Wednesday i had an apointment at 11am at the tattoo shop near the place where all the boats leave from to have my angel tattoo touched up. I found the original drawing, so Pip (the artist) had a good reference what it should look like. He used more shades of grey and also white for the accents. The result is very cool, happy with it!
Upon my return I run into Josh from the UK, who checked into the dorm room at 5am, came with the nightbus from somewhere. Telling him I want to go check out the harvest festival in thd cultursl village, we quickly agree to meet in an hour and go together. The busride there was smooth and we got pointed in the right direction by several people. There is some singing and dancing, some exhibitions, lots of food stalls and many bars set up for this festival. After a bit we sit down in the Carlsberg tent, where (like in almost every tent/bar) you csn only order per set of three.. After having collected Carlsberg umbrella and Guinness t-shirts, we head over to thr Budweiser karaoke tent for some uncool FA cup caps and yet another karaoke tent. It's getting late so we hussle a ride home and give the driver 20RM. My bus leaves 07:45, so pack, sleep, wake up and at 07:30 at the bus terminal only to find out the bus had left 07:15, "coz it was full already". The fact that i show them a prepaid ticket for the 07:45 bus is only funny to them. Luckily another buscompany leaves at 08:00, so the buy me a ticket for that bus to Miri.. I am on my way!
Because if the geological situation of Brunei within Malaysia ánd that there is an actual border between Sabah and Sarawak (within Malaysia), the bustrip involves no less than 5 border crossings and so 10 checkpoints on the way. This plus the fact that it is a national holiday weekend, explains why this trip lasts 14 hours.. So after a 10 times on and off the bus and several food stops, we arrived around 22:00 in Miri. This was not the city center so i decided to stay put and get a room from around there. Found one rather fast, but not because of outside help. One half doesn't want to help and thr othet half is not able coz no speaking the english. Hot shower, wifi and movie channel. Late dinner next door, delicious as always. Slept long, checked out towards noon. Ok now lets find the city center, surely the receptionist that smiles all thr time knows? Which direction is the center, so i can start walking towards it? -"yes". Ok but where is it? -"yes somewhere". Ok f*** it, bye, i will find it myself. Ok next person on the street: am i walking in the right direction to te center? -"yes maybe there, maybe". OMG. Luckily i remember the compass on thd iPhone and walk south. Its 5,5 km, good morning walk. Through thd tourist office i find the hostel Minda Guesthouse, 20RM/night. Walk around town and walk up Canada Hill, site of oil drilling until 1972. And a brilliant view on the South China Sea. Its quiet, relaxed town and in thd evening i eat river snails in garlic and ginger, prawns with sea salt and my favourite green vegetable. Dont know what its called still but reminds of spinach. Talk with a Chineses gentleman who is here on business, he has some wise words. Since it is a national holiday for 4 days, a lot is closed like tour companies and busses run less. I figure the best way to see stuff around here is to rent a car.
In the morning (saturday), hostel reception calls a rental company anc i can pick up the car from thd airport, will be €30/day and gasoline costs less than €0,50/liter. Today i will drive it alone, tomorrow we will be 3 sharing it. Today i drove if first to Lambir National Park, 35 km to the south. A nice hike through the rain forest, following a river and several waterfalls. The rain forrest is very damp, its raining slightly and feels like real jungle. Well thats probably because it is a real jungle.. I stop also at Golden Hill, seems like s Chinese cemetary beautifully situated on a hill side with huge monuments. I drive to the west along the coast, the sea is rough and the beaches deserted. Although the beaches are beautiful, they are not your average resort beaches. Then through town to the east, to the Miri crocodile farm. Many mean looking crocodiles indeed, but also a zoo with monkeys, snakes, fruit bats, birds, a cow and a goat.. Back to the hostel, chill. Evening walk, nasi goreng ayam (fried rice with ckicken). In thr afternoon i had Thai Tom Yam soup. Waiting for Josh to arrive with the bus from KK now. In the morning we will be joined by Mick, British also, and drive to Niah National Park and Caves, some 110 km away, to the south. One more available spot in the car, perhaps somebody else will join. Goodnight for now..