Sunday, 26 December 2010

The Start of A Borneo Adventure

Long Bedian: Day 1
Despite being roughly 50km? from Miri, it actually took us more than 5 hours by land route to this little town in the corner of Sarawak. The whole journey was definitely a test to one’s backbone, as well as the strength of one’s stomach. It was a rocky journey to say the least, and during the rainy season, it definitely allows the bravest of hearts to try bracing these offroads without the aid of a four-wheel-drive vehicles. The jumps and swerves and disco-ing (where the car actually lose a lil control and the car swerving in both front and back not so different from the dancefloor ;)) makes the off-road journey I made to one of the natives settlement nearby Cameron Highlands seemed almost tame…:S Which is prolly another reason why the whole trip there’s a lot of private vehicles like Hilux and Pajero ONLY with the exception of very few saloon cars and the occasional motorbikes (which can actually avoid most of the potholes as compared to normal cars ;P).
            Throughout the trip, there’s nothing much to see, except trees and more trees as truckloads of oil palms passed us by. The most interesting one would be when we caught sight of a pretty long snake crossing the muddy road, a King Cobra it seems. Now this is when I’m actually thankful I’m in a rocky nauseous-inducing Pajero rather than on a two-wheel, smoother-journey-guranteed but fully exposed motorbike. Also, unlike the rather well-serviced Highways in the Peninsular, there are NO reststops or washrooms etc unless you decided to go into rather far apart lil villages where they have some very basic shops selling snacks and such. Therefore, guess where yours truly had to do when she couldn’t hold it in anymore? :S It was my 1st attempt in doing that since kindy or sumtink and it is way more embarrassing than I thought it would be. LOL. This is certainly when I envied guys. Ehem.The roads were especially terrible once it neared Lapok. :X
one of the many lorries we passed

            Back to the journey, we had to use a ferry to actually get there. So off we went into an oh-so-small ferry. Do take note that this service is only available till 8pm, and if you arrive any later, should you decide to visit this village, well, you just gotta stop by Long Lama (which is the village nearest to this ferry service) for the night instead. Blerk! It is kinda daunting after that to pass the hilly areas where for once, the cars moving upwards are on the right and the ones moving down are on the left. This is for safety purposes apparently, cos of the narrow lanes so the drivers won’t actually hit each other should the cars collide on the sides :S. And when you look to the sides, you can see you’re actually on the edge of the hill itself but the only thing you can’t see is the depth of the edge XD.

            When it’s nearing the village, the hills looked pretty creepy to me. Remember The Hills Have Eyes? The hills look liddat. LOL. Or isit just my overactive imagination? Doesn’t these look like a tropical version of that movie? :S

            I noticed plenty of lil ponds next to the roads, and they are simply beautiful! Greenish clear water with plenty of plants on the banks, it’s like miniature ponds all the way. Ok, maybe it’s not good scientifically with the eutrophication and all, but art-wise, they are one of the prettiest lil work of art by Mother Nature herself. :D
            If you think that Kedah has the most paddy fields, and rightly so I guess, Sarawak hillsides boasts of the hill paddy fields which produces the nyummiest rice ever! Not much pics as we sped bumpily along cos it was hard to take pics from a moving car, and a bumpy one at that, so I’ll leave these to your imaginations. :D
            By the time we reached, it’s already night. We’re staying at d step-uncle’s homestay, but relatives stay free LOL. In the village, there’s lotsa homestays but the one we’re staying at is called Nawan Homestay, named after a cute lil boy with the same name :D (the grandkid, my sorta step-cuznephew?@@ Is there even such a term?) Anyway, dinner’s as shown and I never knew plain white rice could be so nyummy after being wrapped this way. OMG, it was so delish! I think staying at places like this could be pretty eye-opening in a way if you would like to explore the native’s way of life, be it a modern version of one. :D (Do note that longhouses are rare to find in the traditional way which are made of wooden planks etc and most have already been modified to look like a terrace house which are made of bricks and all, unless you go to certain chalets where those wooden long houses are purposely built to cater to those curious for a night in those). I would show some of those in a later post.

the nyummiest white rice ever!
             I had my 1st eco-friendly bath as well. I’m using rainwater to bath! I’ve written about plenty of those in reports and papers for my Environmental Management and Sustainability classes but never experienced it 1st hand before. LOL. OK, before you start imagining me bathing right under the rain for the viewing of all, they have normal bathrooms etc, just that the rainwater collected on top of the roofs are conveyed to them with pipes. The water is ICY and despite being used to cold baths during my hostel-stays, it is nothing compared to that. OMG! And Dad’s definitely not so used to it since he’s using hot water at home since like…forever? LOL. A day with these homestays are prolly equal to a night in Langkawi in one of the expensive eco-friendly hotel, without the hefty pricetag~ I shall not give names here but the hotels there will cut one short of RM500 for a normal room compared to lesser than a fraction of that here. And if you like outdoors, the ride coming here is definitely an adventure in itself, though I would advise travelling with a half-filled tummy ONLY. Too much food and you’ll find yourself heaving them all out as your butts are thrown in the air during the ride and too much drinks, well, let’s just not go there.
            I turned in pretty early cos I was way beat after the shaky ride here and the lack of entertainment. It is only here that I noticed how much I depended on my internet, and handphone and tv shows for entertainment. Sigh. PS: Only Celcom has coverage here, and I’ve been a loyal supporter of Digi ever since nearly 1.5 decades ago, so guess that goes to show the yellow man ain’t everywhere! XD

More photos from the trip HERE

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