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Cameron Highlands Day 3: Waterfalls and Big Hills



So back to the saga that was Cameron Highlands. Ok, if the name of the place and previous posts didn't give it away, this is a mountainous area. Huge rolling hills and stuff. That's why at just 4.5 degrees from the Equator, the temps are still so nice and cool. 15 to 25 degrees Celsius, thanks to the altitude. (Americans who don't get the whole Celsius thing, look it up. Google it, for Christ’s sake. Whatever, just get with the program.)

Anyhow, we heard of a waterfall that sounded like some cool thing to photograph. We were wondering if it would be even prettier than the other one. Not quite. Turns out it was a lot smaller than we had been led to believe, but there was in fact water and it was actually falling so it was legitimately a waterfall. So regardless, we photographed it. The real challenge was to avoid the trash that had floated downstream. Like other parts of Malaysia, people generally don't think twice when it comes to littering. Even in a place that's clearly trying to cash in on tourism. Of course when it rains, much gets washed downstream and makes a mess of the very thing tourists come to see.


While I was being a little boy climbing over rocks and stuff to try and get some different angle of this said waterfall, there was this self-appointed nature guide who came along. He gives tours of this park and was trying to talk my friends and my wife into climbing up this big ass hill to look out over the area. I'm thinking there are so many reasons that's never going to happen. For one, it's late in the day. Who wants to trek in a jungle terrain while the sun is going down? It's uphill, and my friend is allergic to steps. Ok perhaps not literally, but just saying. It's really not his thing. Next, we hadn’t eaten in a while. No big deal for this American-raised boy, but I was thinking the tour guide could never make the sale unless there was some awesome crab dish or chicken rice at some unbeatable price up at the top. I couldn't have been more wrong.

My buddy got to thinking this being our last full day in Cameron, that we should have an adventure and have something to look back on. So we climbed, and climbed and…you get the idea. It wasn't like climbing steps at your house, oh no. The builders must’ve been deranged, thinking that semi-horizontal ledges with randomly high verticals would be ok and perhaps save them from making many more smaller steps. I'm not exaggerating when I say some were up to 60 cm high, but most were more around the 45 cm (don't make me say it again, Americans) mark.

And what did we get from this climb in the form of photos? Nothing worth posting. it was getting sorta dark and though you could see some hotels and roads below, there wasn't really much to see. The sense of accomplishment was up there with the number of mosquitoes, though. So yeah and I mentioned it was getting sorta dark so it's not like being on top of some hill with a downward trek ahead, with giant steps and pine needles on the steps to make them slick, is something you want to do in the dark.

Needless to say, once we started back down, the dense tree cover made it damn dark. So dark I can barely see my friend’s wife’s white shoes and she was right in front of me. She was being guided by the guide, I followed her with my wife behind me so I could help her down the steps and my buddy followed behind my wife. All in almost complete darkness. It was a miracle we made it down all safe and sound. But…I bet you knew there was a ‘but’ coming.

We got to the car and the guide guy wants a ride into town. Ok so we had to clear out the back seat of the car to fit one more person. Trying to be helpful, I grabbed a bunch of stuff and headed for the trunk, and in the dark of the night had forgotten that we had backed in next to a drainage ditch. After thinking I'd averted all the danger of this giant fucking hill, I fall into the drain and somehow managed to twist my shoulder. How, I have no idea, but it hurt like all hell. I guess I had reached to steady myself and twisted something. Either way, I was wrecked.

Needless to say we had a much-deserved victory dinner that night and came back with loads of memories we will never forget. Heck, now we don't complain about the steps we find around here, because we have already climbed the steps from hell.


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