Tuesday night was supposed to be my last night in KL. I stayed until Tuesday just so that I could go to a Couch Surfing Picnic. The picnic was a lot of fun. It is Ramadan here, so we went to a local market that is set up for Ramadan and bought some Malay food. In case you didn't know (I didn't) during the 30 days of Ramadan the Muslims cannot eat or drink from sunrise to sunset. When the sunsets there play a player on speakers all over the city and everyone breaks the fast.
After buying our food we went to KLCC park (just under the twin towers) for the actual picnic. We got there a little after the prayer, but since we weren't fasting it wasn't that big of a deal. It was cool to meet some more CSers living in KL. When I was talking to people I mentioned that I was planning on going to Cameron Highlands the next day. Rica told me that she lived in Cameron and was going up there in 2 days and if I could wait an extra day she would give me a ride and a couch to surf. I checked with Leechian to see if I could stay one extra night at her place and she agreed.
Thursday afternoon I met up with Rica at a train station that was near her house. George was also there. I talked to George a little at the picnic but didn't really get to know him. George is living the dream. He retired 3 years ago and has been riding his bike around the world since. He is a salty old dog, a British Vietnam Vet. He has a bunch of old Army tats and scars. He reminds me of Charles Bukowski, if he were into cycle touring. George is super passionate about living and traveling and pretty much everything. The whole ride up to Cameron he was talking about his favorite places on earth and it made me want to travel more. (Georges website http://imjibi.googlepages.com/)
The ride to Cameron took about 5 hours. the first half is highway the second s windy mountain roads. When we got there we met up with Robert another CSer from the picnic. Robert is a Canadian man who has taken a 15 month leave of absence from work to travel. His 15 months are almost up and he is leaning more towards retiring than going back to work, another man living the dream.
Rica had an alterior motive in inviting us to her place. She is moving from the highlands to KL and needed a little help. The night we arrived we went out for some Chinese food, then loaded her stuff into boxes. The Lorry (moving truck) was supposed to come at 8:30 the next morning. The lorry driver changed his mind and wanted to drive on Saturday instead of Friday, so we had an extra day in the highlands.
On Friday the for of us did a little site seeing around the highlands. It is a really beautiful area. The climate is much cooler than KL and it is a really relaxing city. Lots of Japanese people move there to retire and play golf everyday. Another unique thing about the highlands is the amount of 50+ year old Land Rovers they have there. It seems like one out of 5 cars on the road there is an old beat up LR from the colonial days. There are also tea and strawberry plantations everywhere. We visited the Boh Tea plantation which is one of the larger plantations. I never thought a tea plantation would be so beautiful. The Tea was planted all over the mountains and the rows of tea transformed the mountains into something a little more geometric. The had a cafe, and we drank some tea on a balcony overlooking the plantation. It was so beautiful we stayed about another hour after we finished our tea.
After the plantation Robert and I did a trek though the jungle for about an hour and half. Then met up with George and Rica for dinner at the night market. We also met up with Michael, a backpacker from CA. Then all 5 of us went back to Rica's place to load up the Lorry. With so many people it only took us about 45 minutes to do all the moving. The only bummer was we loaded up all the beds and couches so we all had to sleep on the floor.
The Rica woke us up at 6:00am so that they could hit the road. We got some coffee and they dropped me off at the bus depot, where I would catch the bus to Penang.
This is what traveling is all about. Good times with good people.