Hiking matters #152: Descent from Mt. Kinabalu and postclimb in Mesilau

After the unforgettable PinoyMountaineer Mt. Kinabalu Expedition 2011 that saw 27 Pinoy hikers reaching the summit of Mt. Kinabalu, we were shuttled to Kampung Mesilau – a village and nature park at the foot of the mountain. At 2000 MASL, the temperature there is cool, and you literally stay at the shadow of the mountain.
We were assigned to Bishop’s Head 1 and 2 – resthouses patterned after chalets or lodges in American national parks. The accommodation was dormitory-style; there was hot shower which was a great relief to all of us! It was a secluded place, which was probably a fine “debriefing” for our bodies, after reaching the elevation of over 4000 meters.
The food in the nearby Restaurant was excellent – buffet dinner and breakfast upon our post-climb bodies – and I feasted on grilled lamb and other Malaysian delights. Since we were a large group, the Mesilau retreat was also a nice opportunity for the members of the team to get to know each other.

Over Heineken and Tiger beer, and with a nice bottle of wine footed by our co-organizer Paul Cuenca, we handed out the Certificates of Accomplishment to everyone who were still awake on that evening.

The next day, we headed back to Kota Kinabalu. While some of the participants sidetripped to a nearby island, the rest toured KK before heading back to Manila. Expedition was over — but I’m looking forward to the next international hiking trip, hopefully with the members of the KK team!

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