Monday, 4 April 2011

Today I saw a snake.

This is true. And it is my most favourite snake in the world.

Now we are in the wonderful world of Malaysia, after a 10 hour escape from Hat Yai in Thailand (they do however, have very good bakeries..). The Cameron Highlands is in central Malaysia, is at approx 1200m above sea level, and specializes in growing strawberries, tea and growing butterflies. Its a very beautiful area, and the people are so friendly!

Yesterday we did an 'easy and pleasant' jungle trail past the Robinson Waterfalls. This walk included climbing over fallen trees, scrambling through the jungle, sliding down on my bum, holding onto vines and plants, walking through a vegetable farm and wondering where the hell we were! It was getting really hot, and we were told that the BOH Tea Estate - our final destination- was 6 km away. So we started walking.

We were lucky enough, however, to hitchike up to the estate with a young married couple from Kuala Lumpur. They were lovely enough to drive us up there, have a lil look around, and carry on with their own plans. We got to the tea estate and walked up to the viewpoint to see the miles of hills, covered in tea plants. Absolutely amazing! A really surreal kind of green, that reminds me of Tim Burtons Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

We then had some tea, overlooking the tea estate, being the only westerners there, we shared the experience with many local families and visitors from KL. And we took the 5-8 minute advertised factory tour, which had the strongest and freshest smell of tea - which they break down, not using any chemicals - over the course of a day and a half. Incredible. And the tea is still handpicked.

After that, we started walking down the windy, green hill back to the main road, as there are no buses up to the tea estate. Again, we were lucky enough to get picked up by one of the families we took the tour with to get dropped off at the bottom of the long hill and onto the main road. Funnily enough, the malaysian woman actually lives in Swansea and runs a Chinese takeaway and was on a holiday visa in her own country, as she is now a UK citizen. She also did not miss the snow.

Once we said our goodbyes to her and her family, we managed to hitch yet our final lift of the day, with a woman from the perinthian islands and a local girl. The little girl was really funny, asking if England was as cold as the Cameron Highlands and if we get snow. So we were very fortunate to meet some very friendly and kind locals, who thought we were quite novel and no one can understand Daves Aussie accent!

Today we went up to the butterfly farm on the local bus, which was beautiful - and this is also where the snakes were. The butterflies - some of which are the size of small birds- fly around freely around the beautiful enclosed gardens. Along with the butterflies are rabbits, koi carp, chickens, a goose, a scorpion nest, snakes, different beetles and a tarantula. Weird.

We walked down the hill to get to the strawberry farm in Brinchang, not realising that it was 4km away and it chucked it down with rain. Again, luckily for us, a local couple took pity on our silly, wet tourist look and dropped us off in town. We are very lucky. The Big Red Strawberry farm was nice, although not peak strawberry season. We had a gorgeous strawberry fondue and strawberry juice whilst looking at an extensive range of strawberry paraphernalia. Amazing. You can put a strawberry on everything.

And i had the most amazing strawberry tart. Delish.

And that brings us up to now. In a couple of days we'll be heading to the perhinthian islands - if the weathers good - and then KL to meet up with Niamh and Clay - yay! Can't wait to see them!

Also, a Happy Mothers Day to the mum and a Happy Birthday to my lil sis, Saskia. Sorry I'm not there, and I miss and love you both.

Muchos love, as ever xxx

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