Tuesday, 29 November 2011

The Highlands of Cameron

Wednesday November 30th, 2011; 12:49
Location: Cameron Highlands, Malaysia
Why: Melakan Refugees representin'!!

Well, would you look at this, another post the very next day. Keep this up and I might develop a good habit.

Wednesday's Slow Flow class at Yoga Barn with Tania always teaches me something new. Today's new discovery was the word namaha. I love how it rolls off the tongue, delicious.

Right, so the boy smitten slumber is still creeping around in my head as I awoke this morning to thoughts of him slipping out of my dreams. **sigh** This too will pass.

Right, right. Time to get high. Up high. I'm talking Cameron Highlands high. Yeah baby.

After giving Billy a chance to taste some curry laksa, hand-eating Indian yumminess and of course, Ninjaaaa Destructionnnnnn!!!, we set off on a journey into the midsection of Malaysia Peninsular.

But, before going, our local superstar Cecilia took us to the lovely little island of Pulau Besar. There, we waded into the shallow waters, played some more Shithead, sunbathed - kinda, and missed the bus back to Melaka. The five of us managed to hitch a ride and squeezed into the tiny but pimpin' car of a local. I love these little adventures. Blaring drum n bass anyone?

L-R: Billy, Eva, Cecilia, Me, Roman:

When we finally packed our rucksacks and got onto the bus back to KL, Cecilia invited us for an over night slumber party at her apartment. Um, yes please!! How often does a local invite you to her home for games of Shithead, 70s music and Bornean delights? Once. How often are Melakan Refugees formed? Once.

Melakan Refugees, represent! Thanks for tagging Billy (:

 After spending as much time with Cecilia as we possibly could, we peeled ourselves away from her and got on another bus to the Cameron Highlands. What a beautiful little ride. Up and up we went. Into the mists, licking the clouds. The temperature cooled our acclimatized bodies. It was refreshing and dare I say, cold - kinda.

The purpose of the Highlands was to chill, literally. And experience the tea plantations. We got to Daniel's Lodge and piled into the tiny room that housed us refugees for a couple of nights. There was a double bed for me and Eva and a bunk bed for the boys. Billy took the top bunk and I said "So you're a top man are ya?" A-hahaha! Me - dirty mind all the time. Keeps me feeling like I'm still 23.

Right, back to business. We booked ourselves a full day tour to see the rufflesia flower by way of ATV into the muddy jungle before hopping off and hiking further into the depths of Cameron. Also, on the tour was a stop at a butterfly sanctuary, blow dart showcase and of course the Boh Tea Plantation.

And this is how you start a mud filled hike to find a giant flower (actually a giant fungus):

The juniors on the Melakan Refugee Team. Billy, 23; Eva, 21. I could eat them up whole, with some Thosai Masala and a glass of Teh Tarik:

And here are the seniors of the Team. Me, 35; Roman, 34. Wunderbar! No, not the chocolate bar.  That's German for 'wonderful' in case you're scratching your head:

I digress too easily.

Okay, this rafflesia flower is one far out plant. It is only found in SE Asia, namely in Malaysia, Indo, Thailand and the 'Pines. This plant has no stems, leaves or roots. And, from our guide, it is actually a fungus. Go figure. It has a five-petaled flower, can weigh up to 10 kilos and grow to 100cm in diameter. We weren't allowed to touch it. Also, it only blooms once every 9 months and last only a few days. So needless to say, it is somewhat of a rare plant.

Here is rafflesia in all her glory. When she is done showing off, she will decompose into a vile smell for insects to devour:

When she is dying, she'll look like this. I love the ugly beauty of death sometimes:

After oohing and ahhing about this most curious plant, we hiked back down the jungle mountain to our ATV for the bumpiest mud ride of our lives. I don't even know how to articulate how funny it was for us Refugees flying off our seats in the back of the jeep. It is something special only us four will ever know. So of course, there are no photos to show this. But alas, that ride will forever be stored in my heart along with the laughs that came from that experience.

Right, so that was some giant flowers. Next stop was a blow dart showcase where we got to blow a lethal dart using a very long pipe. The tip of the dart is dipped into the sap of the Ipoh tree, a poisonous rubber substance that can kill an elephant in 10 minutes.

Here I am having a go at blow darting. **Smugs quietly as she hits the target dead on, yeah baby**

Blow darting done, we go and have lunch before making our way to the Boh Tea Plantation. I'm not even going to try and describe what the scenery was like way up here in the tea plantations. I have no words to explain the colour of the dewy green that glistened in the sun. It was simply majestic; still and confident. It carpeted the rolling landscape like giant moss.

Get ready for some stah-nning pics:

The four of us ooohed and ahhhed and holy-shit-this-is-effing-gorgeous like school kids. Then we got sophisticated and ordered some tea and sweets **reminisces delicately holding the tea cup whilst pinky is in the air, sipping like a Lady**

Tea time aside, we filed back into the jeep for the butterfly sanctuary. 

Beautiful creatures, but sad that they are trapped inside this "sanctuary":

While the butterflies themselves weren't anything to write home about, it was the geckos that delighted us more. 

Totally opposite from the quick house geckos dotting SE Asia, these lil guys are beyond chilled:

They are also attracted to black. Two made their way around Roman, hanging out on his arm and stuff, NBD:
Besides the wonderful adventures of the Cameron Highlands, it was the time I spent with my Melakan Refugees that was the most fun and rewarding. Intensely private and deep conversations around the campfire (our lodge had a campfire!!) and more rounds of Shithead. These are the stuff bonds are made of.

1 comment:

  1. Blow Guns! Wow very cool adventure, Dave!