Cameron Highlands Part 2: Jungle Trekking Adventure3:29 PM
On the second day of our Cameron Highlands Trip, after a very much-needed rest, we were off to see the rafflesia flower. We were bussed around Cameron Highlands to a hotel, where our group switched vehicles and piled into a Jeep. Not the kind of cute Jeep you see barreling down the roads of suburban America, but a real, legit, all terrain Jeep. It bumped up and down the rocky paths, sometimes on the verge of tipping over, until it reached an area of land that flooded.From there, we started the "by foot" part of our journey. It was intense jungle trekking, sliding down mud, wading through knee deep puddles, leaping from rock to rock to cross streams, getting scratched up from overhead and underhead brush, but about a very muddy hour and a half later, we reached our final destination.
The rafflesia is the largest flower in the world, and I'd be willing to bet one of the ugliest. This was not the pretty dainty roses of the day before, this was a serious flower. With its thick crimson petals, and spiky interior, the rafflesia was not the kind of flower you'd want to place in a bouquet.... Not that it would fit in one. Websites boasted that the smell of the rafflesia is like the smell of rotting corpses, but sense I don't have any experience with that, it was impossible to make a comparison. My best description would be that it smelled like sewage. Yum.
After we took tons of pictures (after all, we had hiked for an hour plus to see the ugly flower), we finally made our way out of the jungle, pausing only for a break to splash cold water on our hot faces from a conveniently-located waterfall. Exhausted and dripping sweat, we trudged to our van and reached an Orang-Asli settlement. We learned how to shoot poison darts (ours were fake of course) using the traditional blowpipe. Walking through the Orang-Asli village was strange. It felt a bit awkward for us, as it felt like we were invading peoples' personal lives. It was not the best experience, and although I've heard the Orang Asli culture is beautiful, today was not the day to learn about it.
We stopped at a few sightseeing places to take pictures and enjoyed char kuey teow at a restaurant somewhere in Pahang. The food took 45 minutes to come, something practically unheard of in Malaysia! Oh well, just another orang putih problem I guess.
The day was finished with a tour of the BOH tea factory. It was extremely foggy so it was hard to take any good pictures, but at least the tea warmed us up. The Jeep bumped along the road back to the bus stop, where we very nearly missed our bus... But once we made it, needless to say, there were 7 sleeping , but happy foreigners on the bus back to Ipoh.
|One does not mess with a rafflesia.|
|So big lah this|
|What a beautiful view....|