We Stayed @ Gerrards Place! pics below with the lovely Jay!
We took a Mossy forest trip- took this trip through Jay at Gerrards place; we had an excellent guide who was informed and
passionate about his environment. He thoroughly enjoyed showing us the usual and unusual plants around us in the mossy forest e.g. Picher plants hanging from trees. It was quite do-able and would have been easier if it had not rained continuously the night before, this made it very slippy and muddy at times when climbing through the trees. We really enjoyed this bit even if we were caked in mud round our shoes afterwards.
After the Mossy forest walk, part of a half day trek we were taken to the BOH tea plantations to see the tea leaf making process. This is now a very customer commercial process and you get the feeling that it is primarily put on for the tourists. We did get to see the factory process from sorting, drying, heating and sorting and so forth until you end up with the small black bits we know as tea leaves! The café area was horribly busy and quite overpriced although like me if you just like a mug o tea it didn’t cost more than 1.50RM. The food did look nice and there was plenty of area to sit, it was just full of coach loads of local tourists.
Our next stop was the Butterfly farm, which we were a bit umming and awing about doing this one, as it was on the itinerary anyway and our excellent guide would not let us stop outside. He was terribly excited about what else we would see whilst in there. We got in and were greeted by some stunning plants, some cacti and or course beautiful Orchids. Past these was some glass aquariums with an assortment of bugs and reptiles, our guide proceeded to take samples out for what I can only describe as a “show & tell”. Rhino horn Beetles, leaf insect, millipede and stick insect, along with some scorpions just for variety and no they didn’t bite, but we did sweat except Angela who loves creepy crawlies. There were also some snake exhibits where they were too many for the display or the glass aquariums were too small. Never mind.
Finally we got to the Butterfly house which was much smaller than the one we visited in KL. The butterflies also seemed much dopier, if that makes sense. This is also where we found out that butterflies love Angela as she managed to have a lovely brown mottled one camouflage himself on her brown and white striped shirt all the way out and even hitch a lift out of the enclosure. We did actually manage to get him back in! It was quite nicely landscaped and there were many of the same variety.
This concluded our half day tour around2.30pm and we were dropped back off in town for lunch on our request. Tanah Rata [Tanah-Rata-travel-guide-1099015], a one street high street with Indian restaurants dominating the main thorough fare and a very small Chinese community of restaurants on the other side of the road. All interspersed with tourist tack shops, massage parlours and banks & Pharmacy, in fact everything you would need for a small town. I liked Tanah Rata, people were friendly and we also found a very cheap laundry dobi..
Another good place we visited during our stay in theCameron Highlands was Brinchang [Brinchang-travel-guide-1336131]. Primarily to visit the Cactus and strawberry farm, not both in the same premises. We took a taxi from Tanah Rata to Brinchang, it cost us 10RM each way. First stop the Cactus Farm, which looked like it was up a rough little side street, I remember thinking as the taxi took us up it “there’s no way it’s up here”. But it was, the Cactus farm/shop is set on a small hill overlooking Brinchang, on terraces with small solid concrete footways, so easy for everyone! You enter through the shop, which was closed due to it still being low season. Consequently we also didn’t have to pay for entrance as it was low season; I think it was around 5RM each person. So this became a bit of a bargain visit. After climbing some stone steps we started to see the full extent of the Cactus Nursery (as I will now call it). Rows and rows of cacti, every conceivable type, size, and colour of cactus. Some very mature specimens and some very large specimens. A real feast if you are a cactus fan. Interestingly there is also a view point you can stop and sit at in the Cactus Nursery, there you can look down on Brinchang and the stunning surrounding jungle and see the hideous building work for a new shopping mall that the Malaysians seem to love so much.
A short walk further up the hill takes you to one of the original and older established Strawberry Farms. Many new so called farms have sprung up, clearing and decimating the beautiful landscape as they go. This one is one of the originals and also grows Hydroponics green salad leaves and organic strawberries. Again this visit was free, at the top of the small hill walk there is a lovely café that does very tasty strawberry everythings to eat! Angela indulged in a very large strawberry Sundae I indulged in a Strawberry lassi, yum!
After looking round the shop next to the café that does everything strawberry tack! We wondered back down to the road in search of some lunch. Now whilst Tanah Rata maybe Indian/Malay Brinchang is very Chinese/Malay, we settled ourselves in a really good locals restaurant and ate very tasty food for not a lot of money. Taxi home and guess what? It rains again, just a note it rained everyday without fail in theCameron Highlands, almost around 12 midday onwards. So bring a Mac or as we did buy a cheap see through poncho type that covers your daypack as well and is lovely and long for just a few ringgits.
Another free activity around the Tanah Rata district are the stunning walks, we were only limited by our laziness and eventual discovery that the reason Angela felt so crap was she had Dengue Fever! We did however manage a small four km walk. All the walks are numbered and once again Jay was a hive of information and could give you maps to help you find your way through all of them, we took walk number four. Which was accessed through the town itself. This runs alongside the very polluted river where there are waterfalls (small) and you cannot swim, just as well as it rained! The walk is semi paved with old bricks which seem to break every now and again to allow for tree roots and natural stone to make way for you. I loved it. We continued the walk round as we thought we were so close to Brinchang we could get a taxi back, Wrong! And everything was shut again, we walked what through paths that could have been anywhere in “leafy Surrey” even the buildings reflected “rural England”.
We did manage to get to the Sultan Ahmed Shah golf course. Now I know in England this sort of Golf Course would not let the likes of us riffraff anywhere near the door.
This one, not so, we were welcomed in to the café restaurant along with other Western and local tourists. The food was good and we had a lovely table overlooking the entire golf course, fab! Equally the lunch prices were not hideous, and we spent sometime there enjoying the surroundings. Taxi was hitched from the side of the road for another 10RM back to Tanah Rata, Luncheon, tired legs and dengue fever took their toll.
We did also spend a couple of days doing absolutely nothing, Gerrards place was the sort of place to stay you could do that, coupled with the fact Angela was really not well at all, next stop KL.