Sometimes the best part about travelling is when you just happen upon something that is totally unplanned and unexpected. Today was one of those days and I am thankful for it. We are now in the Cameron Highlands, a hilly regain in central Malaysia. Driving back from visiting a tea plantation, we stumbled upon a parade celebrating the Indian New Year. Hundreds of people in beautiful traditional Indian dress were making their way to the temple here, dancing to drum music and carrying offerings of flowers and fruits. Our van couldn't pass through the road because of the parade, so we were able to stay and watch all of the festivities. The highlight was being invited to share a meal with all of the locals. At first, I felt like we were crashing someone else's party (as we were the only non-Indian people present), but everyone was so welcoming and very friendly. We dined on rice and curried vegetables served on banana leaves and followed the locals' lead and ate with our fingers. It was delicious and very memorable.
The Cameron Highlands are a beautiful spot and famous for the tea plantations that are here. We also visted a native village today where the men demonstrated how they still hunted using a blow-pipe-dart thing-a-ma-jig (sorry...I should be more technical). We hiked through some beautiful jungle areas as well and also cooled off by a waterfall. We have been eating like kings...trying all of the local cuisine which reflects the many cultures and nationalities that live here. The weather has been a little cooler and we are enjoying the respite from the high temperatures that we have had the past few weeks. Tomorrow, we are heading to Kuala Lumpur...known for great (and cheap) shopping. Should be fun!