Saturday, 21 December 2013

Hearts of Darkness

Hearts of Darkness
After an evening spent guzzling delicious Thai food at Rama V and drinking a heroic dose of Singa’s that in normal circumstances could have paralysed an elephant i headed out on the first of several trails i plan to run in the next few weeks. 
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Taman Tar provides a short but scenic 2.4km loop that is for the most part fairly short but with a side route that offers a steep climb up around 150m in height. So like Marlow in search of Kurtz i headed deep into the Malaysian jungle only to find the path suddenly ends and is impassible due to overgrown plants. I found no village at the end of my journey and no Kurtz and certainly no villages of savages massacring cows in strange rituals although i did come across, what looked like from a distance a person disco dancing at the end of the trail. It turned out to be a local fellow carrying out some form of prayer dance ritual. He looked pretty cool to be honest and if i can move like that when i’m in my sixties i’ll be happy. I imagine people would travel from far and wide and say things like “forsooth dear sir, pray tell us where art thou could find the famous old man who runs and dances” and I would say things like “travel no further child for it is he, i am the man you seek and I shall bewilder and befuddle you with my snake hips but fear not for I am a friendly sort” and then they would say things like “well thank goodness it’s you because we have been travelling for days and days and days and must rest up, dazzle us tomorrow for tonight we take condiments” and ….well you get the idea. Man this hangover is much worse than i first thought. But it would be great if people travelled to come see you dance eh? Anyway, i digress….
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The Brooks Cascadias held up well and I really noticed the difference between them and the road running shoes I normally wear on a trail run. The major plus point for me was the ability to handle varying trail terrains such as small gravels, running over wet tree roots and on the steeper parts of the climb the very wet clay like soil. The shoes give a lot of confidence in that each step is going to land solidly without slippage. The drainage on the shoes is also a very positive factor. After plunging through some of the river sections and puddles it’s easy to see why the Brooks Cascadia has been a perennial favourite amongst the trail running community. There’s nothing worse than running around with a couple of things attached to your feet full of water and dubs (Scottish Mud) and having to stop and tip them out. Especially when your feet smell as bad as mine. Imagine a fresh Durian coated in bin juice sprayed with a liberal application of dog fart and your getting close. Maybe a wet dog fart would push you nearer to an accurate description.
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Unfortunately i only managed one loop as my body purged pure Singa from each and every pore. So a very short but steep run, a very happy pair of feet and a REALLY sore head.
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If you are going to go for a run/walk/hike around Taman Tar, things to note -
Some very steep sections to access the reservoir area. I wouldn’t want to be caught there in a shower. Stories of a naked man flasher aplenty in the local press so take a camera and a machete don’t go alone. Lots of bugs and beasts so plenty of repellant.
imageSo i’ll end my Apocalypse Now themed post with the Mantra “Never get out of the Brooks, absolutely goddam right, unless your going all the way.”
And here’s a video of Marlon Brando swallowing a bug.