I woke up at midnight thinking the new day had begun, but of course this wasn't the case and back off to the land of nod I went. When the alarm finally went it was for a breakfast that consisted of fried chicken, fish fingers, and chicken curry; I went for the fruit and only a few noodles as the concept was a little lost on me, but I'd better get used to it.
We all met at the bus ready to depart, and of course I chose the seat with the broken book/bottle holder before we set off to the pharmacy for ponchos, luckily I still had the London Bus Company one from home, so saved a whole 2MYR! Unfortunately I then had to part with 20c for a couple of plastic bags for waterproofing, but as this isn't even twenty pence I wasn't too upset. As we stopped off to buy nuts and energy food for the climb I realised I'd forgotten the Kendall Mint Cake that we saw in Aldi back home, it would have been perfect for the hike. Alas, I sufficed with dried banana, peanuts, and a few jelly baby-type sweets. I couldn't resist the first whiff of souvenirs on the stop at a market either, so ended up buying 3 bracelets for 9MYR, which was a waste really as I've been too worried to wear them in case they break.
The national park was our next stop, where we went for an hour's practise walk: lots of sweat as we trundled through the jungle, but fortunately not out of breath, so fingers crossed this whole mountain malarkey goes okay. 'I think I can, I think I can.'
Hot Milo and rice vegetables made up lunch, accompanied by the lovely sound of rather large bugs getting zapped beside our table. A couple of crickets hung around us looking for their mates, only to find their own fate inextricably linked.
A nap was on the cards for all on the bus up to the lodge, but I managed to spot numerous Maggi adverts and banners along the roads, as apparently it's pretty popular here. Our lodges were very swish, much better than we'd imagined, and even provided us with complimentary combs, sewing kits, and shower caps!
I was sharing with the three Danish girls, and Clare and Sue, two friends who were about sixty, but all was good as we sat down for our free tea and coffee, and ate the Ferrero Rocher they'd smuggled in from England. As we chatted we discovered there were to be three birthdays on the trip: Sue on the 18th, Lonna on the 20th, and of course ME on the 19th. Sue then threw in the comment that Scorpios are horrible people, which I hope isn't too true, maybe bitter and cynical, but not horrible...
Dinner was a fondue-like soup where we threw in every bit of fish ball, squid stick, and vegetable we had, and ended up with a strange mess that was only made better by the addition of rice. The dinner clearly upset me as I forgot to take my extortionate 6MYR bottle of water with me, and ran to the wrong room with Nanna, before having to run further up the hill to the correct our mistake.