On the 31st October, Toyah Flynn, Business Manager at Specialist Cars Nissan Aberdeen, completed a massive trek through the Borneo jungle and up Mount Kinabalu in aid of the Archie Foundation. Mount Kinabalu is the highest mountain in Borneo, standing at a height of 13,435 feet, so this proved to be no easy task!
By raising sponsors for her trek and organising in countless other fundraising activities throughout the year, Toyah managed to raise £4,696.30. John Clark has generously agreed to match Toyah’s fundraising total, meaning the total amount raised will be a massive £9,393!!
Read below for a look into Toyah’s Borneo Trek and how she managed to conquer the massive Mount Kinabalu!
Summary of trek
“31/10/2015 the day I was leaving to Trek through the Jungle and up Mount Kinabalu in Borneo! To say I was nervous was an understatement!! 6 months of training was going to be put to the test!
After arriving in Heathrow I finally met my fellow trekkers!! And what a great bunch of people! All walks of life and so many stories to tell! The flights were going to be long, Heathrow to Hong Kong, then on to Kota Kinabalu in BORNEO!!
Where do I start! Having woken up in a nice hotel reality was sinking in we were leaving for the jungle, trekking for about 4 hours until we arrived at Miki Camp, it was basic, but had everything you could need!
First night in the jungle we were kept awake most of the night with the sounds of the river next to us, the crickets, and the Bull Frogs! What a noise! Early rise the next morning we went for breakfast…… it was noodles an tea.
I was asked to help with stretches for the group so got everyone together and did a little warm up session, you could tell some were enjoying it.
So walking boots on, rucksacks on, we were ready to go!
Trekking through the jungle unsure of what we would find!! It was tough, up and down hills, mud slips, crossing rivers, and of course we made a few new friends along the way.. LEACHES!! Stopping so often to pick them off, or having one of the guys help flick them off!! – 6 hours in we stopped for lunch… more noodles and rice! We headed off again trekking for a further 3 hours before arriving at camp.
Next day was going to be a 3 hours trek before we arrive at Mount Kinabalu!!
Having gone through the jungle the time had finally arrived – it was mountain day! Arriving at Mount Kinabalu National Park….. Malaysia first World heritage site! It was 12 noon We received our passes to enter the foothills…… after a quick warm up session and a pep talk we all put one foot in front of the other, unsure of what was ahead!
Having been walking a while we were all lead into a false sense of security as it was relatively flat to start! Then we were met by steps, and more steps or and as you turned the corner – yep MORE STEPS!! Now the photos don’t do it justice, and I’ve never seen so many steps!! After being with the front group for a while I had to pull back knees were feeling the strain. Having been out for 3 hours again we were shattered! Protein bars and hard boiled sweets were all we had to keep us going, well that and the adrenaline!! Now I know your probably thinking – Just 3 hours and your shattered!? But I can’t describe how steep it was….
I though the two ladies I was with were right behind me, seems I was walking quicker than I thought and I lost them. What to do? Wait? Or keep going? I had to keep going! I carried on marching up this mountain! Until I decided to turn round and see how high I was – BAD IDEA!!!! Had to sit down! Legs went to jelly and I felt sick! The hardest thing at that point was being alone! Shed a few tears –then told myself to get it together and carried on up the Mountain!
There was no one around! It was eerie, but at the same time so beautiful!! As I turn a corner there it was… Laban Rata the place we could rest. To say I was moving quicker was an understatement!!
I arrived at the door – one of the girls form the first group had seen me and came running out to give me a hug – I made it!! Went in and everyone welcomed me with open arms. They were shocked that I finished alone. After hugs and a cup of tea I was starting to feel better, but emotions in everyone were so high! After a hot shower and a change of clothes I re-joined the group waiting for the next people to arrive!
People were coming slowly – then when we looked outside it was black! We all started to get concerned as there were so many other people still out there! Having a chat with one of the guides I asked that he went back out to look for the others! Eventually everyone arrived safe – tired but safe! The last two arrived at 10.15pm!
Having had dinner we all turned in for the night….. was woken at 4.15am by what felt like someone moving – it wasn’t it was an earthquake! Thankfully there was no damage caused and everyone was fine!
Alarm went off at 5am – headed outside to see the sunrise! It was amazing! Everything was so still! Having taken photos we went for breakfast before the daunting task of trekking back down the mountain!!
To say that going down was easier than coming up was an understatement!! Took me 5 hours to get up – 4 to come back down!! This time I managed to stay with the lead group! Was so glad to get to the bottom! We were all gleaming with pride for what we had just done!
There was a plaque on the wall at the Laban Rata that said:
“Live your life each day as you would climb a mountain
An occasional glance towards the summit keeps the goal in mind,
But many beautiful scenes are to be observed from each new vantage point.
Climb slowly, steadily, enjoying each new passing moment
And the view from the summit will prove to be astonishing!“
As a reward we went to Speilok to the orang-utans s orphanage – amazing to see them, learnt a few new things while there too…. orang-utans translate to Man of the Forrest, and they are the only primate that will make an umbrella when it’s raining as they hate the rain!!
Many people have asked what was the best part about the trek – I would imagine they would all expect me to say seeing the orang-utans – however the feeling of achievement when I got to the top of Mount Kinabalu was the best feeling I have ever felt and something I will never forget!!
Thank you for all of your support!”