I was definately not expecting mountains, rolling hills and Swiss-style buildings which made you feel like you were in a scene from "The Sound of Music".
However, we still got stuck in. We're stayed in the strangest place (Father's Guest House) where the rooms are in old tin-roofed bunkers like air-raid shelters above ground. It was comfortable though and cosy under our thick fleece blankets at night. Yes, it was bloody freezing!
On our first full day, Jody and I attempted a walk in the rainforest on the trail known as 9a. The trails are quite well worn but some are still a bit high, slippery and precarious. You can imagine:- Me, little-miss-no-balance and Jody with his long legs, trying to squeeze through the tiniest gaps and not fall off the cliff. Having walked for over an hour longer than we were told the trail should be, we did get a bit worried at the end. Jody had to shout down at a man working in the fields below and signal for directions. We soldiered on, then realised that parts of the path on this final stretch had given way. I scrambled across, then burst into tears as Jody got stuck mid-way and my throwing him a branch (as seen in all good Indiana Jones movies), only blocked his way even further. My tears turned to tears of relief as he jumped to saftey, clutching vines and we both realised it was the end of the trail. Hurrah for that!
The following day, we tried a guided walk - the guide kept handing us plants to smell, touch or eat. We didn't mind until one flower made our tongues go numb (then we learnt that it's used as an anaesthetic).
Something we won't forget about the Cameron Highlands is the day we tried Durian. It's a huge spiky fruit like a big pinapple but it's banned in most hotels because it sinks. People often describe the experience of trying it as like eating custard in a sewer. It apparently tastes better if you can get over the smell but I couldn't. All I remember is the beige, avocado-like flesh, biting into it and trying not to gag. People in Asian countries go mad for it though.
We left the Cameron Highlands to spend xmas in the capital, Kuala Lumpur but we've been here for four days and we find it characterless and dull. Had a good Christmas though (thanks Jody for my Gucci timepiece) and even managed to get ourselves in the newspaper today! (See photo).