Christine and Chris in Asia
20th Nov 2006
Lost in the Clouds
Got up today thinking we were going to take the 1.30 bus for Kuala Lumpur. This was itself something we had never intended to do till we got here as we hate big cities but in the process of being here we realized there are three ace cheap backpackers right outside the KL Puduraya bus station which means we can bed down and go for a saunter in China town and Little India KL style.
Anyway we decided to go on walk number 10 up the ridge above Tanah Rata and see if we could see a view over the town. Walking was cold and a little bit too much like the NZ Waitakeries but the path wound up and down and then got real steep and for a while I left Christine half way up till I found there was a cool flat glade below the summit in sight. She alternated between too hot and puffed and chilled to the point of hypothermia suddenly shaking and donning all her clothes and jackets. Eventually we came out in to the open with a sense of victory and we could see out over the crazy mix of market gardens under plastic 'glasshouses' tea plantations and ski-lodge like apartment blocks in the town below as well as the cloud tipped hills around.
Then I climbed higher and found a way to the summit which had a stunning view all the way back to the lowland plains of Malaysia from which we had ascended to around 6,000 feet. On the summit was a Malaysian butterfly collector with a huge net catching rare butterflies on the wing. By de4grees I persuaded Christine to climbe the sttep slopes to the summit so she could enjoy the victory view amid vertigo and altiphobia.
Then the butterfly collector pointed out a less precipitous way down which we followed slowly down through the cloud forest descending a long ridge which took us far from the town. We then came to a cross roads and there was an old hill tribe man dragging two large logs who disappeared back up into the forest path. After a pause realizing there was no obvious way out we decided to follow the trail the man had taken climbing back up to another summit full of forkings in the path which I had to explore shouting to Christine to try to find a way through. In the middle it began to rain. Finally we ascended a second peak and used the compass and map to figure roughly where we were and I toojk another exploratory run down theo other side and finally heard human voices in the distance and then saw below the rooves of an 'aboriginal' hill tribe village Sungai Ruil Orang Asli, taking another hour to walk back the 3 or 4 kilometres to Tanah Rata.
We then tried to book a ticket to KL in the morning and found we were on the same bus company that broke down yesterday, so we have booked on the VIP bus early for an additional 5 Rp each.
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