As we all know, life shits on those who like to plan. And life shits even harder on those who fail to plan.
So this blog is essentially dedicated to all the things that went wrong this week. But before we get to that let me give you all a little update on where we are at the moment. Since we last wrote, we’ve been to two gorgeous jungles: the Cameron Highlands, a mountain jungle where we had the chance to cool down for the first time in three months, and Taman Negara, a steaming cesspit of insects with breathtaking jungle views to compensate for the fact that it’s unbearably hot and humid. Then two days ago we trundled back to the “civilisation” that is Kuala Lumpur.
Now for the fun bits, the failures of the past week.
2 x 10 = stupid.
Day 1 in the Cameron Highlands and we decide to undertake trail 10, a three hour mountain hike that is better described as a jungle obstacle course. We felt like little kids again, jumping over roots, ducking under branches and clambering over fallen trees, ignoring the fact that we were slowly getting soaked through our raincoats thanks to the ceaseless monsoon rain hammering down on us hour after hour. We were specifically told NOT to branch off onto trail 12, because that would consist of a couple of extra hours back and forth without much scenery to compensate for it. So of course we ended up walking it by accident, something our calves were not going to thank us for the day after.
Luckily, the next day we decided to be sensible, and plan the day out better than the one before. We booked a trekking tour with a guide that trip advisor recommended (mountain hike and tea plantations, what’s not to like?!), and set off at seven in the morning, very smug of our excellent planning. Hiking boots on, raincoats in bags, smothered in deet. So ready. Of course we didn’t check for one tiny, insignificant detail: where the tour would take us. So inevitably we ended up paying for a tour to take us up the exact same route we’d been on the day before.
Jason the 2nd
Day 3 in the Cameron highlands and we decided to take a hike up to a nearby waterfall. With legs sore from the day before, we trundled slowly down the trail. Suddenly I spotted something. ’MYRTHE STOP!’ I yelled, slightly too excited. Myrthe spun around on the spot until her eyes locked in on what I’d spotted: a tiny overexcited Rottweiler puppy hurtling towards us at top speed. Instantly besotted, we cooed over the little thing and stooped down to pet it, deciding to name him Jason. After a couple of minutes of play we realised the pup was completely alone. No owner, no mother, no collar. So we scoop Jason up and go on the hunt for his mum. But, hours later, having carried Jason around with us for a hike, having missed the waterfall and accidentally walking down trail 9 instead, we were forced to leave Jason behind where we found him, the locals having told us he’s just another street pup. Or rather, Myrthe all but dragged me away from my new best friend. Totally unfair. Not cool.
2 days of wet & dry
Taman Negara was an all round fail, but NOT on our part, believe it or not. The first 24 hours were an all-round success even. We took a taxi-boat down an amazonian-style river by accident, we walked a night trail through the jungle and were taught by our leader how to survive a night in the rainforest (which he’d learned the hard way). The next day started well too, a long trail up a mountain and over a canopy-walkway suspended 40 metres in the air. But that night an evil thunderstorm rocked our tiny jungle village, instantly rendering the entire area without water. The results of that were threefold: firstly we had no free drinking water. Secondly, we had no way to shower off the sweat from hiking and having no air-conditioning in the entire village. The third reason we only discovered the next morning, when we decided to flee the village for the safety of Kuala Lumpur: we’d left our clothes at the laundrette, and it had been put in the wash before the water turned off… meaning it was sopping wet, and we had no time to dry it before the bus left. So we had to lug washing that with the extra water weight was 10kg on a five hour journey to the capital. Morons.
Locker number 2.
Having finally arrived in the city, we were shattered. We hauled our stuff to the hostel, checked in, hauled it up the stairs, hauled it into our room, painstakingly strung up all of our wet washing on our bunk beds, went to open our locker… and realised the key didn’t fit. A german girl we’d befriended laughed and told us that was her locker. ’No but ours specifically says locker number 2!’ I insisted. We tried all the other lockers. Nothing. ‘Eva what room are we supposed to be in?’ Myrthe asked with a dawning realisation. I checked our key. We were in the wrong room. Of course.
Guess that’s why it’s not two times lucky. And that’s just the top four moronic incidents. If I had to recount all of our tales of stupidity: taking a thirty-minute cab to the canon centre to repair Myrthe’s camera on a saturday when the centre is closed; trying to convince an Uber that we were not, in fact, on the highway; forgetting umbrella’s because food was more important; laughing fits so long we almost passed out; trips and scrapes and fights with jungle plants and spiders… well you’d all just try to convince us that maybe we’re not designed for travelling after all.