A Travellerspoint blog

a time to say good-bye

melbourne, australia

overcast 10 °C

after saying good-bye to dad in kuala lumpur in malaysia and ending our amazing 2 week holiday and my trip to asia, i jumped back on the plane to melbourne. when i arrived here it was freezing! weird to experiance winter time after 4 months of the blazing sun! i stayed at a couples house from the couch surfing organization in richmond area.

the next day we headed to grantsville to visit maru park. this park is a small animal reserve full of wallabies, kangaroo, tasmanian devils, koala bears, emu's and other animals. you can walk through the kangaroos which bound towards you with their joeys hanging out of the belly pouches looking for food. they eat right out of your hands, an intimidating experiance that turned into something quite unreal. because the zoo was so small the visiters are able to get a more personal hands on experiance with the animals.

the next day i tracked down alison and we had coffee and walked around for the better part of the afternoon before she had to go to work, i returned back to my temporary home to pack my things and reflect upon the last amazing 4 months ive spent exploring asia, meeting amazing new friends, as well as trying new foods and experiances. its been a hell'ova ride!

Posted by karen_411 10:37 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

welcome to the jungle

taman negara national park- malaysia

sunny 28 °C

after lounging on the beach for a week dad and i headed out to our next adventure on the jungle frontier. we could tell we were descending deeper into the jungle when there was road kill of moniter lizards and and baboons jumping out in front of the road. this was our jumping off point to the rainforest. that night we went on a jungle walk to see all the night time animals and insects in forest. we seen stick insects, spiders, trantulas, massive ants and a plethora of other poisenous insects. dad and i were at the end and he spotted a wild jungle cat. pretty interseting to see it was very close to us and just watching us as we walked along the path.

we signed up for a overnight hike to start the next day. we had no idea what we were in for. the next morning we got ready and packed our bags along with our gear on our back. sleeping bags, food, plates, clothing, 6 liters of water, flashlites, etc were strapped to each of us for the remainder of the hike. first off a small canoe shaped boat ferried us up the river we stopped at the canopy walkway. a huge connection suspended rope bridges above the jungle canopy. after walking along a few of the bridges we jumped back on the boat and went further and further upstream.

we were finally dropped off at a dock and an abandonded resort and began our hike. i was worried briefly about having to pee on the path but as we hiked and sweated out all of our water we soon realized that 6 hours had passed and no one had had to pee the whole time! it was a strenuous hike over dead trees, balancing on logs across massive drop offs of water below. slippery, muddy and sticky hot seemed to the the theme of the hike. the paths were covered with leeches! that stand up and attach to your shoes and climb up and into your socks. i had stylishly tucked my pants into my socks in order to protect myself from the leeches, but one fellow wasnt even wearing socks and at one point took off his shoes and we counted 14 leeches on his foot at that exact moment. his feet were a complete mess by the end of the hike, bloody and bruised! but dad myself and the young couple from england who were with us and our 2 guides trudged on. finally we completed the 8 km hike in to the cave. exhausted and sweaty we settled into the massive cave which we would sleep in for the night. we made a fire and explored the massive cave glad to have a place to call home and put our packs down. dad went down and bathed in the stream and i watched our guide build the fire and make supper. by the time we finished eating the cave was dark as the sun had gone down and the guide had lit a few candels placed on rocks. i unrolled my foam mat and sleeping bag and passed out on the cave floor almost immedietly. dad had a bit of a harder time settling into sleep after seeing all the poisenous insects the night before and knowing what types of animals live in the jungle. as well as seeing the elephant foot prints in the cave from their last visit there as the elephants also sleep here from time to time. the next morning we woke up sore and stiff. after breakfast we set off on another route to hike out. the hike out was another 8 km full of the same obstacles as the first. we did see a couple monkeys in the tree tops, trampled forest from the elephants intruding on the path and fresh elephant poop! there is also tigers, tapir, leopards, rhino and sun bear's in this jungle to name a few but we seen no evidence of them. we did however see evidence of the orang asli village tribes that live within the jungle as there was hunting darts and old blow guns on the trail. in fact the only other human we seen these entire days was a man from the village out to hunt. our guide then pointed out how the people use some of the trees in the jungle, such as poison from the epoh tree to rub on the hunting darts, cotton trees, glue trees, trees that make good boats etc. we finally reached the dock port of a burnt out old resort and waited for the boat man to come pick us up and take us down the river back to the mainland. we had survived the 16 km hike in order to sleep on the ground in a massive cave! what an experiance!

on the boat ride back we stopped at a orang asli village, complete with thatch roof housing, and naked village children running around with leap frogs. we bought a blow dart hunting gun here to support the village and thank them for letting us tour their way of life. we were dropped off at the floating resteraunts, ending our amazing journey in the malaysian jungle. one that dad explains "im glad i did it, ill never do it again".

Posted by karen_411 09:55 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

turquoise waters are ugly

perhentians, malaysia

sunny 31 °C

the boat from the mainland ferried dad and i across to perhentian besar. it dropped us off right at our resort door step, Tuna Bay. while at the islands we did what the islands are famous for; eat, dive, relax. in totaly we did 6 seperate dives in various dive sites the following is a small recap on what we seen on all dives combined. we seen over 20 green humphead parrotfish, massive in size weighing up to 46 kilos!! hawksbill turtle, barracuda, grouper, black tip shark, massive (meter big body) brown ray, bamboo shark, crown of thorns starfish, demon stinger, clown fish, morea eel swimming across the rocks, lion fish, grouper, box fish, puffer fish, scorpion fish, sea snake, angel fish, butterfly fish, bat fish, and a blue spotted ray, however im starting to think these are as common as deer on a saskatchewan highway. we seen a plethora of fish and aquatic wildlife but this is all i could remember right now. one dive was in 'the sugar wreck' a steamer that had sunk in 2000. it was abandoned at the time and therefore there were no casualties. it was neat to dive and explore the wreck.

besides diving we decided to go on a couple snorkle trips. the boatman here drops you off at a few good snorkle spots and lets you swim around for a good 45 mins before waving everyone back to the boat. we did 6 differant snorkle spots which were fabulous! we seen just about as much as snorkeling as we did diving!! there were 2 snorklespots worth mentioning. the first was 'turtle highway' the area between the 2 islands. we could see the turtles here before even getting off the boat!! tons of massive turtles up to a meter big were feeding along the bottom and swimming to the top to get air. we were able to trail behind them, pretty darn cool!! the second was shark point. this area was a really nice snorkle destination, we also dove here but had a better experiance snorkling this site. its full of colorful fish and beautiful coral, and low and behold it also has...SHARKS!! we chased them around, some up to 4.5 feet long! they are all black tip sharks and therefore are much more afraid of humans then we are of them. at first it was terrifying to be snorkling with sharks and so i did what every mature 23 year old would do.....i panicked and searched frantically for my daddy! much braver when your dads around! we also were able to do some pretty unbelievable snorkling outside our resort in the swimming area, in fact we seen humphead parrot fish (go ahead and google them they are weird) and dad even seen a shark swim under him!

besdies splashing around in the water we walked around the beaches on the island checking out the other resorts and swimmingholes! we found a few good "secret" beaches that were alsmost completely abandonded. white sand beaches and turquoise water, this place is really what one imagines when they think of the perfect beach. on our exploration walk we seen a moniter lizard right in front of us over a meter long! but neither of us had our cameras to capture the moment! some of the trails were not the flip flop friendly so to get home we opted for a water taxi to ferry us back to our chalet.

after all this time spent in the water we opted for a fishing trip one evening. dad caught a few hilariously small fish as well as some worth keeping. the boat captain seemed to catch fish before he even took the last one off the hook! i caught none! but the captain caught a puffer fish which was all puffed out and neat to look at before returning it back to the water. our time in the perhentians was fabulous although i didnt get much of a tan to show for it.

Posted by karen_411 09:45 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

getting high to feel low

cameron highlands.

semi-overcast

from KL we grabbed a bus to the cameron highlands. it was a slow and steady climb up, up, up! as we got higher the temperature began to drop and we were greated with some nice cool weather. we found ourselves a guesthouse. we had a room to ourselves with 2 beds and a common bathroom down the hall to share with everyone else on the floor. we went for some indian food for lunch then head out in the rain looking for trail #4. it took quite a long time to find and we ended up going in quite the wrong direction for a long time but eventually we got there. it was an easy hike with nice foliage and not too long. as we were walking a snake darted out in front of dad along the pathway, before we had even really realized what had happened we heard russling in the trees above us and looked up to find a group of long tailed monkeys playing along the canopy.

the next day we opted to try a tour out as it has just rained and the trails can be quite dangerous when wet. we jumped in a rickity old jeep that chugged along up the road to see a tea planation and harvest. lots of hard work and quite interesting. next it took us up further to the watch tower gunung brinchang the highest elevation view accessable by car in all of peninsular malaysia. from here we entered into the mossy forest; an old rainforest. it was very slippy and painfully slow as our tour had mostly families with young children who were not really able to do this walk. this lead to a rather rushed visit to the sungai palas boh tea estate, where we didnt as much sample tea as we did gulp it down to stay on time. on the way back to town we stopped at a butterfly farm which also had reptiles and small animals such as chickens. here i held onto a bright green whip snake probably 4 ft long.

on our last day here we did another tour. an old beast of a vehicle picked us up after breakfast and we began to head into the jungle. the jeep struggled onwards down a very muddy, bumpy, and all around shitty road on the slide of a cliff. i thought forsure we were going overboard more then once. when the jeep could go further no more we parked it and walked the rest of the way to the walking trail. it was about a hour hike to get to the rafflesia flower (worlds largest flower, famous for smelling like dead corpse). the last jaunt of this hike was a strenous and steep rope lead hike up into higher grounds. intersting to see tho and a decent hike. we hiked out back to the jeep and headed to the orang asli village where we learned that just 80 yrs ago these villagers were cannibals and they showed us to how hunt using blow darts. from here we went back to the boh tea estate and had more time to properly enjoy it. then off to a new and better butterfly garden and lastely a strawberry farm.

Posted by karen_411 11:05 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

why hello there dad!

meeting dad in kuala lumpur

sunny 35 °C

i met up with dad in malaysia as planned. he had booked us a nice hotel across from the petronas towers in KL. it was a stunning view. i was much more impressed the next day when i seen that the included continental breakfast was probably bigger then my house. the selection was huge for instance i had both indian food and waffles for breakfast.

we jumped on the hop-on hop-off tour bus that goes around the city. our first stop was chinatown (the area i stayed in when i first embarked on this trip 4 months ago) we found a street vendor man to give dad a haircut. next stop was the national museum. this had an informative display on the malaysian people dating back from prehistoric cavemen to the modern melting pot they are today. when we jumped back on the bus we didnt get off at any other stops but just enjoyed the hour long loop around the city to get better orientated. on our walk back home we ducked into the aquarious aquarium which was a nice treat full of fish, reptiles and even a few mammals. there is a walk though aquarium where you are in a tunnel surrounded by giant fish, rays and sharks as they swim overhead.

Posted by karen_411 10:46 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

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