day 7 21-10-13 Monday
Off to Batu caves which is a Hindu shrine to Lord Murugan. Not actually sure why he is so important but important enough for hoards of sari clad women to make the arduous and hazardous climb - fending off troops of monkeys and ducking the pigeons poo - up 265 steps to the shrines. The caves are massive and very atmospheric with shafts of light from two gaps at the top of the cave illuminating the shrines below.
We didn't take Mr Jangut recommendation of fish head curry but we have been fairly international in our culinary experiences - Nando's (South Africa), pasta (Italy), roast chicken with all the trimmings (England), Starbucks (america) and Tiger beers from Singapore.
Day 8 Tuesday 22-10-13
A return of the author with the fan club of appreciation albeit I realise the opposition is not that strong. Still all support is gratefully received .
An early start for the Taman Negara nature reserve in the middle of Malaysia. A quick jaunt on the underground and we arrived in Chinatown which showed just how nice our area of KLCC is. A certain person acting her age said when looking at the 3 star meeting point, "oh I couldn't stay here they not got an infinity pool !" Still our ubiquitous Toyota Haice was our first transport for three hours on the newly constructed motorways. Unfortunately our driver thought at the time he was the only person who could stop Sebastian Vettel winning the F1 title but his driving skills did not match his head. We soon luckily arrived in Jerantut to transfer to another, you've guessed it Toyota Haice. First however we had two hours to spare in a town with nothing except a partially finished KFC. A long time spent at a roundabout charting the driving styles of Malay persons ( three to a bike but the kids never get the helmet ) some melted milk biscuits and time passed in well 2 hours ! Short journey to the boat and where we travelled on the Temberling River for three hours with virgin rainforest on each side, it was truly beautiful even if the only wildlife was that rare creature, the cow .
We arrived at the stopping point and found out we were the only ones in the 5 star resort Mutiara Taman Negara . We were separated from the rif raff by a 20p river crossing. Our room was quite nice with all that we could ask for even if it was 500 meters from reception. Now for those of you who are astute you will have realised this day was my 43rd birthday so we decided to splash out at the local LBK restaurant owned by the local gourmet chef, my meal of a curry and fries plus a Fanta ( no booze at this place) came to £3.
Next day we decided to walk alone instead of getting a guide and set out for the canopy and high point . The canopy, which is the longest in the world, was found and tried. You will have guessed that safety was not a strong point in design with missing bolts, single knots and a 50 meter drop. Still great views and time to make for the hill top which was 3 km hike, not much I hear you say, but in 100% humidity it was fun. Worth it for fantastic views of the rainforest which allegedly contains tigers, elephants , bears and an assortment of snakes. The trek down was not so easy as the path had just disappeared and ropes were needed although we had fun.
On returning to our chalet as I was getting into the shower I looked at my feet to see them covered in blood. Mentioned it to her indoors who then exclaimed oh mine are the same, not however before she had stained all the sheets with blood. We had been bitten by leeches. I then got a lecture on the history of this creatures in medical science, if anyone has insomnia I will send the transcript.
Another sumptuous meal at LBK that evening.
Our last day in the park was spent on another walk in which we saw wild boar, lizards, deer and a lot of insects all of which were avoided as best we could.
We left the way we arrived via the water taxi and Toyota Haice driven by, you've guessed it Stigs Malaysian cousin .
It was good to return to the Impiana in KL who upgrade us due to my birthday being close. How nice. An evening in the local TGI Fridays where the Tiger beer was on offer, rounded off an excellent stay in the country. Tomorrow it's the train to Singapore.