Jungle trek

After a breakfast of noodles and biscuits, we waved goodbye to our hosts (after little Cecelia fell down coming out of her back door and had to be consoled by her mother). We’d lost a little sleep as the heavens had opened sometime in the middle of the night, and hammered down on the metal roof. Still, we were looking forward to our jungle trek today.

Once more, we went via Daniel’s Corner to swap stuff over and meet the man himself. We hooked up with our guides, jumped into a boat and crossed the river. This wasn’t to be so long a trek as yesterday, and the weather was cooler. However, still not anywhere near “cold” and certainly humid. The area we walked through was jungle, but some bright spark some years ago had decided to put down a concrete path for sections of the walk.

This may seem like a good idea, but concrete plus time plus water equals vegetation and a ridiculously slippery surface. I can only assume it was sponsored by a local clinic that specialises in wrist fractures, back injuries and scrapes. If you ever do the trek, avoid the concrete where possible – our guide helped us wherever he could.

Roughly two hours later (and with only Chrystelle managing to put bum to ground at any point), we walked into a small village where we met some more locals. I confess I can’t recall the tribe these folk were from – they could have been Kayan again – but the children were definitely more shy. I don’t think they see anywhere near so many tourists.

The French pair had once more brough pencils and books, and a t-shirt for the man of the house. After a suggestion from Daniel, we’d taken about 20 packets of instant noodles. Some of these were served to us as lunch while the kids scribbled in their new books.

One thing that caught my attention there was the size of the family cat. Certainly the healthiest moggy I’ve seen in Malaysia. I swear it must have eaten other cats. It was also one of the friendlist I’ve met, collapsing and writhing with pleasure as soon as you tickled his chin.

After letting our lunch settle, we said our goodbyes and began the walk back to the boat. Jean managed to collapse in a much more impressive fashion than his girlfriend at one stage. Otherwise we made it back relatively unscathed, but dripping sweat and stinking somewhat horribly.

Daniel served us another meal at the Corner as we grabbed more swimwear, then we were driven down to a small lake for another plunge.

Finally, back to Daniel’s where he presented Anthony and I with small carved minature rice mills. I’ll need to get mine into the post home soon as I’m heading to Oz at some point and they won’t let me take it in!

Back at the hotel, my socks (worn for both days) flew bin-wards and I dived into the shower armed with a huge bottle of shower gel. It was soooooo good to feel clean again!

A great two days, with a great group. Challenging without being exhausting. I’d not say it’s spectacular scenery, but the satisfaction of being able to say I trecked through the jungles of Borneo has definitely made it worthwhile. That and drawing spacemen for a bunch of pre-schoolers.

Daniel invited us round to his place later in the evening where he forced us – held us down and put funnels in our mouths* – to drink some very delicious rice wine. He then told us how to make it ourselves. Bad marketing, frankly.

As expected, rain poured down as we were considering heading home. Daniel provided us with a couple of large straw hats to keep some parts of us dry as we sprinted back to the Belaga Hotel.

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