Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Day 90 - Cameron Highlands and Kuala Lumpur

Our first full day in the Cameron Highlands was very full on. We'd signed on for a tour the day before so we were up bright and early and piled into a jeep at 08.45. The jeep took us up the highest mountain in the Cameron Highlands, and we passed the gorgeous tea plantation we would be visiting later on the way up the windy roads.

At the top, we climbed a very rusty tower for a view, and then we headed further down for a tour round the 'Mossy Forest'.

This is essentially a section of forest where the trees are heavy with moss because, due to the height, the daily clouds form moisture around the trees. Our guide explained to us that due to the fact that this is now a popular tourist visit spot, a boardwalk has been built to prevent further destruction in the forest. In past years, visiting tourists were able to simply enter the forest and explore, but this has done damage that will take years to repair.

Anyway, after a very long talk about the forest and several plants being pointed out and discussed (Ben and I tuned out quite early on), we wandered around for ourselves.

Plants done. Onto the bit we were excited about, the tea plantation!

A zip round the factory, an explanatory video and Ben and I hot-footed it to the bit that mattered, the cafeteria. Where we ordered three different teas. We agreed Ben's loose leaf choice was the best and wandered over to the gift shop, where they informed us that they were sold out. Great.

The guide took us to a lovely viewpoint of the plantation where we took pictures and cursed the blue plastic in the background, and, the tour was done.

Ben and I asked to be dropped off in Brinchang on the way back. We had plans to visit the strawberry farm and pick our own strawberries. A complete tourist gimmick and rip-off but we didn't care, we just wanted to pick our own strawberries!

So, that done, we walked in search of the Buddhist temple nearby. We accidentally came to the Hindu one.

Never mind, we located the Buddhist one afterwards. 

Then, we decided to head to the Smokehouse which is famed for it's scones. A longish walk around the golf course and we arrived back in England.

The famed scones are average and the cream was lacking flavour. But hey, we ate it all. It was past two and a long time since breakfast.

We continued a long walk home, past a waterfall I'd spotted on our map which turned out to be disappointing as there was so much rubbish downstream, and, exceptionally tired we arrived at our Guesthouse. 

Planning to head straight to bed, we walked up the stairs to find the door open and the room immaculate, and empty.

Panicking, we headed back down to reception where we saw our two backpacks, next to a garment bag and a black bin bag and asked why our room was empty. The receptionist told us we had only booked one night. I looked accusingly at Ben as we both informed her that no, we definitely booked three. After digging his tablet out of his backpack, Ben brought up the reservation. Turned out, because we'd checked in at the same time as another couple, they'd accidentally given them our room and us, their room. So, grabbing our big backpacks, little backpacks, garment bag and bin bag of our belongings, we were shown to our room, again. 

Luckily, this room was much nicer than the one we'd had the night before and we crawled into the freshly made bed to rest up a bit before enjoying a tasty dinner out. 

The next day we did next to nothing. Also fun.

We took a bus from the Cameron Highlands to Kuala Lumpur. It took about four hours, the first hour and a half of which were hugely winding roads. It meant I couldn't read or watch anything on my tablet since trying to do so was making me feel incredibly ill so I stared out the window. I ended up seeing about seven or eight waterfalls either along the roadside or set just a bit further back in the cliff face. It was pretty awesome. I love waterfalls. Hopefully we'll be visiting one tomorrow that we can swim in and my travel goals will be nearly complete!

Anyway, our time in Kuala Lumpur, though it was four nights, was pretty uneventful. People generally recommend you don't spend too long here but I'd (somewhat accidentally) organised four nights. It worked out though because it meant we had a day to recover after watching the six nations game which aired at 00.50 Malaysian time.

Our hotel in Kuala Lumpur was interesting. It was slap bang in the middle of China town, which, as I remember from staying here 6 years ago with Fiona, sold all kinds of jewellery and random souvenirs. Now it's purely knock-off products... And not good knock-offs, I was sad to find when I looked at a 'mulberry' bag that felt like crap and was lined with something akin to paper. 

The hotel itself was made up of rooms which one TripAdvisor reviewer called 'cells'. Ben and I quite liked the painted brick small rooms and it had a lovely for terrace you could sit and have a drink at watching the market bustle beneath you.

While in Kuala Lumpur, Ben and I had fun shopping, bowling and getting Ben another tattoo. On our last night we had dinner with Mai who we had met in Langkawi when we crossed over with her and Mel's holiday. Funnily enough, we had Vietnamese food, which we'll certainly be having plenty of in the next few weeks!

I'll have to write again on our week in Borneo!

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