Down at sea level Malaysia may be hot - unbearably hot at times
- but a cool breeze blows once you get higher up in the Tittiwangsa.
2 Years ago Larra took me to Frazer's Hill, I was fine but she needed
to invest in something with longer arms and thicker wool to keep her
warm in the evenings.
Last year she took me to the Genting Gighlands, watching her
favourite Kenny G in concert she would not have
worried how cold it was.
This year we visited the Cameron Highlands -
equipped with boots for Jungle Trekking,
waterproofs for the inescapable afternoon showers, and enthusiasm to try the local tea.
The Cameron highlands produce Malaysia's finest tea,
maybe not in the same league
as finest Ceylon, Assam or Darjeeling
it is highly sought after in S.E. Asia
and none is exported to the west.
The rolling hills and valleys do not look ideal
for plantation growing and harvesting
but make a vivid landscape.
The view above shows the road down which we were about to drive to the Boh Tea Company Tea Factory and Visitor Centre
The tea bushes are shaped so as to remind me of something ?
Possibly the scales on a fish,
or the marks on the back of a turtle?
The white flag is for the benefit of light aircraft,
showing them where to drop pesticides.
The picture above shows a quality expert at work –
inspecting the leaf
The bushes are harvested by 2 workers holding a tea machine
which they manipulate along the top of the bushes
walking down the paths between the bushes –
one worker each on adjacent paths.
In the olden days leaves were hand plucked, but now alas not so often
The bushes are picked EVERY 21 days –
- The brownish bushes in the distance had been recently cropped and were down to bare twigs –
-in less than 3 weeks they would look as green as the rest and be ready for another harvesting.
We drove down the road and parked by the workers accommodation
Plenty of eggs for the villagers
As long as the livestock was protected from natural predators.
On our way towards the centre, a commotion of wailing women
came running up the road screaming,
a man was hurriedly summoned,
racing down the road he stopped at a car,
took something from the car boot and
ran past the women.
A gigantic snake was devouring some fruit
in one of their trees
and the man we had seen was the official village snakecatcher.
I was tempted to follow to see him in action,
but opted for the visitor path instead
which dropped down to the left and then climbed up to the magnificently sited tea room
Now you know some Malysian
across the valley there were workers in the fields
Some carrying huge loads
we watched the workers,
whilst having tea and cakes, from the viewing platform.
2 teas without milk and sugar and one with
Then descended the path again to wander amongst the plantation
Exploring the bushes
and the access roads
until one or the other of us was tired
then walked back below the viewpoint cafe
where we had been an hour earlier