I could have slept longer in that nice cold room. It actually was too cold to get up! I was almost shivering. Time to get out of this place.
I went to have breakfast at the deaf peoples’ place again (I asked for take-out and it was no problem) and before I left, the woman showed me a sign and said that it was “I love you”. That made me want to stay there and eat there again.
Then, at the mini market, I found her husband, who was waiting in line to pay and when he saw me, he let me pass in front of him to pay for my water. Just such nice people everywhere!
I started my breakfast at the bus stop but our mini bus arrived soon and I was glad to leave. You’d think that you get good and clean air in the Cameron Highlands. But there seem to be a lot more car emissions up there, or they are just stronger. It smelled like burned fuel everywhere and since all the restaurants are along the main road I started feeling sick by just sitting there. But it was only me who was so sensitive; everyone else just shrugged their shoulders.
The ride in the minivan felt a lot safer than the one in the bus. We left Tanah Rata at 8 and got to Kuala Tembling Jetty at 11.30.
There, we first had to buy a visitor pass for the park (1 RM) and a license for each camera we were bringing (5 RM, God knows why).
Then, we had to wait for 2,5 hours, for our boat to arrive. Why couldn’t we just leave later?!
I had a very basic rice and chicken lunch (it said with vegetables but I think it was just warm salad).
The boats luckily arrived a little early and so everyone was down at the pier, waiting like for a boat ride at the Europapark. Ah, yes, have I mentioned that it was extremely hot again, ever since we got out of the van? But I didn’t want to complain after that freezing weather we had in the highlands.
My minivan group and I were really happy when the guy we signed in with told us to get on the 2nd boat that arrived, although we were the last ones who got to the pier. We sat behind each other in pairs and were off on a 2 hour ride upstream. The boat ride was really cool and only because of that already the trip to the jungle was worth it! But an hour would have been ok, afterwards it got a little hot and I almost fell asleep.
We arrived in a floating restaurant, where they informed us about all the tours we could book and they also mentioned several times that we probably chose the worst time of the year to come here, since it was Hari Raya and everything would be closed because they would be eating and feasting the whole time.
When he was finished with his little introduction, I had to carry all my stuff up a small hill to get to the area where all the hostels are. Quite straining in this heat! And then I had to knock on three reception doors (nobody was around) to finally be able to talk to someone. The first and second one were full, at the third nobody came and it looked more expensive anyways and a t the fourth a woman told me I could stay there for one night only (the dorm was just a corridor everybody had to walk through but it would only have been 10 RM. However, I thought I couldn’t bear going through the same troubles of carrying my stuff again tomorrow after the forest and so I told the woman I’d try to find a place where I could stay two nights. When I walked past the place where nobody showed up before, a woman was there now and actually told me that yes, they had a dorm (15 RM) and space in. So, I actually got a room cheaper than expected and the bathroom was in the chalet too! So far, I was the only guest in the dorm but three more people would arrive in our 6 bed dorm and there were only 2 people staying in the 2nd dorm. I think the owners didn’t want just anybody to stay there, so when other people arrived who didn’t seem too happy with the chalets they saw, they just told them that it was full. I was extremely relieved that I had found something so quickly and I think it was actually the best guesthouse on that strip. They had a little kitchen too, which we were allowed to use and for example make tea.
After a nice cold shower, I was already hungry and I was glad that the guide told us to go eat before 7.30pm, because afterwards the places would be packed with people eating from the buffets. However, nothing was open!!! All the floating restaurants, dark and nobody in them. There was one restaurant and one mini market on top of the hill which were open. I met the nice German couple from the bus again, they were eating there. But it actually was exactly the same food I had for lunch, except triple the price. I could not see chicken and rice again. So, I finally decided to take a boat for 1 RM to the other side of the river and go eat in the Taman Negara resort. There also was a good looking buffet (50 RM without drinks but the waiter offered it to me for 40 RM since I probably looked like a bum in this place) but I didn’t feel like having to walk for my food and so I finally went for one of these club sandwiches. All the burgers and sandwiches looked really good and they tasted delicious too! Well, they should, for the Swiss prices they have there (7 RM for a sprite or ice tea and 23 RM for a sandwich).
Afterwards, I took the boat back to the other side (so much fun, I hope they never build a bridge :)) and “hiked” back to the chalet. There were fire torches along the way, so I didn’t even need my flashlight. Finally, a night with at least 9 hours of sleep 🙂