Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sleeping in the shadow of Harau Cliffs

Fish farms = poor swimming spots

Arlen's 7km north of town

100k Chalets w stunning views & ...

Paradise beaches

Goodbye Maninjau!

Hello Harau...

Woken by the usual 5am call to prayer at the nearby mosque, we decided to cycle 7km north to Arlen's, a much talked about resort. The attraction was a nice beach, away from the many fish farms surrounding Maninjau town. We had a great breakfast of omelete and pancakes at Cafe 44 by the lake before doing an easy ride to Arlen's. Indeed, the beach was so nice and I had to have a plunge into the cool waters. It was marvellicious!

We drove back up to Bt Tinggi for a sate and noodle lunch and headed for the Rafflesia Flower sanctuary 12km away. This flower is the world's biggest spanning 2m in diameter and also the smelliest. Unfortunately, the heavens poured buckets and we could not do the 30 min trek into the jungle. Unperturbed, we continued to our destination 50km away, the Harau Valley.

The Harau Valley is a relatively untouristed park where level rice fields give way to 100m high spectacular cliffs. Many waterfalls and pools abound and it is a rock climber's paradise. We stayed at Echo homestay, a beautiful and simple wood and stone resort sandwiched between the cliffs on top of a small hill. It is delightfully cool and the sounds of gibbons, monkeys and other wildlife offer a cacophony of natural music. Alan, a passionate Orchid grower, was like a child in a candy store with so many different species available for sale at the waterfall.

Echo Homestay
As good as it gets!

With no modern distractions and yet another power failure, it meant an early night. I had no trouble falling asleep in such a serene environment. It was magical to drift into unconsciousness between the shadows of the Harau Cliffs.

The mortley "campers" at Harau Valley

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