Sweat, blood and tea
Apr 27, 2011
|We spent the night in a place called Jerantut, found sone tasty food at the only stall with a menu translated into English. Then again not sure what pluffy is supposed to be! We cruised out early the next morning to catch our boat up the river and into the jungle. We got pretty excited when we saw sone big buffalo bathing in the water, and overly excited when we thought we saw a tapir, turned out to be a wild boar :(
On our arrival we headed straight into the park to spend the night in a hide in the jungle with our jungle essentials. Turns out all you need for a great night in the jungle is a can of tuna and coconut buns with a side of malaria tablet, your sleeping bag liner and mosquito net (mats on a wooden bunkbed are over-rated) and a stick to assist de-leeching procedures. It was a fun trek in, lots of big trees and jungle sounds and a nice brown river for a pre lunch dip. We had our first leech experience before entering the water, Alison was reminded that yes she was in the jungle but fortunately laughs in the face of danger hahaha, Anna was unluckily the one to bleed though. Pesky leeches!!
We were unsure if you got leeches in water, however as we were both hot and sweaty we decided that we didn't care and granny swam around, ahhh how refreshing.
We had some exciting animal encounters. Anna thought she saw a gibbon although it might have been a deer :) saw an actual deer, monkeys, squirrels and a big giant squirrel type thing - actually called a giant squirrel, uncanny. We got overly excited when we heard a massive crash whilst in our hide in the evening, tigers.....elephants.....nope just a falling tree. That's right an ENTIRE tree, pretty exciting really.
After an average night sleep we said farewell to our hide and explore some more jungle trails. We sweated our way up two peaks for some awesome views over the jungle, don't think we have ever been that filthy in our lives. Enjoyed the walk along what is in fact the worlds longest canopy walkway (despite our doubts) remember to always keep 5m between you and the person in front on this slightly rickety bridge system. Ideal for swinging though :)
Escaping from the leeches we made it out of the jungle and back to the safety of our hostel on the other side of the river. Might not have been quite so safe, a mouse managed to chew it's way through Anna's bag and trusty lunch box to get a little nibble on one of her coconut buns! We did enjoy a refreshing float down a 10m stretch of river to the amusement of the locals. But hey we didn't get mown down by any boats. Armed with our trusty food translations written down from Jerantut, we also enjoyed our evening meal from the floating restaurant, who knew you should have reserved a table.
Leaving the grime of the jungle behind we were excited to head to the cooler climate of the Cameron Highlands, hoping we wouldn't sweat out our entire bodyweight of water here as well. The scenery was stunning, pointy hillsides covered in tree plantations, strawberry fields and mossy rainforest.
We walked to the two nearby waterfalls and although the walk was pleasant would describe them more as cascades. We even managed to find a jam lady where we tried sone homemade jam, mmm pretty tasty. After some fantastic and massive tandoori chicken from a Malay/Indian restaurant, we are very much enjoying the eating out culture here as you all know we are very much fatties. We discovered that yes the Cameron Highlands is indeed colder and you should sleep in more than just your sleeping bag liner.
We enjoyed a leech and sweat free hike to the top of Binchang mountain for sone awesome views across the tea plantations. We may have followed a tour group at the top into a side section of forest, turned out to be their mossy rainforest experience which we had for most of the way up, but did get to see two beautiful huge shoe shaped flowers (not very good at flower identification).
Found a pick your own strawberry place on the way back down with the highlight being the guy taking pictures of us in numerous silly poses with his "giant" strawberries. We stopped by the famous Malaysia BOH tea plantation, Anna found out that peach ice tea doesn't taste like tea and quite enjoyed it, and that Malaysian scones do not deserve the title of scones! Far too minuscule. As we wandered back down the valley stopping by the many strawberry tourist shops tasting lots of different jams and dried fruits (including dried Rose, interesting flavours). Our walk was slightly spoilt by the rain and after getting pretty soaked we managed to get a cheeky little lift for the last few km back to town. Clean and dry we hit up more of the culinary highlight of the Highlands, how about Indian food for 4 for 2! On being presented with two massive silver trays each we discovered that just because it's cheap doesn't mean that it's small. Although after a Thosi and Roti canai each we still found room to share a custom made strawberry and chocolate pancake. Delicious. We love the Cameron Highlands!!