Sunday, 2 March 2008

Back in touch! Borneo

Been incommunicado and in search of the "Wild Man of Borneo". Came across a few strong contenders- see photo!

Been in some of the most isolated spots in the world, and strangely there is n't an internet cafe in the jungle!
"Brief" summary of events, you'll be pleased to hear Anj!
. living out of a day-sack for seven days, because of a luggage cock-up.
. soaked through with either sweat or rain. The usual pattern is a spell of dry weather a.m. and then torrential rain which sometimes lasts all night.
. you don't see anything in the jungle, but you can hear lots.
. been in a few of the biggest known caves in the world. Sat and watched the mass exodus of bats from the Deer Cave.
. the walking around here is tough because the terrain is relentlessly steep. You're either climbing like your grandma, or descending like a small child (backwards and painfully slowly, in case you cut your legs on sharp rocks.
. Seen "The Pinnacles". WOW!! Jagged, teeth-like rocks that shoot up from the jungle slopes. Wonderful sight, but exhausting scary climb. Free-climbing in some placesd with ladders and ropes.
. Managed to make it to the top of Mt Kinabalu, the highest peak in SE Asia. Amazing views and geology. Hardest thing I've ever done or want to do again.
. Stayed in a traditional longhouse- built from bamboo with roof covered in palm leaves. Stayed with the chief of the Iban community and his wife. He took us for a memorable moonlit early am canoe-ride in his boat. Travelled for 14hours that day starting off in the jungles of Sarawak and ending up in Kota Kinabalu. KK being the biggest town in Sabah.
. Visited Sabah Tea Plantation, the only organic tea producer. Observed the process from picking to drying and eventually packaging. Then enjoyed a good cuppa overlooking the beautiful plantation, with the evening mists swirling in. Seems it doesn't matter if its t-bags or loose, as long as it's organic!
. Visited War Memorial at Kundersang. 3 gardens dedicated to the Australian, British and local Borneans who were killed. 2300 of them were marched from Sanderkan to Ranau, 236k. Called the Death March, because the Japanese were ordered to ensure that no-one survived. All died apart from 6 who manged to escape. The local villagers risked their own lives trying to help them. Very moving and very sad.
Enough for now but will be back soon with more about orang-utans, turtles and more LEECHES!!!


Anonymous said...

Happy Mother's Day mother!

Hope Dad is treating you nicely! Haven't written on this in a while, but been rather study study!

Might be getting a job to help with my finances! Ben's crashed his car again.. muppet lol

There was a earthquake on tuesday..scary! What's the world coming too!

Anyway, will you be picking me up on friday 14th? We then going down to see Andrew on the sat?

Marie said...

Kate- lovely to hear from you. Is Ben all right and has he heard from Leeds yet? I'll check with Dad but I'm sure we'll be fine for picking you up. Cant wait to see you all and get together at weekend.
Poor Ben does nt seem to having much luck with cars!
Dad's doing a great job of watching my legs now that we're back in leech country again! Luvya allxxxxx

Anonymous said...

Ben has got an offer from Leeds, but it's not the course he wanted, it's Psychology with society. Sounds like a good course, and he could change to do pure Psychology in the second year, so it's all good!
Yeh Bens car is alright now, but he's had to spend more money..o dear.
Hope no more leeches bite! xx