We arrived safely in Kuching on tuesday abeit a bit jet lagged though. We had a day or two relaxing and wandering around Kuching, giving us time to adjust to the humidity out here! Although we've cheated a bit for the first few nights by having air con in our rooms, which is amazing. We went kayaking on friday, which was a really nice introduction to rural Borneo and the jungle (being a safe distance away from it, in our canoes). Ivy and Stephanie our guides were really enthusiastic and showed us many plants including meat eating plants such as the pitcher plants, herbs and cocoa trees my fave being a choccie lover, lol. We also saw the orangutans which was great, we saw about 8 in total, including the big daddy Ritchie who was not to be messed with, oh no, and a mother and baby which was just adorable, very human like and a bit camera shy so excuse the bad photos (the one above is an internet one I'm afraid).
Saturday we went to the longhouse to go and stay with a tribe or so we thought, it is more like a modern village now, with satellite dishes and mobile phones stuck to their ears. However after our inital disappointment that it was not the romantiscised image we had in our heads, we got really involved with the modern and traditional ways in which they live now. So shortly after arriving Claire (another girl that came with us) and I adorned our fetching and remarkably useful hats adn woven baskets, and Griff did the man thing and said 'uh no thanks'. So they gave him the honours of carrying the very manly and big jungle esk kinfe, only to discover to all of our amusements (esp the bunyia girls) it didnt quite fit around his western waist, lol. So then we went off to collect the food for tomorrows lunch, peppercorns, veggies, bamboo and flowers. I quite frankly think me and Andrew suck at picking ripe peppercorns and veggies as the girls and guide that came along with us kept handing us far many more peppers than we actually collected ourselves. Although we were much better at hacking the bamboo apart, with the uber knife, yey. Poor Claire thought we were going for a brisk walk to the farm you see, oh no, WRONG and so by the time we got back she had 47 mossie bites, coz she didnt you use any spray, big oops. we were quite hungry when we got back and boy did we get fed like a king I think its their custom to offer a plentiful amount of food. So that night we had NOT 1 but 2 suppers, one at 7 pm and another at midnight after being gently force fed rice wine that they make locally after visiting a couple of very friendly homes.
Day 2 in the jungle we went on an all mighty jungle trek, the kind that is very much a no no back home, climbing with vines where ropes would normally be and old tree logs or bamboo instead of sturdy bridges. A few hours later and we arrived at the first waterfall, where the girls cooked for us, using the food we collected the day before. Whilst they were doind that I decided to climb the waterfall using the vines (not too high mum and dad, dont worry) which are surprisingly strong. After lunch treked the treacherous path to the 2nd or 3 waterfalls, we really glad we made it as it was an awesome waterfall, like out of the films with a cave behind it and another mini waterfall as you pass behind it into the cave, where there were most definately bats, eek! Then after trekking back and showering with a bucket we entertained 29 kids for 3 hours, sweating our butts off playing snap, musical chairs, hide and seek, whats the time mr nasty monkey and stuck in the mud to name a few of the games we played with them. So even though it wasn't quite what we first expected we had a really good time and are looking forward to some relaxing time getting wet with the turtles in Sipadan.
Then we left the next day and we are now back in Kuching, to find that we have almost ran out of cash and because of a festival (end of Ramadan) all banks are shut so we cant change our T.cheques, gggr, good job we have plastic then!