Our brief stay here has been one of our shortest stops, but in many ways one of the most memorable - not necessarily for the right reasons either.
We are staying in a place called 'Daniel's Lodge' - bet you can't guess how we chose that - and it is a very quaint, cheap homestay, with a pretty welcoming family and all your basic facilities. Included in our deal however, is a strange little man sleeping in the bed in the corner of our dorm. We barely noticed him when we first arrived, but over the course of the afternoon, began to realise there was someone in the bed. Not just anybody though - some sort of dwarf thing. He is small, old and frail, and sleeps with a sheet over his head and socks on his hands. I'm not kidding. We were both convinced he had leprosy and all this stuff on him was to keep his extremities from falling off. He has bowls surronding his bed, which he promptly hides when either one of us enters, and a little cooker he must use for feeding. It's like he doesn't leave. Couple this with the incessant coughing, it was no surprise Dan moved from the bed next to him last night before he caught something himself.
More surprising though was that when he eventually emerged, he was dressed in a shirt and slacks, pretty well turned out, as if off to work in an office. Most bizarre. The strangest of all though had to have been last night, when I awoke to a bizarre munching sound, only to open my eyes to see him covertly chowing down on some biscuits in his locker like some sort of rodent.
Tonight I might not sleep so easy, especially as for the first time this whole trip, the mosquitos are audibly buzzing around, revving up as if they are on miniature motorbikes readying themselves for the nosedive to me neck. It's one of the most irritating sounds in the world, particularly when we are trying to sleep. I hate them!
We had booked a tour for today to see the tea plantations, and it was meant to pick us up at 9:30. We were up and ready and waiting with two other guys, who were picked up before us. 20 minutes later another car pulled up and asked if we were waiting for the half day tour. We were, so we were on our way. Alas, this man was also there to pick up the guys who were before us, and our tour arrived later to get us. By this time it was too late, and we were treated with disdain by our driver for the majority of the trip, once all the guides had realised their mistake, and were basically taking us out for free!
But we got at and into the plantations. They are pretty cool thing to see, spread out over 100s of hectares providing the BOH company with all the leaves they need. The hills are covered in the bushes in such a way that they look like green brains - the lines interconnecting and weaving across the land. We took a few pictures as the mist rolled in, and the whole view was pretty awesome. We then climbed above the cloudline to be met with a total white out - above everything, the moisture dampening our clothes continously. Following this our final forray into the jungle, through another moss forest - common at these altitudes - on the look out for the Pitcher Plants, so-called because they look like the pitchers you can drink from. They are a very clever design, catching insects in their cup and consuming them to provide the energy to grow more plants. Clever stuff!
We head off tomorrow, and having done everything her, have an afternoon of movie watching to look forward to.