We woke up early on friday morning ready to catch the 8am speed boat back to the mainland. I think we missed most of the sunrise as the shower decided to fail, but we caught the tail end of the orange clouds hovering over the sea as we wandered on the beach waiting for a water taxi to the speed boat.
As soon as we got off the boat we went and booked onto the 10am minibus to the cameron highlands (half the price it would have been on the island!) and went for some brekka. We got the first wifi for a few days and I had texts flying all over saying my bank card was having a fuss about being use in Malaysia – yay. So after getting all that under control we headed back to get our minibus and met three girls there from Edinburgh who we’re getting the same bus. When I say Edinburgh, they all went to school and grew up there but one now lived in Australia, one was travelling and the other was now in London. We got on straight away, there were all lovely and so easy to chat to. When we arrived in the highlands we ended up going to a hostel recommended by our driver. Of course it was run by a friend of his, but also wasn’t finished yet.
When we arrived the owner, Kassim said if we have him 10 minutes of our time we could help him make our room. He could put 5 of us in together but the room was still not ready. We unpacked the mattress (no bedbugs yay!) and set up the beds and he went to buy soap, toiletries and sheets. It was all a bit crazy but he was so kind and owned a well rated hostel down the road already. Kassim was running around at 100 miles an hour getting this hostel ready as running his other. We booked a tour for saturday and headed with the girls to the night market. We found so much fruit, corn, satay, weird corn peanut things, and chocolate covered strawberries!! It was all awesome until I accidentally ate seafood and felt pretty ill. Tonnes of water and deep fried sweet potato took the edge off it though!
That evening Kassim offered us some food from the cookery lesson he was running in his other hostel with a Danish group. We were stuffed but sat with him and nibbled and then headed to bed.
We woke early the next day and headed out in a landy for a 4 hour hike in the jungle to find the Rafflasia flower, a massive fungi/flower that only lasts 7 days and are both rare and the largest flower in the world.
After this we headed for lunch and then to a tea plantation, unfortunately the hike took longer than expected (there were too many of us to only one guide and he couldn’t keep control of the whole group easily) and we arrived at the plantation only 30 minutes before the gate closed. Saying this we had a bit of a look around. The scenery was beautiful. You could see only tea trees for miles around, all at the same height and width ready to be picked. We then headed to the viewpoint from which we could see a few trees and the cloud we were standing and headed down to the ‘mossy Forrest’ this was pretty cool, similar to the forests on the Galapagos I was working on they felt very eery and just looked amazing. We were not here for long but it was pretty cool.
We got back and I headed to the shower, when I came out Kassim was standing in the doorway talking to Rachel. Rach had given clothes to Kassim the day before to get washed and had asked if they were ready.
By the sounds of things they weren’t so Kassim had offered rachel some money to buy new ones. Of course we declined as we could easily wait a day to get the clothes back, rach could borrow mine. But then Kassim said ‘no, your clothes are gone’. It turns out a worker had seen the bag and presumed it was rubbish and binned it. Or this was the theory. It was one anyhow. I only had 1 shirt in there (a top i have taken travelling with me for 7 years and was so damn good) but all of Rachel’s t shirts, trousers etc were in there. Anything she had worn so far this trip was gone.
We worked out a financial agreement with Kassim and got a statement from the police for insurance, and then headed out to buy Rach some trousers, deciding to buy the rest in KL when we get there.
Because of the kerfuffle we didn’t make the cooking class we had planned to do and headed back to the hostel after food to sort insurance. Kassim was a wonderful hostel owner, a friend we met at the hostel had been ill and Kassim had headed out and bought medicine and given her massages to help, he also gave me a massage after my back had gone from the drive in the land rover. We were then just playing cards with friends in the hostel when he brought through a load of Bangladeshi traditional clothes for us to try on.
Minus the clothing issue we had a great time here even though the place was only half built! I imagine it will be pretty successful once it’s running!
I woke up sunday with a splitting headache, which after a lot of water, ibuprofen and a love letter, disappeared at 11 ish, we had a really relaxed day at the butterfly farm, back to the tea farm, and then to an Internet cafe where my headache came back full force. After some ibuprofen we got a coach down to KL as planned and once we arrived my head was spinning, I was getting hot and cold flushes, high temperature and just felt ill. I rang mum and realised I had developed a rash and ended up finding myself in hospital at midnight getting checked out.
So here I am, feeling tired but I gots drugs keeping the fever at bay and the headache is gone. And if I’m still ill tomorrow I have to go back in case its dengue fever. Yay!
From this I’ve learnt KL doesn’t like us, last time we were here Rachel was ill, this time I am! One day we’ll come back and see this place properly!
Hopefully the fever will go soon and we can carry on, but we may have to cancel our flight to Vietnam until I’m better!
Fun fun fun 😛