Mountain rally to Highlands Resort

By now, most everyone who knows me, knows about my famed meticulous travel preparations, nailing down details of places, locations, timetables etc. Ahhh, no, you are not on the wrong blog – this is me: planning consists of getting a flight ticket, maybe a reservation for the first night and some last minute research how to get from A to B.So, what happens when you take a hotel map of the province (pretty large scale) which has some tourist attractions highlighted (probably much bigger than they should be) and you set out to find them? Probably a wrong turn to the Orchid Farm in Sarawak, Borneo. We never did find the Orchid Farm, but instead, we took a scenic drive up the Penrissen mountain. The mountain range housing some of the oldest and the second largest rain forest on the planet. Pretty big road signs promised the “Highlands Resort” which in my book means food and drinks, scenic view and some relaxation.
When we got to the gate, the guard tried to negotiate on the entry fee – little confusion between American dollars and Malaysian Ringgit, I guess. But finally he let us through for the Ringgit fee. And in hindsight I am pretty glad he did – because it would not have been fair to charge what he wanted and let me do all the work.From the gate to the parking lot, an 8-kilometer narrow road winds up the mountain with some pretty spectacular turns and steep hills to manage – especially in an automatic transmission compact car. The drive was quite comparable to some of the mountain roads in Switzerland. Meaning half hour or an hour of hard wheel work.Leaving Kuching and Damai behind at zero meter elevation to climb up to 1,000 meters within about one hour. That was pretty unbelievable all by itself, add in rain forest at your fingertips, jungle sounds, mist and fog and the occasional sun rays. Just an amazing experience. Finally we got to the parking lot where an open air van picked up day visitors to take to the viewpoint. Up there, the views are incredible. One can see for miles and miles, far into the Kalimantan mountains and jungle on the Indonesia side of the island.The cool air distracted from the fact that there were no restaurants and no drinks. So, the drive back was more of a blur in search of water and food.


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