I was warned not to expect buses and trans in Asia to run on time. This was a good warning! Having picked up Adma from Northern England and Dave from Plymouth, the 5 of us waited expectedly for our 9:30am bus. 9:45 passed, as did 10am. Nerves were rising and our hungover patience was being tested, but finally at 10:35am our bus rolled in. What followed were 6 chunderous hours of windey roads into the Malaysian mountains. Lovely.
However, this was all worth while as the Cameron Highlands proved to be an excellent place. After settling in, the five of us went for a walk to a nearby waterfall. This was good fun and it gave us a chance to get to know our two new arrivals a bit better.
On Sunday 6th April we went on an 8km Jungle Trek up a very steep mountain. The first 3km of this mainly involved climbing up using rocks and tree roots to steady ourselves. The view from the top was very impressive, and we paused t take it in. The way down is on roads, and takes considerably longer than the way up. On the way down however, there are various things to stop for. Our first stop was at a strawberry farm, where we sampled some local produce. A little further down and we had some tea, after spending a few kilometres walking past the neat tea plantations. Fortunately after this we were able to hitch-hike back to town, as the remaining 9km didn't seem too appealing at the time.
The next day we contuinued to move north, and took a coach to Butterworth. Here, Ian had his Thai Visa application rejected again and with little else to do int this transport hub of a town, we went to a karaoke bar. Ian managed to lose his debit card here...6days into his trip.
On Tuesday 8th April we made the boat trip across to Penang Island, and stayed on the Island's main city of Georgetown. This was a pleasant enough city, with good food and cheap living. Ian (finally) obtained his Thai visa while we were here. During our stay on the island, the three of us rented mopeds and were gong to ride all the way around the island in a day...until Matt chickened out after literally 5 minutes. It seems that 50cc is just too powerful for little Matty. At 2.50pounds a day and 80p for a full tank, Ian and I took off around the island, taking in its hilly landscape and winding roads.
The following day we tended to our sunburns and returned to Butterworth for a 6:05am train the next day.