The phone rings and were informed the driver is here. He’s fifteen minutes early, but we’re almost ready. It’s 05:45.
It’s dark outside as the sun is scheduled for appearance at 07:03. There’s two people in the car already and we’re told we’re to pick up four more. We do, and the driving is mostly done in silence. We’re told it’s to foggy to see the sunrise at the mountain top so we camp further down the road. It’s a rather lousy sunrise. Basically not a sunrise at all, at least not from where we’re sitting. It gets brighter, but we don’t see anything if the sun itself, nor any colors on the sky. Well well, at least we got up early. Forty five minutes at the side of the road, freezing. Puh, nothing for the likes of us.
We get back in the bus and drive to the Mossy forest. Kinda cool, but probably also better with sun and a view. We’re up on 2000 meter and see nothing but fog and clouds. The trees are mossy, all right, and we get a few good shots of the uniqueness of it before returning to the bus.
A short drive later and we’re at the very top. 2031 meter. There’s a little viewing tower here-but as you probably understand by now the weather doesn’t really support us. We climb it, but it’s only fog to be seen in every direction.
Down the hill again and now we’re heading to one of BOH’s tea plantations and factories. BOH is a huge brand around here. Lots of commercials from them in the cinemas. We do have a guide today, Nick, but that is in an extended use of the title. We get information like:”We stay for thirty five minutes. Factory, information, toilet, shop and cafeteria. All you need to know are on posters inside.” And he walks away and light up a cigarette. Right. Anyway, when we walked into the factory Katja notices a beetle. A large one. Turns out is a male rhinoceros beetle. You can tell it’s a male from the middle horn. It’s unbelievably huge. We also learned that it uses the crack between its head and back-shell as a pincer and can really hurt you if you get caught there. Everyone in the group agreed it would be the most memorable thing from today.
The tea factory were cool, it really was. Equipment from 1935 is still used to grind the tea leaves before fermentation. And the fact that the leaves are fermented before they’re dried tells us it’s black tea coming out the other end. The information section was bragging about the company, but also a few pieces of information with noticing. Like the fact that, Cameron was the one who explored the area and it’s thereby carrying his name to this day.
We didn’t end up buying anything at the shop. Surprisingly, right? Nothing stood out, but we did get a cup of tea in that cafeteria where we enjoyed the view out over the tea plantation. There’s been newly weds everywhere around the tea plants today. Looks like it’s a favorite scene for the wedding photos.
Back in the bus we drove back to town and the tour is over. It’s over ten and we’re hungry. We get breakfast on the “strip” before walking back up towards the hotel.
We catch a little shuteye before we go out for dinner. No way I’m eating at this hotel again.
On the way down to town we go by the bus station and buy tickets for tomorrow’s earliest bus to KL. We’ve decided on a restaurant earlier today and head there. It’s OK, but there is little love to be found in the good on a touristy place like this. The whole place is heavily influenced by Indian food, and this place is no different. The naan bread is good, the rest just mediocre.
We go down to Starbucks after dinner and surf of alternatives for the upcoming days. The beach place we’ve looked at might not be what we’re looking for so we’re looking for alternatives. Internet moves like a snail on Prozac so we call it a day and head home. We decided on spending a night in KL tomorrow night and hopefully we’ll have what we need to decide what we do from there.
“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
― C.S. Lewis