Finally, Like Being Blind
Trip Start Oct 01, 2011
217Trip End May 05, 2012
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Went downstairs for 9am. The 'taxi driver' was in fact almost certainly the husband of the woman from the hostel. It was costing 60 RNG to go about an hour and a half away, which considering bus prices is alot, but given we have done virtually nothing in Borneo yet it was a necessity. The bloke asked us where we were from and when we said England he started laughing and saying "Why do you use, what do they call it? All English use, uh, ginger oil! Why? It's because it's cold?" Utter bollocks, no idea what he was talking about, we said uh yeah dunno and smiled politely then ignored him for the rest of the journey.
Took about an hour twenty to arrive at the park in the pissing rain. Paid 5 to get in (Plus 5 NUS discount) and then paid the usual 4.5p to cross a tiny bit of river in a boat, just build a fucking bridge, honestly they could do it with about 8 planks of wood. Niah Caves is as usual one of the biggest caves in the world and at the main attraction is the great cave and the painted cave. Great = big, painted = painted. We needed to hire torches as we had read it gets dark. I wanted to hire one but Charlotte very rightly made us get two head lamps. We set off walking along the wooden walkway into the cave. It was starting to brighten up.
We walked through some standard cave areas no better or worse than other caves we have seen in other areas on this trip. South East Asia, home of the cave. We eventually reached the great cave and to be fair (And that's..) it was pretty spectacular, fuck all the other caves, this is a cave! "You call that a cave?" We walked through along the wooden boards passing big coves and areas that had light beaming through and water raining down. There was the noise of swiflets everywhere, this place is apparently home to hundreds of thousands of them. There was also bird shit everywhere and after thoroughly racking my brains I decided it stank of steak and kidney pudding. Took me fucking ages to figure out what it smelt of. Swiflet shit + damp + bat shit = steak and kidney pudding. After a bit we sat looking out on some big hole in the cave and had the lunch that the taxi driver had provided for us. It was an orange, a bottle of water and 1.5 cakes each.
Straight after lunch the walk led to pitch black caves, time for the head lamps. There was no one around at all barring a few distant lights from workers so it was really eery, we followed the shit strune path only being able to see a few yards ahead of us. We were worried we had gone off track at some point and that any minute one of the monsters from 'The Descent' would pop out from behind one of us. It didn't, probably because we were actually on the right path. It was pretty cool doing all this in the pitch black, occasionally we would flash our heads up at the walls and it would disturb the sleeping bats, I'd crap my pants and then not look up again until we reached daylight again.
Found daylight and made another outdoor walk along the wooden walkways up to the painted cave. Charlotte had just navigated her way through wet, pitch black caves but she was worried that the wooden planks were gonna give way and she would fall (honestly) about 5 feet. Again we were fine. Came to the painted cave which to put it bluntly was a load of shite. All the main faded paintings are behind a barbed wire fence about 15 feet away. Theres a couple more outside but they are mainly rubbish, luckily the walk here was good fun or I'd be demanding my £1 back. Made our way back the way we came, had a chat to a family of Malays and then went back to the waiting taxi driver at the entrance.
Charlotte slept on the way back whilst I thought up ideas for various ventures. Got back to the hostel and further researched our upcoming plans, it's too much to fly out in the wrong direction to Bario (treks/longhouses etc) so we have decided to fly to Kinabulu and chance being able to climb the mountain. You're supposed to book 6 months in advance as it takes two days and you have to stay on the one hotel up the mountain for one night. Everywhere is dead, surely there will be too, their website seems to suggest we should be ok.
Went out for tea, went onto the main road tonight and went to Ming Cafe. I had an Indian buffet which was decent, it was one of those metal trays with all the different little areas for different stuff, potato, two curries, rice etc. I've still not had a proper good Indian curry yet though. At one point during the meal a bloke came and stood at our table with a big block of wood, he said something but we didn't understand, again he said "Buy chopping board". He literally was just walking around trying to sell this one lump of wood he had. Had a few Anchors here and watched football. We then got in an argument and we went our seperate ways, I went back to the place from last night and watched Man city with a beer and my laptop. Sorted things out later on but I quite enjoyed being alone for a bit. Flight is late tomorrow so fuck knows what we will do tomorrow.