4X4'n shit show, sooooooo fun
Okay well the last 2 weeks have been quite adventurous and full of fun, a special thanks to the comrades I’ve met along the way. I think I left off in Brunei where I had met again with Desi, the Swiss girl. From Brunei we bused it to Miri and shacked up in a really nice little hostel, The Highlands, where we ran into 2 more Swiss, Steve and Christoph, and ended up spending about 5 pretty full on days with them. Christoph only spoke French so it was pretty hard to communicate with him but Steve turned out to be quite a good translator making it bearable. They had energy in almost too high of a dosage for us to keep up with. A relaxing day on the beach, with massage, which I personally was in dire need of, was the beginning. The next day we took a ventured a little out of town to Lambri Park, very nice, to spend the afternoon at a waterfall swimming, reading and goofing off. The trail was about 1 ½ hours to get there and back and Steve had a good eye for pointing out all the spiders and creepy crawlers along the
way. When we arrived at the waterfall the sun was coming straight down through the trees at the top and looked almost magical, I’m sure there were fairies flying around everywhere.
The most exciting time we had together was in Bario, this is in the highlands and takes about 1 ½ hours to get there by plane, or else you have the option of a 7 day trek, you guessed it, we flew. Desi and I were on the first flight and had the luck of getting David as our pilot, the Kiwi who owns the hostel we stayed at in Miri, and he took us on a bit of a scenic route past the pinnacles in the Mulu National Park. We stayed at a kind of home stay with the Reddish family and it was so nice but 2 days was not really sufficient time. Reddish (the husband) offered to take us 4X4’n if we wanted and when we seen a storm coming in we thought most definitely. I could not describe in words how much fun we had, about 5 minutes in it was raining then pouring, and of course we were in the box of
Cultual Dance festival
the pick-up hooting and hollering to go faster and down the muddiest roads. Well, they listened and we went to a neighboring village and on the way back go a little stuck. This only added to the fun because we had to get out and push, slipping and sliding on the muddy clay bare-foot, and it was successful. After the brought us down to the river which had flooded because of the high rainfall they had gotten, I guess they had never even seen it so high. We played in the canoes and ran around like little kids, so refreshing, but when we got back we had to have cold scary bucket showers. Burrrr. The next day we went to the weekend market where all the villages come together selling veggies, crafts and rice porridge. It was nice because we were the only foreigners there and the included us in the grand event; the raffle of the goats. Steve and I both got to pick a name; secretly hoping one of us would win, and award the goat to the winner. The woman I picked was absent, that’s cool though because I wouldn’t have wanted to handle the goat like
Steve did, mind you he was a little used to it seeing as they had him and Christoph collect them early that morning. The afternoon I spent alone, it was very nice, while the others walked to a view point. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it but I’ve had some real problems with my back since Sukau and keep f*#king it up. Today it is much better mind you. The evening was spent at the church where they were having a going away dinner for there pastor, it was a pot luck dinner (many rice dishes) and we all ate on the floor. They were so welcoming and kind, it was so nice to see that even such a small community everyone seemed to have such respect and kindness for one and other. The next morning we were heading again to Miri by plane sent off with hugs and warm regards. So lovely!
Sunday afternoon in Miri Desi and I were drawn to a Cultural Dance Festive put on as a charity. We arrived a little late and it was going off, people everywhere and there was all kinds of dancing. I enjoyed most the children’s dances
Lambri National Park
Hike to the waterfall
and the Capoeira (dance fighting), but some of the country line dances were quite entertaining as well. I got a little bit of footage. There were actually more funny that cultural, like a synchronized workout with “Let’s get Physical” as the theme song, great afternoon filler followed by a veggie lovers at Pizza Hut. Ya, ya I know it’s western food but sometimes you need something other than rice and noodles.
Monday Desi and I made the decision to move on and the boys flew back to Kuching, next stop…. Niah Caves. The bus ride was short followed by an overpriced taxi to the park headquarters. We arrived late and checked into the surprisingly clean and roomy dormitory. We were the first one on the trail, though it was 9:30, hoping for some monitor lizard and monkey sightings. A little disappointed that we didn’t see either, but still some snails, centipedes and spiders. The caves were pretty cool, one actually had an archeological site in it and I guess they are studying a people that lived there something like 20 000 years ago. We took the walkway through the big cave and wandered through more jungle to the painted
wee got a lil stuck
cave where there was some painting in the cave hardly visible anymore and guarded by a big old ugly fence. But the day was great and we were done early enough top get to the next stop, Bintulu.
Bintulu was an armpit (Lisa thanks for the new word) and I don’t know a word to describe the hotel we stayed at… ohhh yea rat hole works, seeing as we had a pet rat that ate out crackers and apple while we were out. Now we have a new low though and can compare everything else to it and think it’s wonderful. We only needed Bintulu as a hub to get us to Belaga which we had to get a 4x4 to reach by a logging road. We were a little shocked at how developed it was considering the pain to get there. Once we arrived we decided a day would be sufficient with a boat ride hike to a waterfall, walk to a long house and a couple hours in the evening teaching some youngsters. It was so rewarding hanging out with the kids, we taught them about Switzerland and Canada all in English, and they were so happy
A lil stop by the river
to have us. We were singing the “Hokey Pokey” and “When your happy and you know it”, so fun, they even had gifts for us when we left. We were both so touched, fruit, a snowball ornament, and there local beadwork lighter holders. We were really touched by the gesture and they really made our Belaga stay special.
P.S- More photos to come😊
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