Feline fine in Borneo

Trip Start Apr 29, 2006
Trip End Apr 29, 2007

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Flag of Malaysia  ,
Saturday, August 12, 2006

Worst journey for some time... 6 legs, one of which was a bus journey which should have taken half an hour. The driver had other ideas though, wouldnt get out of 2nd gear, picked people up every 10 metres & at one point stopped to do a bit of shopping!! Ended up taking two hours and we made check-in for our flight by less than 10 minutes!!

Hotels in Kuching seem to range from the cheap and very nasty at 4 quid a room, to air con, tv, en suite options from about 6 quid a room, no in betweeners.... We ended up in one of the 6 quidders. Bit naughty, but it was clean!!

Went out on the lash.... Bit lordy again, had trouble finding cheap eateries, ended up in a muslim restaurant (fantastic food at about a pound)with no beer... But We made up for it later!! First we had to find somewhere.. Wandered around past numerous empty, expensive places - Then joy - we came across Rainforest which not only had about 10 people in, but also (too) cheap beer... Suffice to say it got busier, weird though as it was Malay versions of English language pop songs!! Very noticeable how little English is spoken here compared to the mainland, ordering a drink was quite tricky at times. However the clientel enjoyed a conversation... Rat got chatting to some self confessed Gangsters, and I chatted to the Bar owner who was a Sikh and his daughter had just got caught in the airport chos in London. All very nice people (the women were friendly too...)

When you walk around loads of people say hello, how are you, welcome to Sarawak etc. It's really nice, cos they dont want anything, they're just lovely people!

Rat decided air con is like a drug - You want it, but its bad, and then when you no longer have it, things are even worse.... Our trip to the National Park prooved this. He was a sweaty steward!

But back to Kuching,.. Walked around a bit to the numerous free museums, natural history, chinese, borneo history, islam etc etc. Pretty interesting, but not much about Sarawaks history. Medaka, the indpendence day is approaching, so we saw a load of school kids preparing for a public performance - They were even friendlier than the other Sarawakians!! Crazy lot!!

Time to see the countryside - off to Ainee rais region, where the Bidayah tribe live. They're no longer still in totally traditional longhouses, but we got the idea. Can't blame them for modernising, especially as they live pretty near the city. They did seem keen to marry us off to their women though - said they would be proud!! Got to sample the local honey/rice wine - very tasty!

Went to cinema again that evening, saw Sliver - reminded me of my leech issues in Thailand!

Then, off to Bako national park....

Bit weird, back to tourist ghetto ville, but only about 8 bungalows and one restaurant, but still far more touristy than anywhere else in Malaysia we'd been (bar Perhentaians) - and not what I expected of Borneo...

Still managed to get away from the crowds on the treks though. We opted for a 12 km walk that should take about 7 hours, but we did in 5 - Extreme!!! (and exhausted) Didn't see many animals, but the landscape was fantastic, so varied... Lunarscape, sparse woodland, dense rainforest, cliffs, estuaries, beaches, mangrove swamps, peat bogs, dried up river beds,......... We went out again at night which was a bit eerie, still saw nothing except fireflies (which we both like though)

Next day we went for a quick 3 hour walk before catching our boat - managed to spot a proboscis monkey, great to see one just before we left... Success!
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