Thursday, November 26, 2009

Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

We left Penang at 6am for the Cameron Highlands, which ended up being quite the journey. It took us about an hour to get across the ferry to even start our trip to the Highlands. This was because the bridge was closed due to a marathon race going on the same morning. So the traffic went from crazy to insane. Our bus driver didn’t like slowing down as drove through the mountains into the Highlands. He would lightly tap the brakes even when there wasn’t a guardrail to protect us from plummeting down the mountain to our death. Needless to say, it was quite scary! Other than being terrified on the way up, it was really a nice ride because the scenery was beautiful. The mountains are so thick and lush I thought we were being taken to Jurassic Park.

We ended up staying at Kang Travellers Lodge (Daniels Lodge) when we got to town. It was a nice little place with very friendly people. Cameron Highlands ended up being very chilly and I was happy that I had my pants and raincoat on me, especially since I had almost thrown them away because it is so hot here in SE Asia. It rained off and on (mostly on) while we were there, as well. So after Adam and I got settled in we started exploring the area.

There were posts for all kinds of jungle tours and treks but they were a little pricey for Adam and I. We opted to get a map and find the trails ourselves to hike. So off we went into the jungle. The start of the trail was amazing. It took us by a really big waterfall called Robinson Falls, and the jungle was singing with animals. It was really cool walking through such thick jungle and having such vegetation, rocks, and trees over the trail. Little did we know that our hike was about to take a turn for the worse. It was raining while we were on the hike and we didn’t think anything of it. That was until the trail began to erode away, making it very difficult to pass. We were carefully maneuvering our way around this almost impassible trail with the mountain edge just a wrong slip away. We finally got to a point where we looked at each other and said, “Do you want to go back?” We decided we were too committed because of what we had already trekked through. The next difficult pass the ground slid out from under me and I started falling down the mountain. I was able to grab the loose rubber pipe that was following the trail and held on tight. I guess my adrenaline was pumping because we just focused on the trail and got to the end. When we finished I was shaking pretty bad thinking about what had just happened.

The trail ended up spitting us out very far from the town we were staying in, so we hit the road and started our long walk back. We decided to try hitchhiking because we had heard that it was fairly easy to do in Malaysia. People were right because we were picked up within 5-10 minutes of walking. That night at the guesthouse I needed a drink and went to the bar. I ended up meeting a group of people my age from Wales, Ireland, Amsterdam, and New Zealand. It was a nice evening after a long day.
The next day we decided we would take it easy and just visit a tea plantation. We were accompanied by Dav from Wales, whom I had met the night before at the bar. The tea plantation was beautiful! We walked down to all the tea plants and took pictures of the workers and the scenery. It was very peaceful and relaxing being in the mountains, breathing in the crisp air.
It began raining when we left the tea plantation. We couldn’t find a taxi home so we decided to hitchhike again. When we left the Highlands the way down the mountain ended being a little nerve racking because there were frequent mudslides that covered half of the road, but we made it down safely.

I wish we had more time to experience all the Highlands had to offer but it was time for us to head to Kuala Lumpur. I definitely would like to visit Cameron Highlands again someday!

-Marc

2 comments:

  1. Dude, I just stumbled across this blog. This is awesome! I had no idea you guys were doing this. I've always wanted to do something similar but always find an excuse. Good for you guys for making it happen.

    Keep the updates coming, I love it.

    - Tommy Rennier

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  2. Ya man! We left about a month ago. It has been amazing so far. We are in Indonesia right now doing volunteer work. VERY slow internet if we even get it so don't know when the next video will be up. But it will be up ASAP for sure.

    -Marc

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