 10 minutes and then I continued my journey.
I reached the end of the dam at about 12 PM, which is two hours later than the planned schedule. And yes, I was here meaning that I have completed half of my journey! I find it hard to believe that I have actually walked alone for 10 hours and the distance is twice of that of my furthest record. Some times I do really think that I am so strong that I will try the hardest to get the thing I want, yet this is my weakness as well as I don't care if I torn my body in the process.
Alright, let's stop at here for the part one. For part two, I will be walking along Balik Pulau, Teluk Kumbar, Batu Maung and then HOME SWEET HOME! However, the next half trip wouldn't be as easy as the first half. Both my body and mind have been extended to their limit in the second half trip.
The nightmare has just begun.
下篇 Part 2