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Published: November 24th 2008
Dom's less exciting version of these blogs will be available for all to see on his other blog at http://tenbillionsteps.blogspot.com
The Cameron Highlands sounded ideal, after the oppressive heat in KL and Melaka the thought of some cool weather in the highlands, bliss! And that is was, in fact it was so cold in the evenings I even wore my jeans!!
The Cameron Highlands are about 4 hours north of KL, 4 hours of winding switchbacks up the side of a mountain, something which Dom and I came to the conclusion that our bus was not designed for! The bus ride up there (all of which I felt ill for!) was like being on a roller coaster; a world away from the bus from Melaka to KL where we sat at the front and it was like watching the drive through a widescreen TV. On second thoughts I'm not sure that was so great as people don't seem to know how to drive here, the mopeds screech up the hard shoulders of the moterway, and cars and lorries narrowly miss each other as they over and undertake each other at over 100km and hour.
But we made it
to the Cameron highlands (CH) and welcomely greeted the touts who came to try and persuade us to board with them. Of course we didn't bother looking at any of the brochures or leaflets, we went with the guy with the cheapest room. The cheapest room however was an attic room which I could barely stand up in, let alone Dom. Dom however wanted this room, I vetoed his decision and we payed an extra 5RM for the luxury of standing in our bedroom. The beds of course, terrible. In fact it was so terrible that Dom broke his on the first night!
Our first full day in CH we decided to take trek 9a (there were about 15 treks in the surrounding jungle). Trek 9a was advertised as a pleasant stroll through the jungle on a well marked path before a downhill walk to a tea plantation. Ideal!
Humm, I don't know who wrote that description but they were wrong on so many different levels. Yes it was a pleasant 2 hour stroll though the jungle along a well marked path, but the walk to the tea plantation was another thing! about 2 1/2 hours along an
uphill road we reached the entrance to the tea plantation...the tea rooms were another 1km up the road! We persevered and were rewarded with an ice-cold cup of CH tea! (and cake).
Due to this mammoth of a walk we (I) decided walking back was out of the question. So we hitched our way back. It turns out we discovered the best way to travel... in the back of a pick up truck! The first vehicle with space in it picked us up and took us 10 mins down the road, then 2 minutes later another pickup took us all the way back.
Food in CH mainly consisted (to Dom's delight) of curry, tandoori chicken and naan bread. I was not its biggest fan, but hardly complained until the last night when all I wanted (and still do) was bangers and mash!!
The next day, another walk. This time number 10! We walked to the top of a mountain with amazing views of tea plantations and the village below. The walk up was more like a climb up, with tree roots acting as stairs for 3/4 of the trek. We were going to walk down via path 11,
this however, due to a rainstorm the night before was flooded so we risked life and limb by climbing back down again. Where we were greeted by a tandoori naan and glass of milo (energy drink/hot chocolate).
The next day was my rest day, in which i managed to read a whole book (mind numbing chick lit of course). So I will let Dom write about his day and thus finish the blog.
Hello! So I wanted to do a tough trek, although the paths in Ch are more like walks than treks, so I felt manly and enthusiastic. I went down towards the waterfalls we had seen on the first day and took the steep path up the mountain which we had walked past. It was incredibly steep, and we were right a couple of days earlier to turn back. By the time I had got to the top of the path I was a mess. My clothes were soaked through and I had muddy knees. I soaked myself with water and turned round to find a bird-sized butterfly in my face. It flew off unharmed and I carried on, avoiding a snake or
two on the way, and getting face-fulls of spiderwebs between every trees.
The view at the top was pretty spectacular, but the clouds sinking down over the mountains across the valley told me it was time to head back. I took a wrong turning, so instead of heading north to investigate a buddhist temple and strawberry farm before heading home, I ended up going straight back. For some reason I decided to run down the mountain like some kind of invincible stuntman. It was great fun, but near the bottom it got very muddy. I must have looked like someone from a Charlie Chaplin film as I skated and slipped along on various limbs.
Anyway I got back and all was well. Curry was my reward and Laura's curse. Oh well, there are compromises in all relationships right? Curry for breakfast, what a great country.
The next day we got a bus to our next blog destination !!!!!!!!!!!!!
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