Kuching Borneo.

Trip Start Sep 19, 2010
Trip End Sep 19, 2011

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Flag of Malaysia  , Sarawak,
Sunday, October 10, 2010

   Kuching is the Capital of the state of Sarawak in Malaysian Borneo. Malaysia is the only country I can think of that is split by such a large body of water. West malaysia I.E. peninsula Malaysia and East Malaysia I.E. Borneo Malaysia. Dont worry thats the geography lesson over for today.
 Our hotel another Tune hotel by the way, Is right next to the Sarawak river that runs through the centre of the City. The perfect place with everthing in easy walking distance.
  We arrived in the early evening and went out for a stroll along the river. The next morning we took in most of the sights of the city, a real pleasant place. I feel I will have to give you a little background info so you can get a better understanding of the place.
  For four hundred years the area that is now Sarawak was under the control of the Sultan of Brunei. In 1839 the Sultans Viceroy in the area of Sarawak was under siege by God knows who. Any way along comes this guy called Sir James Brooke. James was invalided out of the East india Company after being injured in Burma and rather than go home he set sail looking for adventure. This brought him to Sarawak just by chance. To cut a long story short he broke the siege and sent God knows who packing. The Sultan was so pleased he gave Sir James brooke Sarawak as a reward and he became known as the white Raja.  Which is nice !!  The Brooke family (the White Rajas) ruled Sarawak until they handed it to Britain in 1946. What a great piece of history eh?
   The next day Cathy and I set out for Bako National park. This took a bus and a speedboat to reach. After wading ashore we went to the park cafe. After we sat down we realised this was going to be an exiting place, when a Macaques Monkey burst on to the veranda grabbed someones lunch and made a run for it. It was then I saw the Park rangers were stationed around the balcony with catapults ready to repulse these raiders. Well it was very tense and I was loving it. Five minutes later there was another raid. An old Granny was eating a chicken drumstick and a monkey must have thought she was easy prey. In it came like lightning, the park rangers let loose with their catapults but the monkey was too quike. It grabbed the drumstick but before it could make its escape the old granny was beating it around the head with her sun hat. You should have seen the expression on the monkeys face. I still chuckle to think about it. Thats the kind of place this was.
  The real attraction of the park is the Proboscis monkey. They are the monkeys with the big bulbus noses. You will have doubtless seen them on the T.V.at some time. We were very fortunate and saw a family of them up close feeding in a tree. Delightful.
 We then decided to go on a walk through the jungle to a beach. At the start of the trail the sign said .8 Km to beach. Easy your thinking, well no it was not. Firstly it was hardly a trail then factor in it was up and down boulders then add stifling humidity and heat.  Outcome? Nightmare !!  I have never seen Cathy sweat, but she did that day, bucket loads. I sweat just looking out the window here so nothing new to me. Thank Christ we took water. Once in the jungle you have no sense of distance, you can walk 20 Mtrs and think it was 200 Mtrs. It all looks the same, green. That said the amount  and the sheer diversity of plants is amazing. Then there are the sounds of the jungle. Its like white noise always there and its loud. And just when you get used to it the tempo changes or all at once evey insect in the jungle will change tone. Fasinating but not when you can't see in front of you for sweat running into your eyes. So conclusion of walking 1.6 Kms in a jungle at midday. Bloody hard work but I was glad I did it.
    Oh I almost forgot the word Kuching is Malay for Cat. Nearly all the roundabouts in the city have cat statues on them. Kuching also has the worlds only Museum dedicated to cats. We spent 4 days in Kuching and loved it.
We will talk about headhunters in the next blog but I will leave you with a picture of a real skull that had been headhunted.
   We are in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah west Borneo as I speak and you know whats coming next,  Thats another story.
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