Posts Tagged ‘Brinchang’


Today I (and thousands of others) admired the beautiful teabush landscape of the Cameron Highlands. Today, I also misjudged my water supply and nearly ran out, slogging my way down in the heat to just above sea level. The highlands are cool. The lowlands are hot!

The Cameron Highlands

The Cameron Highlands

The masses were in the highlands as it is a long weekend – and super-hot weather down below. The people were in the Cameron Highlands en masse, driving, roaring around on their motorbikes, or just sipping tea. Oh, and there were people beating drums and walking around with rods pierced through their cheeks. Some people get very excited if it is a long weekend! ☺

Indian festival

Indian festival

Note to self: dropping 1500m in Malaysia can be hot and sweaty work. Yesterday, going uphill, I took enough water and gave some to some thirsty cyclists. Today, going downhill, I almost ran out. The undulating descent was coupled with a strong headwind, which stopped lower down when the road just climbed and dropped and climbed – all in the bright sun and heat.
As my supply dwindled with 40km to go to a definite town, I asked some motorcyclists where the next shop was. About 10km. Phew! Just in case, I filled up a bottle from a trickle of water from the side of the mountain.

The undulations

The undulations

The road finished with a stretch through my first serious palm plantations.

Palm plantations

Palm plantations

But, here are some more photos of the Cameron Highlands.

The Cameron Highlands

The Cameron Highlands

The Cameron Highlands

The Cameron Highlands


When I left Ipoh this morning I didn’t expect to be camping in a closed camping ground eating my snack provisions for dinner, but so it has come to bear. It seems I was not the only one thinking about escaping the heat for the weekend in the Cameron Highlands.

The way up to the Cameron Highlands

The way up to the Cameron Highlands

On the plains the sweat pours down from me. The climb was to be 1500m over 40km, including 28km without shops. On steep long climbs I calculate 5km/h, so this meant I would need enough water for 5 hours! I stocked up on water and kept my fingers crossed. I hoped the metres I climb early would compensate for the increasing temperature as the sun moves overhead.

The way up to the Cameron Highlands

The way up to the Cameron Highlands

A squadron of cyclists on their racing bikes were keeping pace with me, mostly a few hundred metres ahead or behind. Then, into the 28km shop-free stretch, I passed a pair of the cyclists waiting under a tree, protected from the heat.
‘Can we have some water?’
They only had one little bidon each. I left the last shop with 6 litres. They pulled out food to give me. We all knew that water was the valuable commodity here, and I was unsure if my stocks would be enough. I shared some of my water and banana cake, and got a Snickers in return. Little did I know that the Snickers would be invaluable later in the day when food was the scarce commodity.

My cycling friends

My cycling friends

The day was coming to an end, as was the climbing. I was heading for the most famous towns on the Cameron Highlands with squillions of hotels and restaurants just past the highest altitude point. I passed over the summit with its big tourist complex, and ran into a massive traffic jam.

Tourist complex

Tourist complex

Traffic jam

Traffic jam

I could scoot past the cars on the wrong side of the road, but, as I passed kilometre after kilometre of cars, I started to realise that accommodation was going to be an issue. And indeed it was. Every single one of the squillion hotels was full, and it was getting dark. Plan B was camping, but there was nowhere to camp in between the squillion hotels. Past a golf course (could I camp there?), I heard of a camping ground. Perfect. My little tent will always fit. Unfortunately the camping ground was closed, but, after some sweet talking with the security guard, I was allowed to set up my tent. I dared not leave looking for food, lest he change his mind, so, tonight’s dinner was my snack bag – and the Snickers gift.