Before we left Canada, we agreed that I would plan California and Dirk would plan Asia. He did an amazing job of researching each country. In the end, he compiled a listing of the places he wanted to see and things he wanted to do. This is the road map for our travels.
Heading to Cameron Highlands in Malaysia, Dirk had a jungle hike as one of the items on his list. He had read that there are many trails that lead to waterfalls, farms, markets, and tea plantations. The particular hike he picked would take us one hour and from what he read, rated moderate.
The hike started with him not being able to really see on his map where to start. We approached the receptionist at the hotel and she gave him another map in which he was very happy as it was better then the one he was looking at on his iPad.
Leaving the hotel he started us off by going right – straight to a dead end. We turned around, I looked at the map and together we agreed we needed to head through town. Once through town, Dirk lead us up a hill. About 2 minutes in, I mentioned that I thought it was the wrong way again. ‘Can you not get more then 20 feet before you decide this is wrong?!’ he answered.
I decided to be quiet and walk until he figures out his shit. Oh, and that he is wrong. We get to the top and of course he is now needing to admit he took us the wrong way. I ask for the map, he hands it over. It is now mine to hold and make the turns necessary to get us to the trail.
Once we are back on track and at the path, our adventure begins. It is a nicely marked path with a concrete sidewalk painted red and green. It had just stopped raining (I guess it rains everyday here) so it was slippery. Walking behind Dirk was like watching Bambi on ice. Smiling and enjoying the easy walk we came upon the first waterfall.
As we continued, things got tighter. You were going over logs. Under logs. Around logs. Were we going the right way? Why haven’t we seen any other people on this trail?
After about 30 minutes we came across a man cutting branches with a machete. Dirk ventured over to ask if we were on the right track? The guy completely ignored Dirk, didn’t even turn his head when he called ‘hello’ three times. Since he was no help, we continued on our way. At one point I commented that we should have taken his machete since the trail was getting very hard to navigate.
Now began the tripping and slipping. It was not fun. I was getting scratched and muddy. The sound of the water had disappeared. Dirk was doing is best to clear the path, but it was getting too much and he fell down the slopes too many times. We both agreed once we got to the end, were taking a taxi back. This was shit.
Finally, a clearing opened and we were standing at the top of a farm with clear steps down and a road. As we walked by and looked at the path ahead, Dirk exclaimed ‘Fuck It’. We descended to the farm.
After being chased by one farm dog and barked at by another, we hit the main road and continued walking in what we believe was the right direction to Robison Falls. We spottedÂ a man at one of the farms and asked for directions. He pointed, so hey that is the direction we were going with.
Soon we came upon a bee farm with several cars parked out front and tourist milling about. We approached the owner as to how far the falls were, she simply answered ‘Jungle Hike?’. I guess we were not the first people to call it quits and end up at her place. She called us a cab as we still had 8 km to go.
Sitting in the cab, staring at the map, all Dirk could say was: ‘How the fuck did we end up down there?’
The next day when we mentioned to another couple we did trail No. 9. They looked stunned. Where they were staying, they were told not to go to this particular trail as it was not only the hardest, but immigrants have been known to be less than friendly to hikers.Â Now that would have been a nice bit of information from the receptionist at the our hotel.
In the end, the falls we passed in the first 10 minutes of the hike was our destination.
Before you book accommodations, understand what is included. In Asia, most countries are poor. That means the luxuries of home come at a cost. Many places do not have hot water or air conditioning in standard rooms. These are upgrades. When searching for accommodations, ensure you are searching by need. We search looking for WiFi, A/C, and Hot Water. WiFi may only be at reception and not in the room. TheÂ places we have booked have beenÂ very clean, butÂ someÂ haveÂ lacked soap, face clothes, blankets and extra pillows. Packing a sarong will become your best friend. It is a sleeping sheet, a beach towel, and a bathing suit cover up.