Despite three changes of bus after the first hour, the remainder of the bus journey was fairly uneventful (i.e. will likely be a shit card in the evolving top trumps of long bus journeys…). Despite having a taxi driver glued to my leg for a large period of time, we managed to locate the hostel.
We decided, against all of my principals and better judgement, to go on a tour with people. I am usually firmly against this sort of action due to my allergy of Americans (kidding…) but it was actually really scenic! The tea plantations, owned by a Scotsman, are a landscape of rolling hills covered with what looked like a green version of an entrance mat. The plants are like miniature bonsais – it made me feel like a giant walking through (and I’ve always quite liked the idea of being a giant – I would be revered but modest). Other delights of the day involved a mossy forest, whereby, after being told that moss was very sensitive, an oafish, bearded (not jealous), Italian man prodded a centipede into the green mass. Our final stop was a tea plantation. I knew it sold good cakes because Phoebe had her nose to the ground like some sort of sniffer dog knocking people out of the way. She bought a strawberry cake and I bought, under her bequest, some sort of cupcake – both of which were inhaled. The tea wasn’t like the frothy disasters typically seen in Malaysia and actually resembled tea – a bonus neither of us were expecting.
I will admit, we were on quite a high at this point. Nothing disastrous had occurred and I had even got over my fear of conversation with gap year kiddies. Unfortunately, on a similar note to how Africa has Ebola and how South America has drugs, the Cameron Highlands has strawberry plantations. We only went to one although they cover the highlands like some sort of aggressive form of rash. It reminded me a little of an English village garden centre crossed with the dilapidated nature of an abandoned seaside resort. When the highlight was a couple of faded strawberries with a hole cut in it to put your tearful face, we knew that the withered berries would be of a similar standard.
We went on a walk up a hill the next day. The walk up was hot and fairly uneventful bar an elderly indian man overtaking us whilst simultaneously playing a BB King blues song on a worn acoustic guitar. The summit had nice views – In a 360 degree turn I could see the tea plantations, an electric pylon also on top of the hill and an asthmatic Phoebe sat on an open aqueduct. I then descended the mountain like a gazelle while my companion, of a similar nature to Bambi with a broken leg, kept sliding down the mountain ungracefully.
Our stay in the Cameron Highlands ended up being quite quick and rather tea filled. We had precisely four strawberries between us over the course. I would generously place them just between a Tesco Value strawberry and a diseased “pick your own” strawberry.
Have a “Berry” nice day!
Alec + Phoebe