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Published: October 24th 2014
A family kayaking adventure on our second full day in Kuching was a lovely way to take in some sites of the area. Although I was quite concerned about our lack of appropriate footwear, it appeared that Eleanor and I did wear what would eventually be the best type (thongs) and Dean's runners should have remained in Malaysia. The weather was reminiscent of a typical Melbourne day - sunny, cloudy, rainy, warm, sunny, cloudy, rainy etc - so we were fairly acclimatized and didn't raise an eyebrow when the first raindrops landed. It wasn't too taxing but some element of fitness was necessary. The water was very shallow, so we had a good giggle when we were given life vests as part of the safety briefing.
Dean and Eleanor shared a kayak and one of the lucky tour guides got to spend time with me! I did feel under a lot of pressure but it was pretty easy so I needn't have worried. The Canadian couple who happened to be part of our little group probably would have preferred a more romantic time but unfortunately they were lumbered with the Andrew family. Which meant lots of splashing and overhearing many
arguments between Dean and Eleanor. Not the most intimate place but it was very funny. As usual, lunch was a typical scoff-fest in one of the little villages on the way but it also provided an opportune moment to stretch the legs.
The Semadang tour concluded at another small village where we eagerly downed a few soft drinks before piling into the plastic covered seats of a mini-van. We were short of a bit of cash, so we had to detour (at the airport, no less) to a an ATM where we withdrew the required funds before being offloaded at the hotel. I also got us the family discount when I let them know that Eleanor was 12!
The hotel's air-conditioning was, as usual, brilliant and we didn't need to avail ourselves of the swimming pool facilities after the kayaking frenzy but we did have lovely warm showers. The complimentary Wi-Fi (Australian hotels, take note!) also helped us to search for alternative accommodation for the rest of the week. A walk through the mall next door (sorry, Dean) provided a few shopping options (a few t-shirts for Eleanor) and dinner was delicious at a Japanese restaurant nearby -
you have to love a sushi train!
Despite Dean's misgivings, we booked a couple more nights at a hotel in central Kuching because this town is a very relaxing place to stay. After moving ourselves into our new lodgings in a hotel that would have been AMAZING in 1984, we did a little self-guided tour of the central area. It was SO hot and there wasn't much open. Ramadan was definitely affecting our holiday in more ways than our food options.
Meeting a woman on the way to the lifts and hearing her tale of being mugged at the traffic lights up the road didn't fill me with joy, but I made sure my little bag (that has been with me since the great trip of 2012) stayed close, Eleanor walked on my inside and Dean led the way. Unfortunately I did have to make the laundry journey myself so I equipped myself and set off into the million degree heat. Thank goodness bag snatchers are probably a little hot too - because there was nobody on the road.
The final few days in this quiet little city were spent trying to track down food (yes, KFC
was open - but we DIDN'T partake! OK, we did, but for a little ice-cream!), escape the heat (those old museums were wonderful - not for their displays but for the cool comfort provided) and take in the usual tourist attractions.
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