Christine and Chris in Asia
19th Nov 2006
Into the Highlands in Fits and Starts
Tonight we ended up in the Cameron Highlands in a series of strange cubic centimeters of chance neither of us expected.
We got up early caught a taxi to the ferry, raced on to the ferry pulling our massive trolley of luggage just in time to catch the next embarkation. Arrived in Butterworth and dragged on over to the chaotic bus station but found the 9.30 to Lumut (Pangkor Island) full and rather than wait till the next at 11.30, set off for Ipoh the junction city en route. Had a cool (well air-conned) bus to the Ipoh bus station, but in the process decided to head for the hills rather than another hot beach partly because the bus wouldn't return to Ipoh for no explicable reason.
So after an hour wait in the hectic bus station we managed by the skin of our teeth to find and catch our bus for the Cameron Highlands. The road wound steeply on upwards with occasional panoramic views of the receding lowlands and cloud capped hills above. Then as we reached the highlands proper the bus conked out and we were stranded for about an hour by the road side while they sent out a mechanic who had no luck getting it going. At this point after most of the Malaysians had sent out cell pohone messages to get picked up, I set up a tatoo of complaints and they got the mechanic to whisk us (and us only leaving a couploe of Japanese girls and two young Malaysians in head scarves) off to the nearest hill town where we caught a local bus to Tanah Rata, the Indian hill town at the centre of the highlands.
First cool night since central China, misty rainy, and a bit like being at the Chateau on Ruapehu. If the weather picks up we'll go walk in the forest - otherwise we'll head for the sea again.
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