Sunday, April 12, 2009

Short Trip North

Warning: long entry ahead.

So after our short trip down South, the weekend after, we headed to Cameron Highlands with our cell group.
Surprisingly, Camerons has a lot to offer in terms of things to do compared to Gentings and Frasers.

Our first stop was a bee farm. There were many flowers and of course, bees. There was an agitated hive which caused us to stand and watch from afar as the staff tried to calm them down. Managed to spot a swarm of bees huddling under a branch - so geli.

And here's the honey comb, appreciating it's complex structure. They're truly amazing engineers.

The next day, we went to the peak of the hill and climbed this tower. Unfortunately, it was misty and darn cold. We climbed to the top, shivered our way into some photos despite the biting winds and quickly made our way back down.
Apparently on clear days, the view from this tower can cover Teluk Intan and Gopeng and Ipoh and... I can't remember what other towns.

Very nearby to this tower, we hiked into what is called a mossy forest, whereby the thick moss growing on the tree branches is solid enough for us to walk on it. So essentially, we were walking on tree tops.This picture depicts a cross section of the soft bouncy ground we were standing on - several branches being covered with the moss. If we jumped hard enough on the edge of the path, we'd plummet to the cliff below us.

Then we went to the Boh tea plantations. A few facts we learned:
  • The workers are paid a measly RM0.20 per kilo of tea leaves they collect per day
  • The tea bush needs to grow on hills as it needs good irrigation, no pooling of water after a rainy spell.
  • The hills can be very steep and the workers have to pluck the tea leaves by hand
  • The tea bushes are trimmed every three years. Otherwise they will grow as tall as a tree.
  • Some tea trees are untrimmed so that it can produce fruit to grow more tea bushes (see tea fruit picture below)

The tea fruit

The Boh Tea Centre is a new tourist building which won an award for its achitecture, and it is a really gorgeous building.

Place 3 was the butterfly farm with its many strange creatures, not just butterflies.

Actually, these two beetles were mating at first but after being under our scrutiny, they gave up. Seen here is when the top one was crawling off the other.

Cute toad. Thought it would hop off my palm and onto my face but it didn't.

Grinning lizard.

On the last day, we also went jungle trekking by accident. We were looking for the path that was supposed to lead us to the waterfall but after about an hour, with the waterfall sounds getting further away, we kind of figured we were on the wrong track. By the time we decided to turn back, we were too tired to explore the waterfall when we got to the right path.

Still, we managed to spot these ants making their way to goodness knows where, each carrying a small piece of stone/earth. Jan stopped one of them and wrestled its cargo from its grasp. The poor thing then dejectedly searched for its cargo before giving up and hurrying back to where it came from to pick up another speck.

Another place not photographed was the pasar malam. So many stalls selling the same things! Strawberries! Veggies! Corn! Flowers! Stuff that looked like stawberries... Sheesh. But one thing though, buying stuff from Camerons is like buying stuff from a China trip, you get cheated left, right and centre.

We stayed at the OMF building again (where I stayed last October) and had a great supply of delicious food - chicken curry, steamboat and what is Camerons without its famous scones?
Spotted this cluster of flowers which resembled a heart on the OMF grounds.

And, finally, with a bunch of good friends, what could top it off but playing a board game? We played Cranium which is like a combination of Pictionary, Charades (check KS trying to act out Hamster Wheel), IQ, clay modelling (spot the "mannequin" clay which only Jan managed to guess) all rolled into one.

We certainly had loads of fun. I know some of them are planning to go back again.

Phew, now for a quiet weekend before our Bali trip.


Ron said...

so many geli pics - how come they allow people to touch the creatures? I thought that frog was poisonous!

jo said...

they say those creatures aren't poisonous. the only poisonous creature was a huge scorpion which the caretaker casually threw on my shoulder. i screamed the place down but managed to stand still enough for jan to take my photo.