After our adventures in the jungle, we decided that sticking to tours was maybe the way to go.Â Upon returning to our hotel in Cameron Highlands, we booked a tour which was recommend by someÂ friends. Half day – tour guide – perfect.
In the confines of our small bus, we start chatting with a couple from Florida. We casually mention that we did a self hike in the jungle the day before. They ask us which trail we followed. When I answer, “”number 9″”, both theirÂ faces drop.Â We already had a crappy experience, now we areÂ going be to told shit we should have known before setting out.
The path we had taken was posted at their hotel as the one to avoid. Hard going and known for people being harassed by immigrants looking for money. I couldnâ€™t help but think why the fuck did our reception not tell us this when we were asking directions to the path!
This little bit of information confirmed we are tour people going forward and wondering off by ourselves was no longer appealing.
The first tour was pretty good. Started out as ‘one star’ when they stop at a butterfly farm just off a busy road. Having a butterfly garden back home, this was rather a disappointment as a stop. From there it got much better, amazing mountain top views, mossy forest hike, ending at a tea plantation. The stars multiplied.
Feeling good about that tour, when we arrive in Taman Negara, we book a night safari into the jungle for 2 hours in a pick up truck. Â The guide, loading us into the back of the pick-up on the benches, asks us to sit back to back. Once seated, they turn to the four of us closest the roof and tell us to get on the roof.
The girl behind me was shaken and asks if it is safe. â€˜Yes, Very Safeâ€™, he answers. I am pretty sure this is not safe, thus why most countries in the world donâ€™t allow passages to sit on mats, on the roof of a pick-up, going 60 km/h down the road.
Five minutes into the tour and it starts to rain. Not a little spray, but an open up the sky, tropical rain. I can’tÂ even open my eyes between the rain and the truck speeding along blowing water in my face. I am not seeing shit, but I am feeling the rush of rain water as it pours off the roof to soak me right to the bone.
The tour continues, the rain continues, and I just want him to turn around. The one guide is on the roof shinning a light looking for animals in the night. WhenÂ he spots one, the truck slows and we all wait with excitement; what are about to see? An owl. Really?
The truck continues, next we see cows, another owl, and finally a snake. I am not sure how he saw it, but curled in a tree is a snake. I am amazed at his ability to see that as we are driving.
We head back to main road to return to the village. I think we are all feeling rather disappointed that we are on a two hour tour and the most exciting thing we see are jungle cows.
Just before town the truck stops as they have spotted something on the power line – we stare at this amazing animal with the cute little face of a monkey, and forget to take a picture of our first cool creature on the tour!
After we are dropped at our room, I look at Dirk and ask, â€˜What was that animal we just saw? Slow something or other,’ I say. ‘Maybe Slow Larry?’ Dirk looks at me, â€˜No it definitely wasnâ€™t Slow Larryâ€™.
Even in Canada, we should watch what we flush down the toilette. Ensure you know in your country what can and cannot be flushed. For instance, many places nothing goes down the didn’t come out of you. BinsÂ are provided beside the toilette to place all paper produces. Other countries, only feminine hygiene products are not allowed to be flushed. I have seen many toilets that are not what you expect in North America. So if you don’t have good squatting skills, I suggest you practice. Finally, the bucket of water is to flush away your waste – please use this.