Scenes on Road - Cameron Highlands

Drive to Fraser Hills in Malaysia, encouraged me to plan for Cameron Highlands, which was farther away and higher in altitude. In the last trip, I didn't get a chance to stop on the road to take pictures, and this time round, I wanted to fulfill that wish. When I drive, my better half constantly drives me crazy by acting as a back seat driver! And, he would never let me stop on lonely roads. So, my daughter and I tricked him into sitting in the backseat, as soon as we touched the hill road. See our first stop!

Pleasant weather and mist covered hills and lonely road was divine. At the first and next stops my partner was upset because we were taking risks by stopping at lonely spots, but then he gave up on us:D  

Though the above muddy track was very much inviting, we controlled our urge as we didn't want to push my partner's red button.
Vegetable plantations
No one was around these plantations and the entrance was locked, so we could not get in and check out.

It looked like a balance, suspended in a pulley that was connected across a gorge. My assumption is that, it should be used in carrying things! 
Strawberry and tea plantations are the signature attractions of Cameron highlands. Bharat Plantation was on the way to Tanah Rata. 
The green blanketed tea estates
Tanah Rata - largest town in Cameron 
Cameron Highlands has three towns, the lowest being Ringlet, followed by Thana Ratha, which is the largest (where we planned to stay) and Brinchang being the highest.

The golf course on the way to Brinchang is a site to cherish.

There are many strawberry farms on the way to Brinchang and most of them allow visitors to hand pick the berries. But, this monument in between Ringlet and Tanah Rata is a sight that should not be missed.


Biking - Back to Nature

Cycling was the most cherished outdoor activity of my childhood. Outdoor, literally means out of the house door and on the road, but not in a natural surrounding! Those were the carefree days when I used to roam around the streets of my hometown during afternoons, that too without my dad's knowledge. The minute he finds out that am on roads, I would be grounded :(

Of late, the most enjoyable activity, was driving and exploring offbeat beaches and villages. But, during my last visit to Melaka my friends suggested that I could borrow a friend's cycle and join them for a ride in the neighborhood kampung (village in Malay). At that time I never knew what exactly was a bike ride. But, the passion to explore the unknown urged me to accept the offer, and I agreed to join them. When my friend commented that we take the simple route, it still didn't give me clue as to the distance or nature of the ride. I was in for a world of new and exciting experience.
Loaded for the ride! 

With great enthusiasm I packed my DSLR and the additional 70-300 mm lens too and assumed that the weight of the camera wouldn't matter, how naive of me!

After less than a KM in the kampung, we were trying to find the right direction to reach the river side and then frog farm, but we were lost in the fields.
Sky Watch

So we stopped by a traditional wooden Rumah Melayu (Malay house) to ask for directions.

As we went deeper, there was no road, we were riding in muddy paths and came by a river side and we were in for luck to see a stock of Storks!
Migratory Storks in transit!

Before I could think loud, my friend suggested that she clap so that I could catch them in flight!

By now, I started feeling the weight of my camera and requested my friend to carry it for me. After this, we came across a fenced building in the middle of nowhere...
Bird house

And we heard loud recorded chirps! I was told that this place was meant for birds to nest and that music was to attract them!!! Bird's nest is an expensive delicacy in Chinese cuisine. I can't begin to imagine why would people want to even destroy the nests:(
Within few meters was the frog farm, they are reared for food. Yes, frog is another Cantonese delicacy and frog leg soup is quiet popular! Well seeing them in large number in various stages of growth was something new and it was a feast for my camera:D

Halfway from Tadpole to frog!
Babies (Shadow Shot Sunday)


Until I captured the above closeup, I never considered a frog to be a beauty!

After this, we headed deeper in the woods and stopped by a moderate hill. Now, my friend told that I could take my time and walk up the hill, while they ride up! I tried to test my limits..tripped and fell off the bike. But, I was giggling instead of getting shocked, I was totally carried away with the adventure. Well, except for minor bruises I was fine, so we went further to Pineapple farm and then rode through oil palm plantations...

Oil-palm plantation (SOOC)

On the way, we ran out of water supply, so we drove through village and stopped at a petty shop. Oh boy, I was so glad to see 100plus and just gulped it with greed. When we finished our ride, my friend checked her speed indicator and announced that we just completed 19KM ride and almost my jaw dropped at that!
If I was told about the distance before the ride, I'd have chickened out. Thank my lucky stars, and friends' patience, I did it!!! In fact, throughout the journey I had a silly grin like a child on a treasure hunt! Certainly, it is one of the most memorable trips.

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