Eric Schaefer

Joined December 2015
  • Day135

    Cameron Highlands

    August 14, 2016 in Malaysia

    Today we crammed in a few more trails: 10, 2, 3, 6 and 4. Nothing too long or challenging but enough to fill our day. We ended up in Brinchang for lunch but struggled for an hour to find a place we felt like eating. Brinchang is filled with Chinese restaurants but we just weren’t in the mood for Chinese. We capped the night of with dinner in Tanah Rata at a local roti place.

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  • Day134

    Cameron Highlands

    August 13, 2016 in Malaysia

    We arrived in Cameron Highlands the night before after a 4 hr bus ride that winded its way up to 1,500 metres of elevation. The last portion of the drive was really scenic as we became surrounded by jungle covered mountains and steep drops off as the bus wound around curves. Finally a little relief from the heat. There was still humidity, but a big improvement.

    We stayed at the Cameronian Inn. The accommodations were moderate but we really liked the staff, location and the breakfast. The owner was a lot of fun to talk with and gave us everything we needed to know about hiking in the area. We were warned to stay off one trail where people were frequently mugged.

    For day 1 we packed a lunch and headed to Trail 1. This was the longest and hardest trail which started a short distance from our accommodations and took us up Mt Brinchang to the famed BOH tea planation. We hike through the jungle to the peak of the mountain then followed the road down to the tea planation. The views were great but the tea was served in more of a cafeteria then a tea room (and way too many people). We started our return walk along the road, which we realized was going to be a long one, and accepted a ride from some locals and hopped in the back of their pickup truck.

    The truck ride was great. They dropped us off at the Brinchang weekend night market where we wandered the stalls and purchased our dinner. Everything worked out really well today.
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  • Day133

    Kuala Lumpur

    August 12, 2016 in Malaysia

    We enjoyed our accommodations in Kuala Lumpur at the 1000 mile hotel. They were inexpensive, well-kept and in walking distance to many of the city center attractions. Using local transit we made our way to Batu Caves. Batu Caves, one of Kuala Lumpur’s most frequented tourist attractions, is a limestone hill comprising three major caves and a number of smaller ones. This 100-year-old temple features idols and statues erected inside the main caves and around it. Incorporated with interior limestone formations said to be around 400 million years old, the temple is considered an important religious landmark by Hindus. The place is over run with tourists, religious worshippers and monkeys.

    We spent the morning exploring and paid for a cave tour. To assist with renovations, tourist are recruited to carry bricks up the large flight of stairs. Interesting method, and efficient. After returning to KL we grabbed our bags caught a late afternoon bus to the Cameron Highlands!
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  • Day132

    Kuala Lumpur

    August 11, 2016 in Malaysia

    We have arrived and Malaysia and are beginning a whole new leg of our trip. I’ve noticed a few things since we have arrived:
    1. The temperature. It’s reaaallllly hot and humid. Bali was hot, but at least there was the ocean or pool to cool off in.
    2. This is a real city. I was surprised how modern Kuala Lumpur is. They have ambitions of being comparable to Singapore by 2020.
    3. The price. Our dollar takes us a lot further here; we can eat a full dinner for about $3 CAD if we go to local stalls.

    Our day was filled with typical city tour stuff. Jungle Park Walk, KL Tower, Petronas Towers and KCLL Park. We bought an iPhone attachment to get wide angle shots of the towers from some sketchy hawkers and felt like typical tourists. To get out of the heat, we would duck into one of many giant malls. In the afternoon a storm rolled in so we tried to hop on a local bus to get us to a mall but the bus sat in traffic not moving for 15 minutes before we decided to get off and run for it. As the storm thundered on we caught the movie Suicide Squad.

    The highlight of Kuala Lumpur came at the end of the day with our food tour. We had heard good things about the food in Malaysia and were blown away. Our guide took us around for 4 hours to local stalls to try interesting food. It was amazing. We had to be rolled home we were so full. The food here is a blend of Chinese, Indian and Malaise. The classic meal being Nasi Lamak, a Malay fragrant rice dish cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf and typically filled with an egg and other ingredients.
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  • Day126

    Seminyak, Bali

    August 5, 2016 in Indonesia

    It’s time for a vacation within a vacation. All that driving in Australia really wore us out so we decided to head to Bali for a week and relax. We stayed at Sinar Bali in Seminyak and signed up for a 5 day surf lessons which was our originally reason for picking the location. They have amazingly consistent beginner waves. Bali was great! Our days consisted of breakfast, morning surf lesson, local lunch, relax by the pool, massage (only $6 for a hour), wander the shops and venders, dinner, drinks capped with a late night gelato and repeat.

    It was quite enjoyable to get a little structure to our day from the surf lessons. We both improved a lot, I was paddling into some decent waves by the end of the week. It’s such a good workout I wish we had it back in Toronto.

    We did a day trip to Ubud for a biking excursion through rice fields. On route to Ubud we stopped at a crater lake for some pictures followed by a coffee plantation for some sampling. This place specialized in cat poop coffee!! They had Kopi Luwak on site digesting the beans. The bike ride was pleasant and leisurely.

    The only stressful bit of this week was trying to get back to the airport. Our cab didn’t show up. After waiting for the next one we sat in traffic for 2hrs to make a 15 minute drive and just barely made our flight. Whew!
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