Highland Fling

Trip Start Jan 21, 2007
Trip End ??? ??, 2008

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Next stop: Cameron Highlands.  I got there in my own personal mini van!  Stayed at a hostel with a nice dorm and a campfire to sit round of an evening, all very pleasant.  I expected it to be freezing and wet here but in the daytime it was quite warm, it was only at night it got quite chilly, long trousers and sleeves needed round the campfire and 3 blankets on the bed! 

The Cameron Highlands are what you might expect of highlands, green and hilly and pretty.  I stayed in the town of Tanah Rata which didn't have much going for it except great Indian food and a tea house where I had a lovely cream tea.

I did a tour here, along with some people I had met, to see the most in a short amount of time.  We visited a butterfly farm which had all sorts of insects and creepy crawlies as well as butterflies, in fact the butterflies were the least interesting part.  I held a big tortoise and a gecko, but declined a massive beetle and a scorpion!  Next was the BOH Tea Plantation (Cameron Highlands brand of tea) which showed us tea trees, how the leaves are cut, then a tour of the factory to show how it's processed.  Obviously the best bit was the tea shop, although funnier was when one of the girls accidently launched a tea pot lid into the air, over the balcony and down into the tea trees below.  The waitress sent down to retrieve it was less than impressed, with us shouting directions over the balcony "left a bit, forward a bit, right a bit!".  Next was the highest point in the Highlands, we were taken there by mini van so only a tiny bit of walking required, it was slightly disappointing because of the weather - clouds and mist obsured almost all the view.  Then it was onto a mossy forest, we all enjoyed the walk although the moss wasn't particularly exciting since we have it at home after all, but apparently this is the only forest with moss in the Highlands.  After that was a strawberry farm, where the main point seemed to be to buy strawberry related products - strawberries and cream for me, yum yum, then after lunch a visit to an Orang Asli (aboriginal) village.  It was more one house than a village and we all felt slightly that it was staged for tourists but it was interesting none the less.  We were taken into the forest for a short trek by an aboriginal man in a loin cloth and no shoes, then taught how to shoot darts through a pipe for hunting (the name of this escapes me!), then had a little dancing session in the hut to music they performed for us.  After a flying visit to a waterfall (flying as the tour had already run an hour or so over) it was back to the guest house.  The most random part of the day was how the 2 tour guides kept stopping and having heated discussions with various people along the way - turns out they were money lenders and were conducting their business with a bus loads of tourists!
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