Saturday, July 7, 2012 knees are busted

I've been hiking Penang hill regularly. I take the 5 km "Jeep track" from Botanica garden to the top of the hill. I usually descending down to the foot hill right after I touch the 5 km marker, telling myself I did it again. For some unknown reasons, I do not know why I got so much energy left in my latest hike. I walked slowly towards the Western hill for about 15 mins and soon I felt the green and cool air was so inviting that I started jogging. I went on jogging and marching towards an unknown path in front of me. I was totally absorbed into the jungle but with nicely tarred road. Unfortunately after jogged for about 45 mins, it was approaching 4 pm. That means I have to terminate my discovery and jogged back to towards Penang hill summit and descending to the foot hill to pick up my car -- if I do not want to spending a night hugging tigers, snakes or monkeys!

The curiosity was very intense that driving me crazy. Where would that trail lead to? I found a little clue on this nice website.

You can see his great efforts to draw the trails map. I guess if I went on(from Summit road), I would have found the hidden secret treasure of  AQUEDUCTS and moving towards the Ship restaurant in Batu Ferrighi.

Someone was kind enough to film this treasure for you to appreciate the green and heritage.

Just a little bit of history from

 An appreciation of Penang’s history is integral to understanding the importance of heritage. For example, one of the reasons why early mariners stopped at Penang was to replenish their supplies of fresh water. Batu Ferringhi (Foreigners’ Rock) with its waterfall once visible from the sea was one such source for sailing ships to obtain water before and after crossing the Indian Ocean. Near the current E&O Hotel on the north shore was a later site -- known as Sweet Water Bay and depicted in early paintings -- the terminus of an aqueduct from the Waterfall behind the present Botanic Gardens. That waterfall and the reservoir at its base are the site of the oldest water works in Malaysia and should be regarded as a heritage site.

Other early reservoirs and aqueducts also deserve designation as heritage sites. In particular, the picturesque Guillemard Reservoir at Mount Erskine built in 1929 under the supervision of Penang’s first municipal water engineer J.D. Fettes is not only a functioning example of early 20th century engineering but a site of outstanding beauty that was a popular venue for pre-war picnics before it was closed to the public. The Guillemard Reservoir is part of a public water supply system designed by Fettes that includes a four-mile-long aqueduct built in 1926-1929 winding through the hills above Batu Ferringhi. Fed by three intakes from hillside jungle streams, this historic aqueduct leads to a mile-long tunnel and a 24-inch cast-iron pipeline ending at the Guillemard Reservoir.
The Guillemard Reservoir and Batu Ferringhi aqueduct were opened on 16th July 1929 by Sir Hugh Clifford, Governor of the Straits Settlements, who named the reservoir after his predecessor Sir Lawrence Guillemard and Lady Guillemard. In commending Fettes for his design and work on the reservoir and aqueduct Governor Clifford noted he had worked for six years without taking leave.* Construction of the new water scheme had been approved during Guillemard’s term in office. Details of the reservoir and aqueduct were described in full inThe Straits Times of 17th July 1929. Built at a cost of $3,700,000 with a capacity of  7 million gallons the reservoir was constructed in two halves so that one half may be in use when the other half is being cleaned. Following the contours of the hills the smallest section of the Batu Ferringhi aqueduct has a gradient of 1 in 500 at the intake end. The largest section beyond the intakes has a gradient of 1 in 1,800. From the reservoir a 27-inch cast-iron pipeline was laid to Pangkor Road and from there a 24-inch pipeline to Pitt Street.

Should Penang hill and other hills be disturbed for its water catchment purpose? I'm not a strong environment activist and I have no strong opinion on this but water security has always been an issue for Penangnites.

Meanwhile, with totally busted knees, I'm planning how to best conquer this trail # 9. Have a nice weekend. :)

1 comment:

yauwenchin said...

A good traveler do not know his destination. Laozi