Day 121: Taking The High Road

Today was all about travelling, travelling the many winding roads which lead us to cooler climates. It was a long and tiring day, and it went a little something like this…

• We had a long deserved lye in until 10:30am. Even then we resented the thought of getting out of bed, but we all knew we had something to do, and that was to book a bus to the Cameron Highlands. Sarah managed to find us some accommodation by phoning around, we booked a place for that afternoon. We’d be staying in a more pricey room for one night, then moving to the cheaper dorms the following few.

• This would be the next leg of our journey, and was a place filled with nature, and high above sea level in the mountains. It was a place we could go on treks, to nature parks, anything outdoors really. And because of the low temperatures we wouldn’t have to worry about sweating whenever we left our rooms.

• Anna, Megan, Sarah and I all went for breakfast. While again, Christine stayed behind. We found a place filled with locals and decided that would probably be the best place to eat. We were right, the food was lovely, we ate pretty quickly, then returned to Christine with some steamed rice.

• Before checking out, the receptionist at our hotel told us what buses we’d need to catch. We then followed his instructions, and after walking several blocks we found a bus. We hopped on, paid the ticket man, and relaxed for 10 minutes. We had then arrived at the station.

• Unfortunately, the bus to Cameron Highlands wasn’t leaving until 3pm. It was only 1:30pm by that point. We bought our tickets and crossed the street to relax in the shade of a taxi office. I spent the best part of our time there chatting with Christine.

We spoke about the differences between people in monotonous jobs back home and travellers. Up until a few months ago we were those people, but now that we’d been travelling for some time, it felt as though we were in on some sort of secret (I think I’ve said this before) that only travellers knew about. Like anything is possible to us now.

• When 3 o’clock showed up, we climbed aboard a reasonably empty coach and began our long voyage. It was 3 and a half hours in total, but felt longer thanks to the bus smelling of body odour, the a/c was on full blast, and the fact every road was windy. Everything that was loose on the floor was sliding around. Even the iced gems Sarah had bought pre journey didn’t help us out.

It may have been because Sarah and I watched tv shows the whole way, all I know is by the time we arrived in the Highlands, the pair of us felt queazy. We made a phone call to our hostel, and they sent someone to pick us up.

• I had a quick shower, and for the first time in a while, wore my jeans. I even got a chance to wear my wooly hat. I felt really comfy, especially after I put on my thick woollen socks and trainers. Everything was looking good, right until Megan came back with the passports.

She told us the man at reception had told her we weren’t able to move to the dorms the next day. Even though he said we had them reserved when Sarah made a phone call earlier that day. What happened was he double booked it, some backpackers came in on foot that afternoon and he sold it to them. Thinking he’d be able to keep the 5 of us in the private room and get double the money.

It’s just plain rude, and bad for business if you go around treating guests that way. Even after Sarah tried arguing the point with him, he still did nothing. Saying to her it’s just an extra 5 ringgit, proving the point he was just in it for the money. He saw an opportunity, and at the risk of a bad review, took it. The situation was left up in the air when we were told we’d have to speak to a different man in the morning.

• Then began an attempt to find accommodation elsewhere for the next day. Most places were sold out, others said to come back in the morning, when guests might have checked out. Not being able to do anything, we decided to go for food instead. It was just the four of us, as Christine wandered off somewhere in a huff.

Our food was amazing, and for once, I was able to finish a whole portion of white rice. Honestly, they give you loads, too much even. We returned soon after and settled down into our beds. I set an alarm, as tomorrow could quite possibly turn out to be stressful from the get go. With most hotels sold out, it wasn’t looking promising!

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