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Published: April 16th 2006
The begining of the tour at the tea plantations
18th Feb Cornflakes for breakfast mmm, not as good as home though, and a yummy banana shake. Just went into town (5mins walk) to get supplies like toilet paper as i have discovered that some of the hostels dont provide it! The girls booked themselves in for the "full day discovery tour" where you could break it up over an afternoon and then the next morning. We had a piece of cake and a cup of tea in the nice warm sun and the cool fresh air before they left for their afternoon tour. I continued to cook in the sun and catch up on journal writing which is begining to feel more like a chore. I picked a movie for the arvo - Cold Mountain, which i didnt really rate. I then watched some of anger management and when the girls got back we ate dinner (Tomato Soup) and we had some very dry tasting scones. I tried a Chang beer and then had a long necked Tiger beer, which isn't the best. Missing my Aussie beer already. Give me a New any day over some of these drinks. The girls went to bed and i continued to drink and
Quite picturesque really
mingle. After 10pm at fathers guesthouse everyone has to go out the back where you take your drinks and chat, play cards or watch some sports. Tonight it was Man Utd and Liverpool where Man Utd lost! I stayed up till 1:30 having a worldy discussion to an American guy which was rather good. I would also like to comment that using the asian style toilets is something that is not easily mastered. I am finding it a little difficult and i must say that the guys get off easy on this one!
19th Feb Today after my cornflakes with Milo on top (the cook looked at me very curiously but i dont think i even reasurred her when i told her that it was very nice and she should try it!!!) i did the "full day discovery tour" where i joined the Karens for their morning session. I had to check out as the girls were leaving after the morning tour but i had decided to stay an extra few nights as i was loving it here. I then had to check back into a dorm which had 10 beds in it. Anyway we head of on our
enjoying the ride
tour with Kumar who was a real character. There is also an American (Steph) and an English guy on the tour. We started at the tea plantations and then missed out on going to the peak of Cameron as they were doing construction work! Damn. We then saw the process of how the tea is made which was quite good. Here are some facts:
*It takes 10grams of tea leaves to make 2grams of tea.
*The workers get between 1000 & 3000RM a month depending on how much they pick ($374 & $1124 Aussie dollars) which is a pretty good job in these parts.
*They get 20cents a kilo and are on a minimum of a 2year contract, with up to 5 years.
*The trees are picked on a rotating basis every 3 weeks and the trees get pruned every 3 years.
We got to try some of the local tea (at a cost of course) where i had Pakis Supream and it was quite nice. We then went to the Mossy Forest as an extra as we didnt get to do the peak of the Highlands. It was a great bush walk (you know that no-one else
calls it bush walking!!! its trekking or hiking!!!) and really random as we get out of the jeep and it looks like its someones backyard where we climb up this brick fence to get to it (we were probably tresspassing!). We had to crawl and climb in places but i loved it. It wasnt a hit with the Germans though. The view from the 1/4 mark was awesome and i got to see the Pitcher plant in its natural habitat. This is an insect eating plant that gets to around 7 inches long. Kumar was very passionate about this plant and made me even more facinated by the plant. His explanation of how the plant works comparing the ants and other insects to drunken men who keep drinking more was pretty funny! We then continued to the top and the moss was covering everything. It was great, even the ground had that much organic matter that it would move everytime you stepped on it (we were all a bit concerned that we were going to fall through). We then headed back to town where we had Indian for lunch and the Karens left me for Penang. We exchanged emails and
Eat your heart out...
are going to meet up in Germany when i am there. I had a great time with them and they were great companions along the way, even though they had no idea what i was saying half the time (my Aussie slang was a killer!!) The second half of the tour was only myself and Steph left and it ended up that we had lots in common and were also travelling on the same path. Bizarre (She was actually standing behind me when i ordered my milo on my breakfast and she instantly thought i was a freakky Aussie - she was right). Francis was our guide and wasnt as good as Kumar. We picked up an elderly english couple and headed off onto the bumpiest road i have ever been on. It was crazy and so much fun at the same time. We sat in the back (bush bashing style) and were bouncing around like ragdolls. We couldnt stop laughing and we had tears in our eyes. (I fully recommend all females to wear a bra on this type of tour for obvious reasons...) We passed 2 villages and had some little kids with snot all over their faces
Our tour guide entertaining us
running after the jeep. They were cute but we were only stopping at the 3rd village (which we found out later is the only village that gets visited by tourists, we thought they rotated it, and i must add that i would not have done this tour if i knew that they get tourists going there everyday!) So when we arrive my emotions are a mixed bag of all sorts. I didnt feel comfortable walking around their village and the tour also encouraged us to give the children lollies but i refused and so did Steph. Instead i stole some of Stephs stickers that she had bought and we handed them out, although the english coulple still gave them lollies. Most of the children snatched at the stickers and were quite greedy, some taking more then 1 and then leaving none for the others. Some kids said thankyou but the majority didnt bother, which was quite upsetting. I didnt feel like my presence had any postives, especially considering that all the parents stayed inside their huts and we only got to see the children and the chief of the village which Steph mistook as a young boy as he looked
Moo in the bush
Copyright Stephanie Schulze
about 15 from a distance!!! I limited my photo taking as i felt really awkward. The chief allowed us (and i guess all the other tourists) to go inside his hut where we got to try some tea and Tapyoka (like potato) which was really good. We did some spear shooting and i beat Steph by hitting a thong on the hut more times then her!!! He showed us how they make music using bamboo and a nose flute. We both left the village not feeling any good about the afternoon. We did however enjoy the bumpy ride back again.
Steph and i went out to dinner taking two guys adam and fransiour (dont know how to spell that!) and then went back to the guesthouse to get drunk. I had 3 Tiger longnecks and we sat out on the grass on a blanket watching a thunderstorm over the mountains and checking out the stars. The guys were playing music on the guitar and we were sitting around having a good ol laugh. Steph and i then got harrassed by a girl in her undies telling us to shut the f*@# up. We culdnt help but laugh (when she
The Pitcher Plant
I love these plants
walked away of course.) I guess we were pretty loud, you know what i am like and Steph is just as loud as me!!! Steph and i made up some nicknames where i became "Tooter" for obvious reasons, and the guys were QP (Quiet Person - Adam) Booboo (was constantly talking about boobs - Fransuor) and ex-ogre (used to be large at school - Steph). I sat up again talking to the American guy before sneaking into my dorm.
20th Feb Washing Day! The four of us went to go on a bushwalk but by the time we got organised, got the bus to the destination, saw a temple, got a lift on the back of a truck to where the walk started, Steph and i both felt crappy (and not good in the guts!!!) so we just walked back leaving the guys to it. Fransour ended up being a tosser big time (one thing he did was yell out to a local man next to a temple "Hey Dude"!!!) so we were glad not to hang around him. We both got ripped off by this scones lady (Bitch) and i stormed off in an "all fired up" rage
The windy road
including the bumps
(Steph got to see the real moo that day, i think she was a little scared to tell you the truth!!). We watched some of Narnia and i played with my Hacki Sac and then watched momento, where i got the quote "WE ALL NEED MEMORIES TO REMIND OURSELVES WHO WE ARE"...
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