Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Mossy Forest of Gunung Irau, Cameron Highlands

Gunung Irau stands at 2110m in Cameron Highlands, Malaysia. There is a boardwalk which leads in and ends and then the path continues. The trek is 2.35 km and can be completed in 2-3 hours by a fit person.

This hike was organised by Richard Lim for Go Hiking meetup group. The plan was to hike G. Irau on Saturday and then G. Yong Belar on Sunday. I had every intention of doing both, so I eagerly trained by climbing stairs and going on long hikes on weekends. There is no underestimating these things. I had in my mind that it was ok not to summit these mountains if I couldn't.

We reached G. Irau late morning due to a series of unfortunate events stemming from the previous night (the overnight coach got into an accident even before leaving Singapore! and then we couldn't enter Irau because a VIP was there.) Nonetheless, everyone has had a good breakfast, coffee and everything.

Gear I bought with me included: 

1) Disposable rain coat
2) Gloves (one that covers the fingers and all, and good for grabbing trees and roots, and ropes)
3) Cap
4) Small first aid box containing tweezer, bandages and disinfectant
6) Trekking pole.
7) Whistle
8) head torch
9) food -- apple, nut bars, breadbuns, powdered energy drinks
10) water 1.5L
11) warm coat with inner warm layer and outer waterproof layer.

It was a cool day, rather cloudy with some passing light showers. The trek starts on a boardwalk which can be a little slippery. Then the boardwalk ends and the walk into the deeper parts of the mossy jungle begins.

The path is narrow, crisscrossed with tree roots with few clearings. It is an uneven path with hardly any flat straight ways -- you are either moving up or down, stepping on tree roots and boulders. The trekking pole is of no use to me and I kept it so I could grab the roots and tree branches. Due to the rain, the path is muddy where it valleys between up and down slopes forming rather deep pools of peat mud. These mud pools must be traversed with care, either by inching along the edges or by balancing and stepping across fallen logs and branches.

The guide advised looking ahead and planning a few steps ahead. I observed that came naturally to him and some other native hikers that passed us by. Me? I was stepping in all the wrong places and was muddied from all the mistakes.

There was no relief, it was either up slope or down slope, some of them were quite steep though not very treacherous. It was a full body workout.

G. Irau has a "mini summit" just before the real summit. Due to the time crunch, most of us aimed to reach at least the mini summit, though a few of the seasoned hikers went and got to the real summit.

I aimed to just enjoy my surroundings. And I try to remember that. It is easy to want to chase after others. I was about 10 mins from the mini-summit (according to the guide) when I decided not to continue the climb and start making my way down. I know I would be slow in coming back, and so I decided to turn around. There was a part of me that wanted to push on.

I stopped, ate, drank and decided not to go on. It bothered me that others seemed to be breathing easy and I seemed to having a hard time. Early on the trail the guide said that I seemed rather anxious, that I needed to be a little more relaxed. It was something I didn't realize -- maybe I was just too anxious and occupied with the make-it-or-not thoughts.

I gathered my thoughts up and decided to just enjoy my trek back to the start. The forest is beautiful, there was a little sun coming in as the early afternoon breaks the moist air. There were periods of mist that transformed the surrounding jungle into a seemingly magical place like the kind of places one reads about in fantasy novels. There's the tip tap sound of water dripping off the edge of leaves and moss. There's a beautiful absolute silence that can be heard, and when you  are alone, it's you and it's all that is around you.

I made my way back slowly, back through the ups and downs. I was slow that those ahead coming back were beginning to pass me. And I'm feeling the exhaustion, because I could feel my sense of balance begin to leave.

Just before I got back onto the boardwalk leading back to the entrance, I threw up. Was this already too hard? Was I having altitude sickness? Maybe. I felt mostly out of breath, my muscles were sore but I wasn't feeling tiredness in them. I decided the next day's climb was off for me, a decision I didn't regret because the next day's trek would be a longer and higher one.

Lessons and notes:

-- I reckoned I should have lightened my pack further. I wondered if I carried too much food, or if my bag could've been lighter, or I could've gotten a lighter coat...

-- I think I should've taken more fluids and snacked more as I walked but the path was rough, and one forgets these things as one tries to keep up. 

-- I probably need to build up my core strength more.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Gunung Angsi (Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia)

Gunung Angsi stands at 825m in Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia. The trail begins at Ulu Bendul Recreational Forest and ends at Bukit Putus (Jalan Kuala Pilah road), with a total distance of about 12 km. I went with 39 other hikers from Hiking Trekking and Traveling Buddies, our group was a nice mix of beginner, moderate and expert hikers.

In preparation for this climb, I've spent my weekends hiking on nature trails locally or climbing stairs with a loaded backpack.

Gear I bought with me included: 

1) Disposable rain coat (much always prepare for rain when you go into a rainforest)
2) Gloves (one that covers the fingers and all, and good for grabbing trees and roots, and ropes)
3) Cap
4) Small first aid box containing tweezer, bandages and disinfectant
5) Off insect repellent (I never use this but they are good on leeches.)
6) Trekking pole.
7) Whistle

Sustenance include: 2 bottles 500ml of water, pocari powder, 4 packets of milo drink (200ml each), sneakers bars, an apple, some mini hotdog buns.

The trail started along side a river. It was a gentle and easy walk on flat trail alongside some piping for the first part (approx 2-3km). I moved at a leisurely comfortable pace because I didn't want to repeat the mistake I made of going too fast and running out of energy at the steeper sections nearing summit. There were a few little streams to cross which should is of no difficulty if you have water resistant shoes and a trekking pole (and a good sense of balance and judgement).

At a rest point hut, we took a little break. We viewed the running river with its small waterfalls around large granite boulders.  We hopped around some rocks to enjoy looking at the zen-like pools and flowing water. I am always wary on rocks; most of them were dry but the shiny dark ones were super-slippery.

We moved on a little bit and came to a river we had to cross. It was about knee-deep. Again, one can efficiently hop across rocks to reach the other side nice and dry if one is agile enough. I was bit overly confident as most of the rocks looked dry. I did end up with wet feet slipping off a slippery piece despite having buddies trying to help me across. I guess I should never have doubted my own clumsiness.  Most of us made it across without incident. Anyway, I took off my shoes, squeezed out as much water as I could, squeezed the water out of my socks, put them back on and went on.

River crossing
I was wary of leeches but there were none. It was probably already the dry season for this region, as the ground seemed mostly dry.

We were also aware that some of our friends were stung by bees and wasps the last time they were here. There were indeed some bees and wasps around, not swarms as I had imagined, but still, a few of us were stung this time.

We went on from this main river crossing, and then the trail began to gently slope and then descend a bit to a small stream which no one had any problems crossing (not even me.) After that, the climb began. 

The climb towards the summit is a trail type reminiscent of Bukit Timah steps as most jungle mountain upslope trails are. One up is equivalent to two or three steps of a typical concrete stairway.  The steps are quite defined, formed on the clay-soil trail by erosion and tree roots growing on the side of the mountain.  It would've been muddy and slippery if it was a rainy day. I made my way at slow and steady pace, I was careful not end up panting and out of breath.

Our group began to spread out with each making progress at his or her own pace. The path up is a straight and very defined one. We saw a sign before a steep climb that stated "60mins" to summit, but it's not a generous estimation.

Underfoot, along some of the exposed tree roots, there were lines -- armies of ants moving with seemingly determined purpose. The hard-looking little black ants moved in lines of 2-3 up to 5-6 lines on thicker roots. I watched where I stepped as I didn't want to put my foot (or hand) down in their path. I don't even want to risk brushing against them. I was quite sure they would swarm quickly and bite most viciously.

Uphills are always challenging for me, but just took it one step at a time, not really thinking of the end just figuring out how to get a few steps ahead, then a few more...etc. It was a sort of puzzle to look and figure out the easiest way up -- making my way by smaller steps up was less tiring then bigger up-steps. At one point, a bee gave me lots of encouragement by buzzing around my head. After a while it left me alone.

We reached some sandy boulders which were a sign we were almost at the summit. (It would take another 30 minutes). There are ropes on this sandy boulder for hikers to haul themselves up. There are two sides -- a left one was to go up on a rock then a rope up to the path to continue, the one on the right was a easy rope up and then a hop across a gap. But both seemed equally challenging to me. I took the one on the left with a lot of help. Hike buddy Noel gave me a leg up and pushed me up while another, Robin waiting above grabbed my hand and helped pull me up.

After this, we traversed shortly along a narrow cliff side, down a sandy boulder bit and right back on the trail. We met another group of hikers who told us that the sandy boulder have gotten more difficult to climb due to erosion. We chatted with them a bit as we went on together for a while.  The other hiker said he was always glad to have company and said he enjoyed having people to talk to on the trail.  It makes it easier to put tiredness out of one's mind.  He said that hiking should never be done alone, with company you would be less afraid and it is easier to overcome challenges. I don't talk much, I kinda enjoy just listening sometimes.

And we went on up and up. Finally, the summit (after approx 3.5 hours)-- a nice flat clearing with some benches and a shelter and nice view of the surrounding green mountains on one side, a view of a town below on another side. Everyone made it. We sat down, rested and took our lunch. I had finished all the milo, two buns and the apple I brought, and finished one bottle of water too. The sun was out, so I took off my shoes and sun my socks and feet. They were only damp by this point.

We ate, took photos and then began the descend, a different way down (thank goodness -- I would dread going back down those sandy boulders). The trail down is quite gentle and easy,  with some sections requiring some care, but the "steps" down were not too steep. Some parts were a sandy and slippery.  I used my trekking pole for aid from here on. The downhills were always when things begin to hurt and I began to think that perhaps I should have brought my knee guards. My feet ached a little too.

It was a pleasant walk down for most part. It was getting quite sunny but one had the shelter of trees and the trail was nice to walk on. (No roots to trip over.) There were a few beautiful butterflies -- I didn't have a camera to capture these so I just looked at them as they fluttered by.  Green-blue ones, orange ones with spots, swallow tails...etc.

End of the trail was a flight of concrete stairs down to a small road where a coach will come pick us up and take us back to Ulu Bendul entrance where there are bathroom facilities for washing up. About 2pm, all of us had made it to the end of the trail (less than two hours from summit). Waiting for the coach, I finished the last of my water and enjoyed the chatter and presence of fellow hikers.


- Ought to have at least used a stick for aid when crossing river.
- I have a genuine fear of losing balance and falling, especially when going downhill.

Other blogs to read about hiking Gunung Angsi:

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Provincetown, Cape Cod (Part III)

I walked down the main street, reached the end of it and walked on down a street of houses. There was a birthday party. There was a barbeque. There were old people sitting out, having drinks and talking. The street was narrow, the cars that go by were cruising slowly beside pedestrians like myself. No one was in a hurry or impatient.

I got to the end of it and I saw this granite ridge like the breakwater we have along east coast but this one stretches out towards an island with a lighthouse. And people were walking across it to get to the other side.

The way consists of stepping from rock to rock. And while they were all close together, there were still gaps and unevenness in some parts after the midway. Most people, even the elderly shouldn't have a problem if they are sure-footed, but some may need help stepping across some gaps.

It took about 30-45 minutes walk the entire length of this.

I took my time with this, stopping to take photos, just looking out towards the sea, breathing the fresh cool ocean air and enjoying the sunshine.

Such a beautiful pallet of colors to look across.

I didn't have time to explore the island which I very much regretted. I would have liked to go explore that lighthouse but I would've missed my boat back to Boston if I did!

Until next time. :)

Monday, June 2, 2014

Provincetown, Cape Cod (Part II)

From the top of the Pilgrim Monument, I could see the coastlines and the one east that stretches out thin to towards an island with a lighthouse.

I made my way down the monument and proceed to make my way there.

It was about noon and the sun was all out and the skies were blue but the breeze was cool and it was a pleasure to walk. I made my way down to the beach area and walked along it.

Colorful pebbles and seashells were at my feet. The sand was soft. The waters were so blue.  Not much litter. Very unlike the typical Singapore beach back home, where the water is oily and oil stains marking tidal lines on the sand and there's broken glass and plastic bottles everywhere. Even closed off beach sites on Singapore were dirty and full of litter from passing ships. I breath in the fresh cool air here, enjoying all of it because, as clean as Singapore is, our beach is quite badly polluted.

I walked pass houses, cottages and inns. How pleasant it would be to spend a few days here in one of these beach cottages or inns! I vowed to do it the next time I return. I am sure I will. But I am reminded of a friend who said to me; he said, "there are many beautiful places in the world. It seems a waste to visit the same place twice." It is because one should try to visit as many places as possible when one is alive. But I didn't exactly finish experiencing this one. I was beginning to feel sorry that this was a mere day trip.

To be continued....

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Provincetown, Cape Cod (Part I)

When I knew I was going to Boston this year for a conference, I already had in mind to visit Cape Cod when the work part of the trip is over. Cape Cod is a land mass that stretches out towards the Atlantic Ocean. It's a bit way south of Boston city. There are many towns on Cape Cod itself, and the one at the far east tip is Provincetown.

 I was hoping to visit Cape Cod with HVP but she had to work that day. I wasn't sure to go or not. The weather had been iffy -- there had been forecasts of possible thunderstorms and the skies had been full of low clouds the past week I was there. HVP told me there was a train that could take me there and I also found out one could get there by ferry. I decided to take the ferry as I think I would like that over sitting in a train.

The round trip ticket for the fast ferry to Provincetown is $88 USD.

It was a pretty chilly morning when the ferry left Boston Harbor for Provincetown. I came out and looked around. Boy, was the sea winds cold. I went to the top deck and could hardly take it.

The ferry left Boston at about 9 am and arrived at Provincetown at 10.30am. It turned out to be a really beautiful blue sky day and the sun was out. It was still nice and cool. There was quite a lot of people but everyone was just strolling and enjoying themselves looking at the stores or just hanging out and chatting outside the stores and houses.

I walked about the main street where all the stores and eateries are. There are tourist stores carrying all sort of souvenirs and T shirts, and a lot of stores selling artware of all sorts -- paintings, clayworks, weaves etc etc. After walking for about half an hour to 45 minutes, I took a simple lunch at a hamburger stand.

After that I decided to make my way to the Pilgrim Monument.

The Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum is situated on top of a small hill. The monument stands at 252feet (76.8 meters). The granite structure was completed in 1910 to commemorate the pilgrims' first landing on Cape Cod in 1602.

When I reached the entrance of the monument grounds, I was glad to learn that one can climb to the top. It's a series of steps (116) and ramps (60) gently spiral all the way to the top. Along the way, there were plaques with names of cities and their founding dates. These are also cities and towns which have contributed to the building of this monument.

I was glad to find that the way up was quite easy. And it wasn't very narrow which made it easy to pass by other people when going up or down. Along the way up, there are a few barred windows to look out of. 

About 10-15 minutes, I reached the top and was rewarded with beautiful views of Provincetown and its surroundings.

(To be continued..)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Gunung Belumut -- A Challenging Experience.

Gunung Belumut is a mountain peaking at 1010m situated near Kluang in Johor, Malaysia. The trail leading up to it is about 6km. The total distance ascend and descend was about 12.5km.

 A hiking group had organized a climb to the mountain. Organisers had clearly warned on their webpage that the trail can be steep and tough, and is not suitable for inexperienced hikers. Me and my two friends SF and AC joined 37 other hikers from Hiking Trekking and Traveling Buddies meetup group, many of whom we have been acquainted in past hikes.

The group is made up of people who are fairly active and enthusiastic weekend hikers.  We've been to a few hikes in Malaysia, and my friends have hiked mountains in other countries. For myself, I've regularly hiked 10-15km in the various pockets of green reserves and parks in Singapore.

We met up at 5.30 am at Marsiling MRT to take the coach over the causeway and towards our destination. I had a fairly heavy breakfast consisting of two boiled eggs, a quarter loaf of bread, coffee and milo. I also packed sandwich to eat on the bus.

My backpack consists of a raincoat, 1.5 liters of water (3 bottles, each 500ml), a first-aid box containing bandaids of few sizes, a disinfectant, panadol and carbon pills and lunch. My lunch was a few cereal bars, two snicker bars and an apple. I had with me 5 packs of Pocari ion-supply drink mix. (1 pack could be mixed in with 200-300ml of water to make isotonic drink.) I brought my gloves, a hiking pole.

We crossed customs at about 6.30am. The busride was about 2-3 hours. I ate my sandwich just about half hour before we got to the destination. We reached Belumut base at about 9 am. We were briefed. Two local guides were to accompany us, one leading and one sweeper. 2pm was the turn-back time. The forest would be dark by 6pm.

The trail started easily enough. The path was clear and pretty straight. Nonetheless, I nearly wrenched my ankle because of a root. Rainforests paths are often covered over with treeroots and slippery wet leaves. We reached the first checkpoint after 45 minutes and were told that that was just the warm up.

After that, the climb started getting steep. The steps quite resembled the Bukit Timah Hill steps except that these steps were formed by treeroot and natural erosion. At near Checkpoint 2, I was already tired and lagging far behind. Maybe I should've paced myself better. My friends had to go forward or else they may not be able to reach the peak in time. There was supposedly a slower group behind me that I could wait for. (But I never saw them.) I chose to go forward at my own pace. The path all the way to summit is a very clear one, with no misleading sidepaths to get lost on.

 I was starting to resign at this point that I might never reach the top, so I might as well just enjoy the scenery -- the beautiful misty surrounds, the tall trees, the large and colorful variety of mushroom and fungi growing on fallen trees. It was wonderfully silent except for the song of forest crickets. I reached checkpoint 2 (3km). It was about 10.30-11 am. One more hiker had passed me and there was no one else behind. I haven't see the sweeper for a while and just continued walking.

After checkpoint 2, it was really hard. There were stretches of hard climbs. I had read that the slopes were 70-90 degree inclines. Now I saw it for myself. It took large steps and a lot of tree and root grabbing to haul oneself up the steeps. It was slightly slippery due to the clay-mud type of surface. Some parts had ropes but mostly not. I kept my hiking pole and put on my gloves to concentrate on this task. The sweeper was now in front of me, guiding my steps. It was still like some kind of puzzle to figure out where to put one's foot. I had to stop many times to catch my breath. And I took my water by sips as I had to make it last till I get down. At this point I was afraid it was going to rain and make things even more impossible.

Instead it seemed to get brighter. It was nice and cool, but the climb was becoming very hard. I was reaching checkpoint 3, I could hear some voice of those further up. It must be close, I thought. It was about 11.40am. I looked up and there was more steep "steps". It's only up to there, I told myself. Maybe as SF cautioned, I shouldn't have looked. It was terribly intimidating. The sweeper waited, offering a hand. I did take it but it was more of support as I didn't really want to completely let him pull me up. I wasn't a light weight (~65kg).

Every time I stopped I could hear myself in my head, what are you doing here? This mountain is too high. This is too difficult. You can't do this. You're too tired. You should've trained harder. Really cannot make it. Etc etc. There was also "are you just going to waste time standing here wallowing in self pity or are you going to move your legs?"

When I got to checkpoint 3 which was a small clearing. I wonder if I should just stop. But then why I did I just go through climbing all those steeps just to go back down? It was about noon. Is it wise to go on? I'll just walk; if by 1 pm I was not up there, I will turn around, make my way back. There were no more very steep slopes, so the sweeper went off ahead and I was alone again.

Just keep walking.

At about 12.30 or 12.40pm or so, I started meeting people coming down. I was glad to see them, it might mean I was getting close. They always tell you, you'll get there soon. You tell yourself, you'll get there soon.

I reach the clearing.. the false summit. That's about 5km. After that, one turns left down a small path and then a narrow way up. It wasn't steep anymore but I was tired. I was meeting more people on their way down. All of them cheered me on. SF and AC were just leaving as I got to the top at about 1.15pm. The lead guide was with me and took a picture of me standing by the marker.

I climbed up a rock to take a view. It was a cloudy day, couldn't see far and so there was not much to see. I rested for about 15 minutes, I ate two cereal bars and one sneakers bar and had finished one bottle of water. (500ml). I could never eat after a hike which was probably not a good thing. Food = energy.

1.30pm: the lead guide and I made our way down. I absolutely dreaded it, just not looking foward to going down those steep sections. It's far worse than climbing them -- in fact climbing them was quite fun even though it was very hard for me.

I caught up with my friends at the steep downs towards checkpoint 3. The descend was hard for everyone because a wrong foot hold means a nasty fall. Roots criss-crossed, slippery terrain, there were few comfortable even landings. Both lead guide and sweeper were with us.

I slide down the slopes when I could. It isn't safe to do that too much as the way was uneven and full of protruding objects like little rocks and roots. I was getting too tired. I stopped a lot to catch my breath. My friends asked me if my legs or ankles were hurting.. It wasn't that, it was that I couldn't really seem to move them properly. I starting to fear falling because my legs didn't seem strong enough to hold up when I stepped down. It seems they had a tendency to simply give way.  The lead guide was now with me. He said I had to take smaller steps, let my friends go forward.

Between checkpoint 3 and 2, it was very hard. Back to the very steep parts. I had a feeling my legs were not exactly there anymore and any step I took  however small was going to send me falling head first. I held on to trees for dear life as I stepped carefully down. At this point, it was a lot of "I probably shouldn't have gone all the way up there. I shouldn't even be here." I rested a lot. At one point I realize I might be starving, but it was a dull sort of realization because I wasn't hungry but my gut sort of hurt. I ate an apple and a few more bars. Finished half a bottle of water.

The lead guide chatted with me, telling me it will be easy when we get to checkpoint 1 but that was about an hour away. At my pace, would it be 2 hours? He told me not to worry and just concentrate on where to put my feet. I was falling down a lot due to fatigue. I wrenched my ankle about two more times on the way down. It's a miracle I didn't even tear a ligament. "You are just too tired." he said. "Don't worry they will wait for you." He offered to carry my bag but I said no, it wasn't heavy. Not anymore, since I've already finished two bottles of water.

I felt really bad I was probably keeping everyone else waiting.

Got to checkpoint 2 and both lead guide and sweeper was with me. I was wondering if everyone back at the coach would just leave if it got dark. After all, there was a time schedule for dinner and such. I wouldn't blame them if they'd left. What would be the sense of waiting for one person who underestimated this climb?There were other nonsense thoughts such as wondering if there are tigers about or what would one do if one gets stuck here when darkness falls.

The descend wasn't so steep anymore, but legs were still not properly supportive when I stepped down. I sometimes stood at a step for what seemed like ages until I was sure they were going to hold up. It's like I had keep telling them what the next step was, or else they might just not be working when I land a step.

We reached checkpoint 1 at about 5pm. I was nearly out of water. There was about 200ml left. But after checkpoint 1, it was a whole lot easier as the path was back being straight and flat. I still nearly fell a few times because my sense of balance was apparently not working properly. I didn't feel dizzy though. It was still some way back to the entrance. It took about an hour.

I was cheerfully greeted by everyone by the time I got back to the coach (~5.45pm). I thanked both guide and sweeper because without them I probably wouldn't have survived the way down. I am very grateful it didn't rain. Climbing this mountain was my physical limit and tested me mentally as well.


At the end of the day, I came out mostly tired. I had bruises on my shin and front of my legs from accidentally hitting on the fallen trees and branches as I was crossing them or when I don't notice them. My right shoulder was strained from reaching for tree branches and pulling myself up and down. Both ankles were in pain from the near-sprains -- I iced them when I got home. The aches lasted about a week.

I have bought ankle supports. I realize I probably have to think of ways to take in food while on these long hikes -- maybe bring something easier to consume than dry cereal bars.

Please read these blogs if you thinking of climbing Belumut:

Monday, June 3, 2013

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

We stopped by the side of the road whenever there's a view so I could snap a couple of pics, but I also had snapped some pics while in the car. What I noticed when I was up there, was how quiet it is. Here is a place where I can hear myself think! It was so still, so peaceful.  
We had lunch at a Mexican Restaurant at Estes Park, drove up and checked out the mountain vista, and walked around near the Hidden Valley. Some of the roads and tracks were still not opened, so there's still much to come back for, in the future. ;)
At the end of the day, we went to a teahouse in Boulder (Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse) and enjoyed some tea. It was lovely.

Denver, Colorado 2013

Denver, Colorado. I was there for about a week for a work related conference, and so arrived a few days earlier so I could walk around and explore the city for a bit.

I stayed at the Sheraton Denver Downtown, a pretty nice hotel located next to 16th Street Mall which is full of little shops and eateries. I was happy about that as that meant I didn't need to go very far to find sustenance.

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

I met up with Anna and David, friends that I made in a poetry blogging community and they took me on a drive up to the Rocky Mountains. 

First of all, I'm so glad and grateful to be able to meet up with them. For every internet friend that I've gotten to meet, I feel this way intensely. The thing about internet friends is that quite a lot of them have no interest to make connections in real life, for various reasons. In some views, it takes a certain amount of madness to get into a car of strangers; I mean, it's not something you would advise someone else to do.

Anyway, Anna and David are awesome folk and a beautiful couple. We seemed to immediately click like long time friends, and that's all one can ask for.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

New England Trip -- in closing...

Thank you, New England Gamer (that pic's her avatar in Plus+), I had a great time touring Boston and visiting your hometown, as well spending some time with you, your husband, and getting to meet your kids and your parents. I'm glad to have met them.

It's always amazing to meet up with someone that you only know previously in text only, and then that person turns out to be like a best friend you haven't seen since forever. I've met up with net friends before, and the incredible feeling of happiness in that first handshake never diminishes. OMG you are real! And the risk I take is well worth it when things turn out this amazing. Again, it has. And I feel blessed.

Thank you. - Liz (Ravenblack)