Update 3 - Cameron Highlands
We're just chilling out on our final day in the Cameron Highlands. Once again a typical 'relaxing' day ended up in a 18km (yes 18km, 18000 metres, 11.16miles, 19692 yards or 708672 inches!!!!!) walk down a scenic, windy mountain road to a little town called habu and then a little further to another village called Ringlet. We left the hostel at 11am with enthusiasm and enjoyed the leisurely downhill walk to what the CH are renowned for the tea plantations. We sat in the cafe (which overlooked acres and acres of tea trees) and enjoyed a fresh cup of Cameron Highland's special brew and a freshly baked scone each.
After this brief Tea break we set off bouncing down route 59 to Habu, which turned out to be a lot further away than we thought, by about 2 hours.... a minor miscalculation..... Habu itself was a collection of small tin houses and a couple of smaller tin shops selling fresh fruit and veg and a selection of packaged products for the odd adventurous (insane) traveller. We saw a sign which read “1km to Habu Bee farm” which was free admission, we spent more time walking to it than we did inside it. It was a tiring walk up some grueling set of steep steps to a gift shop and a demonstration of the Bees in action.
We headed then for some food after working up a healthy appetite. Habu had no real restaurants or cafes so we decided to head further along the road to Ringlet. After about an hour walk we ended up by a road side market where we were told that Ringlet was a short 2km walk away..... I think the international standards of measurements might be slightly out in the Cameron Highlands.... it was yet another hour until we arrived in china, I mean ringlet. We had the choice of chinese, chinese or chinese for lunch so ended up going to a lovely shell garage for snacks! Fruit loaf, pringles and a packet of cashews mmmmmmmmmmm.
The walk was more of a royal precession, 4 out of 5 cars would either beep their horns, wave, stare or shout something at us... a fat chinese kid shouted “hello tourist, enjoy your stay at Malaysiaaaaaaaaaaahhhh”. Nearly everyone we passed said hello, and a little girl ran up to us beaming from ear to ear, waving and shouted 'hiya'. Such a bizzare feeling.
Malaysia's effective transportation system was yet again successful in having a total of 4 bus times a day 10, 12, 3 and 6. Annoyingly we discovered this at 3.11, 11 minutes too late... We optimistically decided that we could walk the 14km or so walk back, by the time we got to Habu it began to rain and the optimism began to run out and realisation kicked in, realisation that it was impossible! Luckily we spoke to a local bus driver who offered to drive us back the 14minute and 35 second bus journey for a bargain price of 15ringitts (£3) so we bit his hand off and ended up resting our legs in a dry warm minibus! Saving us at least a 3 hour walk home!
Never before have the words (muttered by Abbie Chivers in a slightly worn out and hungry mood) “I've never been so glad to be back in bed” been more appropriate. We crashed out in our dorm bed, legs throbbing, stomachs roaring and heads spinning before having a nice HOT shower and FOOOOOOOOD!
Unusually for us we decided against being adventurous with our restaurant choices and decided to go to the only place we've eaten at since arriving at Cameron Highlands. We had sweet and sour chicken and venison with ginger and spring onion, it was gone before the waiter got back to the bar.
I think we were missled how difficult it would be from a short walk we did yesterday. We did two 45 minute walks there and back in just over an hour and thought that we were pro. The walks here are really pretty, walking past waterfalls, watch towers, strawberry farms and even the occasional snake. It's a very neat retreat for someone who wants a break from the busy city life and the hustle and bustle. The walks are a bit narrow tho and its obvious that the health and safety regulators over here are a lot more lenient than at home!
We're packing up camp here tomorrow and heading back north, to the Perhentian Islands. Our time conscious efforts have left us some extra time so we're going to fill it with relaxing on Malaysia's finest beaches. Have a Google, the pictures look unreal! The weather up in the highlands is a lot cooler so we're in need of some warmth. Once again we're going to be packed onto an air conditioned van for 5.5 hours this time (we're expecting it to be 8 hours tho) BUT it's our last bus journey.... possibly EVER... We managed to get a flight to KL for 300MYR (£30 each) bargain, and its only an hour! WOOOOOHOOOOOO!
The perhentians are a bit behind the times and we're not going to be expecting much internet there or any forms of communication so if you dont hear from us the next four days we're not ignoring you or lost, we're just chilling on a beach in paradise.
If we do get internet we'll be sure to let you know how amazing it is there!
Lots of love
Abbie and Emyr