Monday, 25 February 2008


Just got a bit of time in a cafe in Lambuan. Overnight in a "longhouse" in Sarawak, with the chief's family. Really lovely, gentle people. Shared a slug of rice wine with Tomasamai and his friend overlooking the Mendalem River, with him anxious to learn a few words of English. We'd just finished the Headhunters Trail (11.3k) which took us 5 hours! Walking through waterflooded tracks(yes I know we're on an alluvial plain, Andy!), picking leeches off legs, wrists etc. Horrible things! They crawl up your socks, boots, trousers, shirt-sleeves and attach themselves! I got one the first day out and it bled for hours! They inject an anticoagulant to maintain the blood-flow. God how horrible! Andy the guide walked in just his shorts so that he could see the leeches more easily and deal with them, and I thought it was so I could marvel at his tribal family tattoos! He is from the Iban native tribe, and ex-military, so we have "briefings" and "operational requirements"!
After 5 long, rain-sodden, boot-soaked hours we were collected by a friendly, smiley chief who took us to the longhouse in his boat, where 15 families lived 100 people. Women weaving baskets, children playing with old prams, and others laying basket-ball. After 2 nights fitfull "sleeping" in the walking camp, we slept like babies. We even had pillows- fancy that.
Anyway back to Lambuan. Arrived here after 2 hours on a ferry from Limbang-very much busy. its hard to believe we set off from the jungle in such isolation at 6am, again in the chief's boat and now we're here. From here 3hr journey to Kota Kinabalu, where we set off to climb Mt Kinabalu. I'm feeling quietly confident, having climbed, and I mean CLIMBED the Pinnacles. Have to be one of the natural wonders of the world. Truly amazing. Pics to follow, we have plenty! Hardest physical challenge I have ever done! Had to come back down on all fours, (was thinking of you Florence) wet limestone rock, ladders, ropes, roots , and anything you could lay your hands on. It was very hard. I'm told Mt K is much easier underfoot!
Also seen 4 fantastic caves, one of which is considered to be the largest in the world! Marvellous!
Makes it all worth while. But have been living out of a daysack for 5 days (crap advice from Walks Worldwide) so we smell and all our clothes are wet or damp!
Hoping to get dry before Mt K. Sun is shining again like a furnace.
Lovely to hear from you Keith and Mum(yes, receiving you loud and clear!) xxxxx


Son said...

When abouts are you heading back mum?


I just had to mention this as it's been on my mind for bloody ages. You know we talked about going to a Spanish restaurant for my birthday, well I went with my friend Hugo to check it out and it's fantastic (I haven't eaten there yet) pimento', albondigas, all tapas stuff we would normally have. To top it off, there is a shop right next to the restaurant which sells only spanish foods, including PIMENTO'S!! you can get all kinds of meat, vegetables, spanish products, you name it, it's there. Honestly Mum you'll be buying the shop out.

Plus when you get here I'll have someone I want you to meet and shes read your blog and very interested in your musical taste! ;)

Chief Blogger said...

Happy Mothers day for Sunday!!



The Special One said...

Happy Mothers Day too.

Apologies for the long gap between my last message but unlike Boy i actually do work at work :)

Whats happening with me i hear you ask? Well t'other night i built an aquarium and last night i washed gravel, set up the pump and heater and added water - all very exciting!

Im thinking turtles or nemo's, but might start off with some experimental/boring fish i.e. ones i dont mind flushing down the toilet - just being practical!

Antoinette is coming down this evening. We are taking her to the London aquarium and the British History museum then...the best thing ever...Nobu - michelin star Japanese restaurant - went to one in NY and it was amazing :)

Making plans for your visit - thinking a trip to Hampstead Heath, there is a great cafe on the edge of the park, great for brunch. When are you planning on coming down/leaving so we have an idea of how many activities we can fit in? Question for parents and Colin - no restriction and loads of stuff to do!

Colin & Keith - i have lost your numbers cos my phone broke.

Burnley are 2 points away from the play-offs - sooo cool! Just a matter of months before we are kicking Rovers ass in the Premier League!

Adios amigos

p.s. Mum, i can't bring myself to read such a big block of text, could you try this new writing tecnhique of using paragraphs, and if possible, bullet points :)

Working on the weekend said...

Oy Jerko (Laura) I've asked ma to put her blog into bullet points before, but she gave up after the first attempt.

Also foolio, don't forget that we'll be wanting to pop along when ma, pa and col hit town as they are around for my "birthday", if you haven't already forgotten. Which you probably have.

...And don't worry I'll sort out the restaurant for my own birthday, its no bother really.

Anonymous said...

Just read your mail, at least somebody writes to you,i.e. your children! Sorry I am not as quick as them, but do write sometimes.

At long last Ihave been discharged from any visits from my minders. They have really looked after me,but it was a bit tying, wondering when they were coming. They say I have done really well, and should be able to manage now on my own, as long as I am careful.As long as I am careful, and do not go out if it is very windy or wet. Unfortunately, today it is both, so am doing as I was told, and staying in!

You have been doing some fantastic journeys, but dont envy you all the leeches and insects you have to put up with.Where are the Pinnacles you mentioned climbing?and when was this?

Pat rang up on Wednesday, she had received some post from the Claremont at Blackpool, and asked would I like to go, also Phyllis as well. I said of course, so we are going on Sunday, March 16th until Good Friday, March 21st, she hAS ordered transport for us, so we will be taken from door to door, and our luggage taken in the hotel for us. We are all looking forward to it,and have all got single rooms.

Will finish now or I will be getting cut off.

Lots of love, Mum xxxxx

Marie said...

restaurant sounds great Anj looking forward to seeing you. Going down Sat am and returning Sun pm so afraid not a lot of time, Laura. But if we get up at 5.30 like we have been doing, we should fit lots in. Love ya all.