Cool temps, an English Tudor setting, verdant green hills, temperate flowers, English scones, strawberries and cream… stuff dreams are made of.
For a start, I was smitten with the holiday chalet. It was quintessentially English.
I could have been in bonny England. Imagine, even the dog house in the garden was Tudor!
Ivy clung to the walls and window panes, while moss and lichen hugged the roof. Everything was lush and green.
Geraniums, impatiens, fuchsia, and brugmansias added splashes of color to the picturesque garden.
I stifled a whoop of joy when I found wild mysore raspberry canes.
The ripened berries beckoned, but their vicious thorns held me back – for a second.
Maybe being at a higher altitude heightened the senses. Somehow, everything seemed more vibrant and tasted better in the highlands.
The plant stops were definitely non-negotiable.
Now’s the time to take in the lovely fuchsias, camellias, roses, lavenders, herbs and more. And now’s the time to buy some too!
I succumbed to a lavandula dentata, an osmanthus, a drosera aliceae, an eu de cologne mint, a bunch of lycopodiums and a couple of African violets.
I was pleased. I had my plant-fix.
I could skip a meal if it meant I got to see another plant centre. Brave words, since I usually think or plan two meals ahead of time.
So for the first time, I sampled their English scones with strawberries and cream.
I even tried fruity strawberry scones, strawberry crepes, strawberry tarts and roti strawberry.
It was a good thing I stopped short of getting a strawberry milkshake or juice or it’d probably be coursing through my veins by now.
We had steamboat, as well as fish and chips and chicken chop.
The access road seemed trickier than I remembered, but the view from the tea centre was as lovely as it was before – at least my memory served me well there.
As I packed the bottles of ‘blackberry’ jam I had bought, I filed away treasured memories …
… a field of daylilies,
… brilliant blue strongylodon macrobotrys,
… pendants of thunbergia mysorensis,
… spectacular peach, yellow and white brugmansias,
… striking pyrostegia,
… ripening apples, pears,
wild begonias and orange berries I had seen on a hillside.
Finally, we weaved our way down the hill, passing a few indigenous people (orang asli) who had been collecting firewood.
As we drove, we saw evidences of landslides caused by the monsoon rains.
The scars were fresh, but thankfully we had near-perfect weather throughout our stay.
In this rainy season, that was nothing short of a miracle.