After a 4 hour journey across motorways and winding climbing roads we arrived in the Cameron Highlands, which are pushing 2,000m. We arrived in Tanah Rata which is surrounded by lush green tea plantations in the early evening.
An Indian was on the agenda for our evening meal. My starter arrived after my main, with the groups meals arriving over a 45 minute period – you’d get fired back home for that! The naan and pancakes were great and although the chicken was well flavoured it was full of bones.
On Sunday morning we boarded a former Austrian military truck, which stood out like a sore thumb in the entourages of Land Rovers in the Highlands. They once broke a World Record for the most Defenders in a convoy, over 400!
We then headed into the ‘Mossy Forest’ which our guide said that it is rare to have easy access to such a habitat with people having to treck for days to reach similar forests. We were warned that our shoes would be turned to ‘chocolate cake’ due to the muddy tracks that we’d be tracking on. If you think of the Avatar film that’s what the forest was like, inter winding moss covered trees letting small glimpses of sunlight through.
We stopped at a viewpoint deep in the 600 acres of tea plantation with stunning panoramic views of the green carpet like hills. The plantation was owned by a company called BOH, which is privately owned by a Scottish family who have passed it through generations. The leaves are ‘picked’ by machine with two men holding either end, this differed to the plantations I saw in Kenya where people carried baskets on their backs to throw the leaves into.
Time Tunnel was next a museum showing the history of the Highlands which has deep British routes. The area is named after William Cameron a Scottish surveyor who found settlements in the late 1800’s. It later had British military influence with camps being based their during the Second World War and letter people doing their National Service their also.
The 4th largest Buddhist temple rounded off our day which is home to the largest statue of the Buddha in Malaysia.
Some of the group chose Steamboats for tea – not a term for somebody getting paralyticly drunk. Steamboats are a gas cooker (camping stove) which are placed in the middle of the table with soup in them. Raw meat, vegetables and noodles are served with them which you throw into the water and boil it to cook. Beth and I were less adventurous opting for chicken dishes, however the dried chillis in mine were an eye waterer.