A Travellerspoint blog

Cameron highlands...

17/09/10

Friday - Journey to Tanah Rata, Cameron highlands.
Did I mention the bus to Tanah Rata is 6 hrs?! I found out after 3 hrs ... I'm currently on the via to Ipoh and they're gonna drop me off at Tapah bus st for me to catch a local bus to the highlands. Woop woop! They stop for at least 20 mins at each Mjr town so they could have cut an hr off the journey time had they wanted too. But it's Malaysia so they aren't bothered...a bus journey is a bus journey no matter how long it takes!

So I got to Tapah, then had an hours wait before catching another bus to Tanah Rata. This bus took 2 hrs! Plus I was so tired by this time I nearly go off the bus 12km too early :s luckiy i double checked with the driver who frantically told me to stay on the bus. It was so funny cos I felt like a real fool once we pulled up to Tanah Rana, a busy street busting with people! Then I waited at the bus stop because my hostel was meant to come meet me but no one turned up. So In the end a chap (young man) who worked at the bus station called the hostel n when no one came ten mins later he gave me a lift to the hostel, for free which was really nice of him.

I am now lying in bed in my dorm room, about to go to sleep. I hope to hike tomo and not get lost?! afterall, I am a geographer ;) ha ha we'll see how well that works out tomo!
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Saturday - The hike.
Well, I went to the corner shop, got a 'map' for 3 ringgit, and asked the shop owner if I would be ok doing trail #7 and #8 which had been
recommended by a worker in the hostel I was staying at. She agreed that she thought this would be fine for me and that lots of ppl would
be on the same trails.
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Well. It started out fine (as every tale does...), I saw lots of beautiful plants, I saw a snake! And completed trail 7 with no issues. But THEN I took a wrong turning in trail 8, realised, headed back on myself, got back on track and then the RAIN started. And not just any old rain. Bid heavy wet cold raindrops :( and I didnt take my waterproof with me (regret) so looked like a drowned rat upon emerging to the outside world...took a got shower in my clothes to try n clean them, hung them up and then ate dinner with some girls I'd met at the hostel i was staying at- the dorm was a bit like an orphanage layout but meant i made friends :)
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The next day I did a morning outing (realising it's not so good to trek in the jungle alone) to the tea plantations (had a cuppa n slice of cake) and lo and behold I saw Michael and Christine, the Germans I'd met in Singapore who it transpired were stayin at my hostel! So we arranged to meet up that eve for dinner.
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I headed back to the hostel once the trip had finished to have a well deserved lazy afternoon (I have a bruise on my bottom from falling on my trek). I ended up lazing about the coach trying to plan my next move where I met Jarad from Jordan, a French guy and a Dutch girl. We passed the time chatting til dinner then had (some more) Indian food before heading to the bar to play drinking games with a few additional English guys. It was a good evening and I was sad to leave the next day, to KL.

Posted by RosiePony 06:38 Comments (0)

Melaka (World Heritage Site)

14/09/2010

sunny 30 °C

It seems to be that time where I update you with what ive been getting up to...I am sat on a step leading into St Pauls Hill church?! It is so hot and I have just eaten an ice cream of spectacular colours, but alas this didn't make it taste as wonderful as it looked :(

I arrived on Tuesday 14th sept with Milo and Fay. We were met off the bus by a guy who owns a hostel, which is of course where we ended up staying; Sunnys Guesthouse (this is no different to a hostel except perhaps catering towards couples more?) which is basic but for 10.80 ringitt (£2) I can't complain ESP because there is hot water and movies for free at ten O'Clock! The management, a very nice couple with a cute young son and a sweet grandad (I think) look after me :)
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Tuesday was spent exploring the city, going to the main square where you can rent a driver to cycle you around, like a rickshaw but they play music and decorate them elaboratley, very fun to watch!
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Then onto China Town for a cup of tea, made in a ritualistic manner. then curry for dinner.
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Food wise malaysia is quite spicy. Malaysia has a lot of dishes that it's famous for I think the main one being, certainly in Melaka, chicken rice (Nazi Ayam). When I ate in China town thefood was similar to China, but being a Muslim nation predominantley, they put squid in alot of dishes without you ordering it, instead of pork. I ate on the outskirts of little India and had a medley of food on a banana leaf- so so so tasty, my fave meal yet!
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Culturally Malaysia has three influences; Indian, Chinese and Malay. All three are classed as Malaysia but dependant upon origin the segregation occurs. Malaysian government are trying to bring everyone together - it was Malaysia day yesterday but nothing much happened - but I'm not so sure how well it's working. I noticed this seperation in Singapore too...

Wednesday was spent exploring more, visiting the maritime museum which is actually a ship!
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Then climbing the hill to St Pauls Hill church:
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Thursday
It is so tempting to stay here longer but since I had a lazy day yesterday, catching up on sleep, lunch then Internet (blog, research etc) then I think today would be similar and I don't want to waste my time here...I woke up this morning to the sound of rain. I found it hard getting to sleep last night since the fan was so noisy and my mind was active. Even listening to my iPod didn't really help. In the end I got a few winks and felt reasonably ok this morning, if somewhat sleepy. Got my waterproof coat so I should survive the trip to the bus stop down the road and from there it's all buses so hopefully my bags won't get drowned.

Friday I am off to the cameron highlands, a village called tamah rata. It's the place to go to see tea plantations, strawberry fields and do lots of walking. Climate a bit colder I think so if it keeps raining like it is here I may well think I'm in the UK! Anyway, time to gather my things and head for the bus stop (it's still raining)...

Posted by RosiePony 06:37 Archived in Malaysia Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

Singapore, Botanical Gardens

13/09/10

sunny 28 °C
View RTW Part 2 (Aus/New Z/Cook Islands ... home time) on RosiePony's travel map.

I am currently sat in the Botanical Gardens, yes, on my iPod. I can justify this by telling you that upon entering I have already walked halfway round, walked through the Ginger garden, and visited the Orchard Garden which also included a VIP section (pay Singapore $5000 to get one named after yourself), celebrity garden (only Princess Dianas name I recognised) and a cool house, which is very cool indeed including all those plants that capture flies in tubes etc...! So far this has taken 2.5 hrs and I've prob gone snap happy. Whilst I take a breather I thought I'd give you some progression of events.

Friday -
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I landed at about 8am Singapore time, and by the time i got to the Hostel it was about 9.30. After I landed, I got the MTR to a district called LIttle India. So far I have not seen many Asian women, only men who stare at me. Quite intimidating at first, but i guess now I am used to it, I just ignore them.
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Check in time was 2pm so I waited for my room passing the time by going on the internet, sleeping on the couch and going to the shop for some bits and bobs. Fri eve I met two Germans (Michael and Christine) who were travelling together and ended up going out to dinner with them around Little India. To be honest, I felt sick so didn't eat much which i put down to being in a new city, and homesick. As most of you know, i love food, so I was slightly concerned my apetite wouldn't return :s

Sat -
Today was a better day, i managed to eat some lunch (fried chicken and salad) and i spent day with my new friends walking through the Muslim quarter to the Sultan mosque then to Golden Mile Complex then to MTR to go to city hall.
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Walked to Raffles and had a photo outside (I'm afraid a Singapore sling is being left for my next visit!). We then walked to the Swiss hotel which has good views for free from the 72nd floor!
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Then we walked to Espelandes, a theatre slash art house that looks like a giant silver hedgehog from the outside! Then to the riverside to see the famous visitors welcome Lionfish (Merlion) statue. Then after a raspberry ripple icecreams sandwich, we went past parlement house and St Martins church. Finally back to city hall MTR to Little India to freshen up before heading out for dinner in Chinatown. It was a Chinese Mooncake party but we missed it having spent all day walking round the city. So no cakes for us :(

Sun -
Met Faye and Milo. They joined me to go see the MacRitchie Reservoir and HSBC Treetop walk (15km walk from Start to finish taking us 4hrs) but was so much fun, there were monkeys galore! Got bus there n back to hostel. Then went for a curry since we were staying in Little India, although I wasn't too impressed with the service (they wouldn't let me change any options nor did they have two of the things I ordered, nothing like Leicester curry houses!!). Couldn't eat it all so we got take away for dinner tomo. Then got beer n watched movie, but by midnight I was knackard so I went to bed.
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Mon -
Decided to stay an extra night, although I thought I'd run out of money, I found some extra in one of my 'emergency' stashes so I can now afford the room! So had a lie in, checked out (have to swap rooms) and got bus (2 actually, there is a change) to botanical gardens. Had lunch (good ole peanut butter sarnies made for free at breakfast time!) then set off on my botany exploration! Which brings us back to me sat havin a break!

Now I am meeting F and M at 7pm for our curry (leftovers) at the hostel then we are going to go to a district called Orchard (great for shopping apparantly) for the night life... Singapore is hosting F1 race and so to promote this they have various activities in this district. Then we may go to Clarke Quays for a sip or two of a nice beverage!

Just been to evolution garden n it's now half 5. Gonna walk back to start and get bus home for well earned shower!

Until then...

Posted by RosiePony 05:23 Archived in Singapore Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

London Heathrow Terminal 3

09-09-2010

semi-overcast 16 °C
View RTW Part 2 (Aus/New Z/Cook Islands ... home time) on RosiePony's travel map.

Here is the truth about travelling on your own- it sucks. Airport wise at least. This is from a view point of someone who has been travelling as a pair for a number of yrs! No one to watch your bags when you're in the loo, to save a seat whilst u get food, to stand in the queue whilst u try to decide which choccy u want...but you know what? I survived the toilets, WHS and managed to find a seat once I had my cuppa tea and bagel (bacon mushrooms n sweet chili sauce to get me ready for the spice of Singapore!). So I can survive, just as every other individual on earth does! And life alone doesn't have to suck. I just need to take the time to find out what I want- and do it!

So many people commented on how brave they think I am for travelling alone. To be honest, I don't feel brave, I just try not to think about my entire journey in one go otherwise I feel overwhelmed by it all. But I am excited, and the guidebooks are the best way to spur me on, once I start reading about a place I get so excited to be going there. And I know I'll fit back into the pace of travelling and the mindset that comes with it soon. The UK lifestyle has done me in, I'm once again bothered about fresh clothes, nice hair and western toilets and not sweating! Ok, the sweat I'll always hate but it is inevitable...maybe the arctic will be my next adventure?

Singapore is my first destination. A cosmopolitan city. In other words lots of westerners, taxis, expensive hotels, skyscrapers and a mix of cultures. I'm staying in a district called little India, so that should be interesting. Last minute yesterday I went to Stanfords, (the best map shop in the UK and my favorite shop ever - after Hotel Chocolate) in Covent Garden, to get a flexi-map of Singapore. I highly recommend them for big cities, they're flexible and waterproof (does what it says on the tin, or in this case, name). As a geographer, who loves maps, this makes me feel at home in a big city cos no matter what, I can always direct someone or get myself home (in theory!).

I am sat in the departure lounge waiting to board the mahoosive plane sat outside (Airbus A380 for those plane spotters). I've tried taking photos but can only do so from inside since we'll walk through a tube into the plane (you know what I mean)... I think special people go up top (first and business) then premium economy below at the front and all the rest of us (economy) below everywhere else. I am going to ask to look at the cockpit but have an idea I'll get a big fat NO!

Challenge one: airport survival - complete!

Posted by RosiePony 00:41 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged backpacking air_travel Comments (0)

This is it!

(famous last words)

semi-overcast 16 °C

Well, i may not be famous like Michael Jackson (although what he's most famous for is now debatable), but i have to say "This is it!" because i am off on my own adventure around the globe. This is something i have to do, want to do and am going to do! If i keep thinking those things, this HUGE trip doesnt seem like such a big hill to climb on my own...

Last week
My flights have been officially booked. I booked through STA Travel, primarily a student travel organisation, but they cater for other travellers as well (me included). My itinerary is:

If you can't be bothered to look at the map then i am going to:
Singapore
Malaysian Penninsular then to Malaysian Borneo
Indonesia - Java, Bali and Lombok
Australisa - Darwin overland to Alice Springs, Cairns overland to Melbourne
Fiji
New Zeland - Auckland to Auckland via a big circle around both North and South Islands
Santiago, Chile
Buenos Aires, Argentina

I have booked my hostel in Little India, Singapore for 3 nights allowing me enough time to have a curry (very important!), hike up the big hill (National Park trails), see a night safari (although already done this in Thailand so not sure if the repeat will be worthwhile) and of course, have a Singapore Sling in Raffles! (mum - it's a cocktail!)

Monday
Today finally feels like things are coming together. My Australian visa has been confirmed (after only applying online - for free- on Saturday) so I am excited about that. My e-ticket with all my flight info arrived this morning in my Inbox, so I can stop panicking about being say by my PC waiting for it to arrive! My ticket is printed. I have all the medication I need (inhalers, antihistamine, malaria tables etc) and could now give Boots a run for its money. Wait, Thats where i got most of my stuff from, I'm the one paying their staff wages ha ha. I have been vaccinated again and i'm not sure whats left to have! I must say, the Swine Flu vaccine hurt the most :s Somewhere in all of this busy day i fit in packing (sort of) and watching my nephew have his first swimming lesson (he is a natural!).

Tuesday
Re-packing and lightening the load of my rucksack. I think the plasters were weighing it down (seriously, i have bought 4 packs in total i think - overkill!).

For those of you interested, i am taking:
2 x trousers (one linen, one cotton)
2 x knee length shorts
2 x short shorts (one for beach one to sleep in)
1 x T-shirt (sleep in)
3 x dresses made in Vietnam (they were handy then, they'll be handy again)
2 x eve tops
2 x day tops shoulders covered
2 x day tank tops
1 x long sleeved top
1 x fleece (for travel)
2 x light socks and trainer socks
1 x wool socks
underwear & bakinis (cant forget those)
walking boots
trainers
flip flops
first aid kit (i saved you from breaking this down - take what you need or buy it out there)
toiletries (again, i saved you from breaking this down)
mosquito net
cotton sleeping bag liner (amazingly handy)
rapid dry light huge towel
spork (knife, fork, spoon)
fold down cup (its brill)
teabags (can't leave home without them!)
tissues
hand wipes
hand gel
matches
pen knife
mosquito spray/plug in stuff
travel wash
ear plugs
head torch + battery

...can you see how i may have over packed?! All 'essential' though for the survival of the Rose. And there will be stuff i have forgotten to list... Hmm prob should weigh my pack...It is 60 litres. And the list didn't include my day sack:
camera
camera stand
spare battery
camera case
monocular
book
travel pillow
eyemask
travel guides...

now for the final touches before I fly off from Heathrow... prob next communication will be Singapore...see you then!

Posted by RosiePony 08:33 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged preparation Comments (0)

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