7 days in Malaysia and total Photo Failure… baaaahhh!

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Brunei-The Return

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Into Sabah-The Bastard

https://www.strava.com/activities/1214753060Parked by Mt Kinabalu – Sacred Mountain

 

Brunei-More of the same?

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Its a stunning morning in Brunei Part 2 and we are loving it. Breakfast time, its still and the call too prayer is keeping us company. Nice

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The roads are superb and the Jungle is pristine and Palm Oil Free. This is just so good.

 

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The sort of place you can just sit and gaze, but not for too long. Its insanely hot & humid.

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And then Just a few hours later the rain comes…. Big Time!

 

Stunning Brunei, Noodle Breakfast, Danny Loves Limbang, tropical heat, Easy Border, Burger Breakfast in Brunei, Brunei people quietly friendly, always approaching, went too quick, 20 miles of pristine jungle, another easy border into Malaysian Borneo, nice too be back, phone signal &money back, no roti Chanai, enter the diamonds, afternoon Monsoon, sleep at my house, on the Sabah/Sarawak Border. Loved Part two of Brunei.

 

Crossing into Sabah

 

Get your passport out, Rained All day, too many near misses, cool riding, danny distance record, arrive in Kota Kinabalu, the best Roti Canai, time off. The big City. Telephone Destroyed. Stressful

 

4 Days in Kota Kinabalu

 

Masada Backpackers, Wisdom Teeth out, replenish bike spares, relaxing, taken for dinner by Sabah Tourism Minister, Peep Show Binge, Hot Showers, Tropical Island Paradise, bicycle community, Hanging with backpackers from Russia, UK, NZ, Aussie, Philippines, Spanish, French, Canadian. Love KK lots, Indian Food, Sabah Food, Chinese Food. Could stay forever, new phone, Blow Pipe, Danny eats live Grub, tourist time. Indonesia Visa, River people, eat some more. Planning Ferries for Indo.

 

Back on the Road

 

Big climbing day, Heading too Mount Kinabalu, Wild Boar lunch, Fire Flies, Random Kindness, Stunning Sunset, Boiling at the Bottom, Ccccold up top. 5000ft. Out of the comfort zone and into the Magic. Banging Muscles, After Dark grinding, Loving the moment. Into the clouds. No pain no glory.

 

Parked up by the Sacred Mountain. The highest point after the Himalayas. 4000metres. Locals very Superstitious. 2 days after tourists stand naked on top, Earthquake arrives. Loving Borneo. This is a very VERY Island!

Feeling a bit of Brunei love. Just a bit.

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Last nights home on a small slither of land with a gorgeous river one side and the sea on the other.

Well Hello Sunrise and what a good looking beach. The rumour is somewhere here there is sand thats so white the good people of Brunei like too pose for photo’s that appear as if its snowed. We didn’t find the sand, we need an ATM and fast or monumental Bonk is likely too hit us hard and fast.

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And this morning the view of the South China Sea from Brunei is looking just like how you might imagine Paradise.

The deed is done and a slightly uninspiring Beef Noodle dish is consumed along with as much liquid that we can consume. Like naughty schoolboys we’ve dived out of sight for a crafty fag we are nervous of the rumours of big fines for smoking.

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And with memories of yesterdays Brunei Motorway adventure behind us, rural Brunei is looking and feeling just great!

We are not feeling the Brunei love, nor dislike though, too be fair just the effects of yesterdays exertions but the road which the map shows as a thin line and therefore probably very quiet is just that and you know what? The Jungle is beautiful, the roads that have beautifully manicured edges (mostly) are peaceful and we are rolling through some real Brunei Jungle Paradise with full bellies and a Rosy outlook and back into Malaysia.

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Hang on a minute, maybe we are falling in love a little with Brunei. No Palm Plantations here too spoil the nature.

The maths says its just another 25miles too the next Malaysia – Brunei border and that where we’ll sleep. Its fair too say the good people of Brunei are plenty nice enough, curious and most we encountered speak fabulous English.

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We haven’t seen any Birds nest buildings here. Its seems even the Swallows can relax. Beautiful.

Maybe even ‘The Queens English’. But stepping back into Sarawak, Malaysia a country which I once considered very reserved (and it is in comparison too say Indonesia),it feels like we have just arrived in Indonesia with all its boisterous friendliness.

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Back into the small piece of land that separates the two Brunei’s.

Yep, this little slither of Sarawak that sits in between Borneo feels really good, a little bit out there and although it seems a ‘friendship bridge’ that now connects Brunei and the town of Limbang means that road transport is now far easier, like much of Borneo we are told that significant amounts of travel is still made up and down the magnificent rivers. A very beautiful floating village appears on the opposite River bank and unbeknown too us a Limbang love in is about too begin.

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The river Taxi’s look really busy here. What great way too travel.

We’ve struggled a little too find a quiet corner too put our heads down for the night, rain looks likely but a “why not give it a try” moment outside the local Nick leaves us with the offer of shower but no bed and the suggestion try along the waterfront. Danny takes his shower first and heads off too scout out a bandstand we saw earlier.

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When I arrive its clear fate has chosen this as our location. We’ve been singing Boney – M songs for a few days and a Karaoke that’s set up at the Bandstand is playing a selection of Boney M hits. The locals are pleased too see us and don’t hesitate when we ask “can we sleep” here and it just wouldn’t be polite too refuse the offer of a Boney M duet.

 

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That’s what freedom looks like. A bed on Limbang’s Bandstand… Dan is taking too this sorta life perfectly. What’s not too like?

 

Borneooo… Its not the free that matters, we can get a room for £10 but once your in the room you shower and sleep. Its the Freedom, the being outside and the contact with the locals… Loving Borneo! Lots.

Saved by the Indonesians and some Coke.

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Approaching the Brunei Border and just time too feel amazed that someone had the idea and the know how and the can do to make this sort of thing actually happen. It’s an amazing world right?

The Maths is in and as small as Brunei looks, if you include the 20 miles to the border from Miri on the Malaysian side it’ll be a total of 120miles too escape to the next ‘finger’ of Malaysia that squeezes in-between the 2nd and much smaller section of Brunei and with the best will in the world even with a 7.00am start the Blue Sky with occasional wispy clouds and some big ones bubbling up way over too our right somewhere towards the centre of Borneo that never arrived, it was always likely to be and was a beautiful Sky day, in fact captivating to look at and a full on ‘Burning Island’ special.

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A view from above the acres and acres of Palm Oil that have kept us company for the last few days. If Brunei wasn’t so goddam hot I would have taken photo’s of the pristine Jungle that keeps us company. We are told the benefit of having Asia’s biggest Oil reserves and the wealth that comes with it they don’t need to destroy the jungle and plant the controversial Palm Oil.

Getting out of Malaysia is easy, just a stamp, as is getting into Brunei. 90 days. We’ve got a feeling this alcohol free nation that focusses on religion, consumerism and eating may just be a little dull and maybe full of rules and we are wondering if the usual roll up and sleep where we like formula that works so nicely in Sarawak will apply.

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This section of Motorway is undergoing upgrades. This means we have the highway too ourselves. How often do you get this opportunity on silky smooth Tarmac?

We have two questions too answer at the 2nd Brunei Customs window. “Anything to declare?”. “Yep.. I’m hot” probably isn’t the right answer. As always with the exception of Turkmenistan & Uzbekistan the idea passes my mind that I’ve missed a trick because as always no-one ever looks in my bags. I would surely make a great smuggler.

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But shade is just a dream… You can see the heat. 98% Humidity is just another normal day.

I’ve confessed too 3 packets of 20 of the insanely cheap ERA ciggies’ you can pick up ‘under the counter’ across Sarawak. When I say cheap at today’s exchange rate we are talking 46 pence a packet. That’s no problem and it seems we could bring in 2litres of booze as foreigner but Gin without Ice? Nah, it’s just not on our radar. So far so easy.

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Not a clue in this very Islamic country.

In accommodation terms it seems we could find a Hostel in the capital for just £5 however that’s another 120mile journey and shopping malls, food and some fancy pants “I’ve got more money (a serious amount) than you” architecture and some allegedly impressive Mosques just doesn’t tickle our fancy. We didn’t expect any more or any less so we are just gonna grind the day out and see where we end up sleeping later. Its Brunei Dollar used here and it easy maths. 1 pound is 2 Brunei Dollar.

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Cocoa-Cola and Kindness to the rescue.

We have over thought the money situation though. It seems that its likely to start at about £50 a night for a room and apart from the fact that we haven’t seen any ATM’s all day we’ve cycled for 50 miles through Brunei without any money along a totally shade less Motorway Hard shoulder with only the breakfast we had before we left Malaysia and 3 litres of Fluid each. After 1 puncture and all the joy has been sucked out of us we’ve come across the first food stall of the day. We still have no local currency and no-one has been prepared to exchange a few Malaysian Ringgit for Brunei Dollars but the friendly shopkeeper has shown kindness and given us some shade and a 1.5 litre bottle of ice-cold coke. The currency is friendliness, photos and autographs plus when we leave 2 more bottles too take with us. It does seem that sleeping outside in Brunei is going too be frowned in though and still no ATM’s.
But Indonesians have saved the day.

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He is enjoying the empty Highway.

Firstly we asked a big Police Station “can we sleep in the grounds”. They don’t say yes or No but they are definitely not comfortable. They are friendly enough. If I heard correctly though “Brunei on got its independence from England in 1986”. They all speak great English and these coppers have all spent time in the UK. “There is a British Army Base just 3km down the road towards in the direction of the beach” they mention. So still with no local currency or Hotel we have a plan. Perhaps they will let us sleep in the grounds for the night. It turns out it’s a Brunei Army base and sleeping there is not an option. “Can we sleep on the Beach?”. Its seems that’ll be Ok and we can get some water for our emergency supply of noodles at a Toilet Block down by the beach.

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A most amazing bedtime view. It’s so special down this road even the Sultan of Brunei has a weekend retreat down this road. its easy to see why.

Yep the Indonesian toilet cleaners are never gonna let us down and we have a superb round the back location. The Sunset is just mind-blowing, the Firefly’s are gorgeous and the as yet nameless spider who rolled a cockroach over, then sucked the life out of it and scampered effortlessly up the wall and into the eaves left us both impressed and a little nervous. He looked mean but kinda beautiful in the night shadows doing his thing just a few inches from Danny’s head. We still have no cash but the “In case of Emergency” noodles along with some Indonesian imported kindness saved the day along with the Brunei Shopkeeper who yet again proved that the world is a pretty goddam good place. Only 25miles too escape to the Malaysian border tomorrow. Tough day but its great thinking “We Just cycled through Brunei”.
Dunno if we heard quite right as well but apparently smoking in public gets a 3000 Brunei Dollar fine and you cannot buy cigarette’s here! WOW!

Sarawak nearly finished. Nearly.

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Its wrong too say it’s not beautiful, but it ain’t stunning and our minds are now focused on getting too KK for some well-earned R&R and anyway we have been spoilt so far by Sarawak. 

It’s almost a certainty that our European trained stomachs are gonna get a little test in Asia. I don’t know why, it’s just seems that’s how it is. Maybe yesterdays lunchtime noodle stop may have been guilty. Whatever it was Danny had a slightly rough night. Add the ‘until 4am’ Karaoke bar and it means that The Bat caves are not on the radar this morning.

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It’s not that Thomas Cook Tropical Look but its beautiful and the thought that if you keep on going that way, past the Oil Rig you’ll either hit China or Vietnam. I like these thoughts.

It’s also true too say that the ‘smaller’ road out of Bintuli ain’t exactly small and peaceful. In fact its pretty downright busy and kinda uninspiring. Palm Oil and small sections of Jungle and a Murky but still hot ‘Burning Island’ Day.

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And the wind is picking up and keeping things nice a cool. Just Lycra shorts ain’t the greatest look, but its a great feeling especially when you kick your shoes and socks off. 

I read something a bit like this. Humidity has a similar effect too wind-chill. It means the roughly 32c temperatures actually feel like something around 40c +. Its near the Brunei border that we park up at and take a Hostel, not a hotel.  It’s 20 miles from the Border and is a bargain at just £5 and the host is just as fabulous as the reviews and although Miri is just another town that show’s the wealth that Palm Oil, Oil and Logging can bring, its pleasant enough.

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And the artwork by the tiniest and fastest crabs is a bit hypnotizing.

And todays reward for some head down slogging and grinding because with the epic rivers that seem far behind us to treat the eyes and mostly thin busy roads that’s just what today is with the exception of a lovely hour spent just enjoying the first easy access to the gorgeous as far as the eye can see and empty beaches. The only company is one fisherman who whizzes by on his scooter and the very very nice ‘artwork’ by must what be ‘at least in the thousands’ of crabs.

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And if you zoom out it looks even more incredible.

You’ve been superb Sarawak and although I can’t say I disliked West Malaysia, apart from Melaka and my chance mini-tour with some cyclists up the east coast last year I could never confess too being head over heels in Love but Sarawak… You’ve stolen my heart. Big time. Brunei tomorrow. It’s a place that no-one gets excited by. But there ain’t no other way around it. Not that we know of anyway.

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And then you look down the length of the beach and the scale of the work becomes mind-boggling.

So we feel a little uninspired but in terms of passport stamp bragging rights its gonna be a good one. It’s also nice too clear up a big misconception. If you would have asked me back in 2014 where it was I would have answered semi-confidently.

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Ahhhhhhh… Sarawak. Borneo… Feels like Frreeeeeeeedom!

It’s in the middle east somewhere. Its obvious, its got Oil and a Sultan. Nope, it’s just 20 miles down the road you idiot. Maybe its gonna be an under promise and over deliver the moment.

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Apparently this fella tastes pretty good!

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And if I was brave enough too try… it would all be served up with the easy-going nature of the Sarawakians. I guess that’s what more than one is called.  

Palm Oil Plantations

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Clean, Refreshed and ready to get back on the road.

Bintulu, they Call it the Oil City and it’s a good description. It looks wealthy, it feels wealthy with some big expensive looking Hotels and a smart-looking Golf course. There are plenty of typical Malaysian Blocks of buildings of course all suffering from the humidity with washing hanging out of windows. Mercedes, many smart Toyota Pick ups and even the rarest of things in most of Asia some high-end BMW’s.

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Breakfast is Pork Belly and Soup.

Don’t forget too include the pride of Malaysia, the Proton and a few scooters as well. A lot of modernisation such as malls including stuff like Macd’s which off course was sampled, not seen one of those since Bali back in June and if you wanna chocca Mocca double espresso with a cherry on top Coffee, a Starbucks (Pass).

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its a kind of fried bread and is perfect for dipping in coffee.

Even our lower end of the market choice of room for a day off is perhaps a 3rd more expensive than Sibu. It’s still only about £12 a night and to be fair at the Glory Hotel the air-cons great, the wi-fi is super fast and the shower is beautifully hot and its all very clean. It’s almost the reason that another day of taking refuge from the Sun and incredible humidity could easily be taken this morning. You walk outside and it swamps you but if you time it right as the Sun goes down that shorts & t-shirt feeling cannot be beaten and a huge TV screen too watch West Ham v Everton is just perfect.

 

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Leaving the Oil City.

 

Foods a little more pricey and the people are more peninsula Malaysia reserved. But the locations great and the Laundrette is all we need. Eat, Doze and watch Films. I can’t help but wonder what the staff imagine two white fellas might be doing in their room all day. When the Sun goes down the reception staff are not just sat behind a counter but behind a counter that just for the night has bars added.

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About 70 miles of unbroken Palm Oil Plantations today. 

Maybe this is where the Palm Plantation workers come for some R&R and next doors windowless Karaoke Bar that has Asia’s signature strangled cat standard singing standard and some big bass high tempo music in-between and possibly some special ladies means we may just have chosen the place where these ‘special’ ladies and there temporary boyfriends stay the night. Wander out and choose from Malaysian food or Filipino or Malaysian and of course plenty of Chinese. I can’t say it sets our world on fire like Sibu, but you know what? It still puts a smile on your face and a chuckle. But staying is not on the cards.

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Occasionally a little idea of what the jungle would have been like before the Palm Oil appears.

Its only about 125 miles to the town of Miri which is the staging point for trips up into some of Borneo’s finest national parks so they say and the end of Sarawak and time to cross Brunei. Funny thing is that twice, Backpackers back in Kuching replied “It was alright” when questioned “How was it”. Sounds a bit tourist trap too me and chance to rinse some tourists of their hard-earned.

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And miles and miles of loooong straight roads. Great for mile munching.

As alway we are looking for some normal out of the city life and some more of the typically happy friendly Sarawak welcome. We’ve found it of course in the first town of our 80mile journey through the miles and miles of Palm Oil. It works like normal, firstly feel exceptionally pleased that as normal, at 80 miles which represents another daily record for Danny a big food court has appeared just as hunger is knocking and an almost empty market opposite that without a second thought its been Okayed that we can lay our Mats out and sleep. So with a huge choice of food and we both agree a nice bit of belly Pork and rice is favorite (as with most of the Towns so far its Chinese Dominated, hence the Pork) we’ve firstly been shown the huge choice on offer including a trip into the Kitchens where a few lids of bubbling pots of food have been lifted too try and entice us but Belly Pork it is.

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Only one way too finish the day. Belly Pork & Rice. We won’t see much of this in Indonesia.

“Any Chance of a Bucket Shower” asks Danny who is now fully accustomed too how it all works here gets us an ‘upstairs’ upgrade from the smiling host of our restaurant. “I have 1000 hectares of Palm Oil Plantation and my workers have rooms above”. We have a bucket shower and mattresses supplied in the Hallway and all we need too do again is congratulate ourselves on another great day of Mile Munching. Oh yes don’t forget too settle our food bill. 3 cans of Coke, 1 Can of Coconut Drink and two Belly Pork and rice dishes is 21 ringgit which equates too near as dammit £4. Easy life is back. Thanks again Borneo. Love you Lots.

Back on the Big Road… Racing for a day off

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We are pretty certain this is a Swallow. What we do know is these are the birds that are making the birds nests that are so valued.

 

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We are not talking huge hills but enough too make a change from the last few days around the coast.

 

 

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And we are getting an idea of what the Jungle must of been like here before it was cleared.

 

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And its a broken road. At least for the first 5 miles or so until we reach the main road.

 

 

 

 

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Its Friday prayers today. Its not a bad main road but it does get a little tight sometimes with logging trucks and other freight but its really only today we will be on this big road then the smaller stuff until Brunei.

 

 

Heading out of Sibu for the 90 mile trip on the “Coffin”

The River is really full right now as a result of the recent heavy rain.

This thing is fast and reaches about 30mph. Only 3 hrs too reach the staging post where all of the people on this boat will take another ride deeper into the jungle. They are all loggers.

Its flat and very quiet here. Its well worth the extra mileage too get this peace and beauty.

We have maybe tripled the amount of mileage too stay on the coast and on the quieter roads around Sibu and its well worth it.

This is the school that we thought might have been somewhere we could have stayed the night. It would have been a very noisy night.

Where too Start?

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Thanks to the lads last night who treated us to dinner!

I reckon maybe the best place too start is about the 12 miles of busted road that arrived mid-afternoon. Its pretty unusual to see anything much less than smooooth here in Malaysia and that includes the Peninsular.

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Small fishing village with the South China Sea in the background.

In fact some times it’s too smooth… Too comfy. Not today though. I’ve been eying up a little ‘shortcut’ that’ll keep us off the ‘Big Road’ and maybe 20ish miles and generally the answer is, you can do it ‘But the Bridge might not be completed’, ‘It’s a dead end’ or ‘ Yep no problem’ or maybe ‘It might be a bit rough’. Rough?? Nah… I’ve done super double rough elsewhere. It’ll be a doddle.

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Cyclist Gold. 100plus is being consumed in large quantities too try to keep hydrated. 

Funny thing is when our mapless (Google and Nokia Maps show nothing) area came along there were a few tiny roads but the jungle seemed too be creeping in. It was a bit deserted and maybe a few potholes.

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A rare sight! This fella is sporting the Malaysian and Sarawak Flags! he is getting a move on!

Nothing a couple of Brave Heroes of the road (cough) can’t handle but then out of the blue on a loooong straight section we can just see in the distance a couple of Palm Oil Trucks weaving and clearly rocking and dipping into some big holes.

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Always plenty of these beauties though. 

Apart from one 4wd which was bumper deep in water it’s all we saw for a few hours and the holes are not just big, they stretch right across the road with foliage either side. We don’t wanna get our bike shoes wet.

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Another supplier of cyclist fuel!

Drying stuff can take days. Flip-Flops is a part solution but we have little control using them on the rough dry bits in-between. Its slow going. Sometimes we are pushing through the foliage at the edges which is boggy and we are a little unsure what might be lurking. Its slow going and water supplies are low. It’s that moment when you just say “fuck it”, keep your shoes on and just plough through the middle.

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The start of a big broken flooded section of road. Its looking doable and we can skirt around the edges.

Sometimes its just ankle-deep and a gentle slope, sometimes it’ll just suddenly become half way up your thigh deep or maybe the mud on the bottom will try to suck your shoes off and Hubs, Mechs and Panniers are half covered in water and weed are grabbing your ankles.

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It always looks like we are nearly passed the flooded section when you look down the road but it’s just an illusion.

Its sloow and tough going and the sweat pours off you. “Do you ever get a lift when it gets like this Jas” Danny asks. “Never mate, its gonna be great to look back on”. Its a big hug when we are passed the worse which we later learned was flooding from the recent heavy rain that we miraculously missed yesterday. And was it good..? Of course, we shaved miles from the big road that runs through Borneo.

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That suddenly got very deep! That’s tickling the front hub! Not a good plan! 

. It looks like maybe still another 20miles before a town or life appears and we are still unsure how far before we hit the big road as dusk starts to kick in. Lots of Palm Plantations here but somewhere for Tent? Nope. We don’t have enough water for to boil and noodles up anyway.

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“This all used to be thick Jungle 20 years ago”  We are told. Thicker than this.. WOW!

As always salvation appears. In the middle of nowhere a place selling food appears. It must be serving the trucks that are heading in and out of the plantation now the roads improved. It’s all that’s using the road and we are gonna eat and ask if we can sleep outside and use his bucket for a shower.

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Maybe 4 inches long. This sort of stuff is ever-where and occasionally you’ll hear a big buzzing as one flies in and bounces of you then needs tipping over as it lies on the floor legs flailing in the air. What a handsome Fella!

Our Sun Tans are a little deeper now from the layers of filth. That muck didn’t smell too good! Coffee breaths life into tired and pleased bodies. The end of day endorphin high feels good though and gets better when our super host decides we can sleep in his old one room stilted house. Chickens underneath, birds nest-building behind and as the Sun goes down we’ve flung the windows opened, swept the floor, used the outside bucket shower, lit a mosquito coil, and shut the mossie blinds,laid our mats out and enjoyed the incredible night-time show of more buzzing and crashing insects that love the outside light! And the geckos swarm and I mean swarm and wait for their choice of snack too arrive….

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This Butterfly is a Whopper!!! He is very chilled as well!

“20 years ago this was all thick Jungle” our host tells us. Its hard to imagine what else wildlife wise would have been here… It’s already wild and full of more insect life than you could ever imagine of THE most amazing size… Big fat Bugs… Stunning Colours and a night off the sometimes overwhelming local friendliness. Another awesome day in Borneo!

Mile Munching in Borneo

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Feed us Roti and we will be happy!

What a fabulous days riding. Everything is in place for Danny too smash his personal daily mileage target yet again. It’s never going to be easy here but its easier. Our new Doctor mate has finished his night shift, picked up his wife & Daughter and taken us for a Roti Breakfast. Its a delicious taste of India all dipped in a tasty Dahl. Its a great start to the day. Blimey, we also learn that a 3 Bed Terrace House in Kuching costs £90,000 and comes with a 45 year Mortgage and he nets about £500 a month. Thought it might be cheaper than that!

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It’s a small one this time but still totally captivating….. Borneo…

We have light cloud cover and it continues to be totally flat. For sure it’s incredibly quiet out here. Sat by the South China Sea having a midmorning drink-break not one vehicle passed in about 15 minutes. The roads are superb and a mild headwind has got a bit frisky and come around behind us. Another tiny Kampong (village) has appeared for a second breakfast and its going too be Roti again and double helpings of Coke & Coffee.  The cloud cover is slowly getting thicker and in fact not so far away but close enough to smell it’s absolutely tipping it down with rain and the cooling blast of Air as a result is delicious.

 

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I have no idea how we never got wet…… We chased this all afternoon!

Another river crossing just as hunger pangs edge closer means Chicken Rice and fruits I have never seen before that a friendly Copper and Magistrate sitting on the next table tell us “this fruit has (which I have never seen before and forget the name but its small and round and sweet) 8 times the Vitamin C of an Orange”. Yep, Harvest time and Monsoon season is almost on us and the angry black clouds seem to dump lots of water all around us but never on us.
“Tell us Fellas, what’s the Main crime round here? It’s mostly petty crime and Birds Nest theft. When we say Birds nest it’s the nests made from Spit thats Harvested and is worth £800 per Kilo! Humidity is through the roof though. It’s a mad feeling. We are still hoping for a glimpse of the Saltwater Crocs that will stop us having a dip in the Brown looking South China Sea that appears through the occasional gaps in the lush Jungle either side of us.
Don’t get me wrong, even with the ‘cooler’ temps we are still having every bit of moisture sucked out of us.

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Soooooo Peaceful…….

We are aiming for a larger, small town at about 75 miles and we’ve decided that it might be a bit cheeky to try another night as we pass another hospital sign at the edge of town. “Lets follow the Rainbow” which glows bright and leads us for miles suggests Danny, it’s a good plan and a largish complex appears that might give us the shelter we need.

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I think we might skip the Swimming. They are Saltwater Crocs so Sea & Rivers are out for now!

It’s a boys school and we are swamped and I mean swamped by maybe 50 incredibly excited school-kids and its possible that we might have a roof but no walls for tonight’s bed. It’s not happening but just a couple of K’s further the local police point us too a kind of Bandstand in the middle of a Park. Some local lads are loving our stories of bravery on the road and its agreed its going to be bed for the night but first we need to head to the food court across the road. We won’t be alone, our new mates want to join us and in fact just like our Doctor Mate this morning have paid for our drinks and food. It’s never about free, its ridiculously cheap as always. £1.50 each for a fried rice dish wrapped in egg.

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Now we are getting a look at the South China Sea!

We’ve been stopped by a bus driver who suggests the bus depot might be better for us. It is. Noisy and bustling but no-one bats an eyelid that we are tucked away in a corner. In fact as usual we become mild celebrities for a while as normal! Its life on the road and although I ain’t got many photos too show because my phone and laptop are at the end of their usable life I can tell you, the people, the food and the nature and my new riding buddy are making this Island sooooooo goddam good!!! And Kudos Danny for yet again beating your Daily mileage target…. Gonna have to get the mile munching award out soon!

 

Falling in Love with Borneo… Lots

https://www.strava.com/activities/1192205837

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It’s just a tiny river crossing this one and they are never less than just great.

I love my life on the bike even when I don’t and it’s been another typical day in Sarawak. Rain & Moisture and age has taken its toll on equipment and despite two days off we are fighting computer passwords, trying to work out why things are not working, is it the cable, or the phone, the battery or what. But we’ve found a great electrical repair shop in town and done enough too get moving.

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Sibu’s Electrical Wizards and mighty nice people. This is the Sarawak Way.

Leaving the delicious Chinese food behind is hard, its unlikely we’ll see much delicious belly pork for a while but it will be back. We’ve had that moment of becoming a little bit regular in the area and people know who we are and getting waves from those small sorta relationships that you make are lovely moments.

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Getting data out into the Sticks. They are Hot, we are Hot… This is Borneo.

It’s only a few K’s and the towns begin us and the start of the days multiple river crossings begins and we are heading into the countryside again. More flat flat flat and a headwind with a partly cloudy day means food, shade and cold drinks whenever possible. We are meeting Indonesians with the typical tiny shop/Shack thats connects with the living area, stop too say Hi too workers toiling to bring communications, perhaps data? Too the outlying villages.

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It’s another criminally cheap Dinner tonight. About £1.10 for Rice & Chicken.

It’s still hard to imagine the very basic stilted properties with some sort of hi-speed Data connection. It seems along with the widening of the main highway, electricity lines are being layer out fast and huge pipes that occasionally appear above ground are bringing clean water out from the cities.

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It’s a fight too stay hydrated but some of the drinks that are served including this sorta Ice Cream & Coconut Drink are just delicious and well-earned.

But it’s still a mixture of ‘Jungle’, wetlands and Palm Oil that keep us company. It’s all ‘Same Same’ and flat as the eye can see. We’ve been told we can expect pretty much flat until Brunei. Maybe some beach road action tomorrow at some point. That will be a nice chance too cool off from burning sun, or maybe it’ll be rain? Who knows, whatever it will be it will still be mind-blowing that we are crossing the oldest Jungle in the world and every river might look the same but always breathtaking.

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Just waiting for the last Ferry of the day as dusk falls. There are Freshwater Crocs everywhere according too signs at every crossing. We are yet to see one… Maybe they can see us?

We’ll meet plenty of mostly shy Malaysians who need a little Jason & Danny friendliness and they’ll open up. And maybe like tonight as the Sun drops and the heat drops and the Golden hour arrives we’ll congratulate ourselves on climbing the wall of heat & humidity again and know its all sooo worth it as the sky and clouds change colour as does the colour of the last river as light slips away… Love you Borneo.

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We are probably the most annoying and unusual people in this part of the world but everyone is enjoying themselves… Honestly.

Sometimes you gotta hang on tight to the emotional and physical rollercoaster because the rewards are just soo goddam good. Borneo…I am still stunned I am actually here. No sign of Bellamy or Attenborough yet though😊 But maybe the best thing about today is watching Danny telling the patients at the Hospital that’s let us sleep outside the A&E that his name is Dr Watson. They have no idea what’s going on but everyone is enjoying themselves.

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It’s the most unusual comfort upgrade yet. From outside the Hospital to two spare beds. And we ain’t even sick.