It was November and I sat in a local breakfast shop with a friend from work. We were about to drive through the hills to find some local hot springs. While we were waiting for her scooter to get freshened up with some new breaks she told me of her plans to travel to Borneo. My eyes got big and so did my idea...to join her! A few months later we hopped on a plane with NO idea of where we were going to sleep that night.
The next 3 weeks were pure backpacker adventure. Not a day was planned more than a day or two in advance...and getting from point A to point B was never the same. The mix of people and religions make for an incredible way of life. Wish you could have been there. Alas, I'll just... show you some pictures.
The first few nights we stayed in Kota Kinabalu (KK) at the Asia Adventure Lodge hostel. While we were there we planned out a rough idea of what we wanted to do and talked to some other people that had already been there and done that. Amongst the lodgers was...
UNCLE THE PALM READERThis is uncle aka philosopher and my palm reader who read I would either work in a bar, help others, and/or get married and have kids...what the random?
WorLds LarGest FloWer...Native to Malyasia and Indonesia
Blooming time: 5-7 days certain times of the year
THE RAFFLESIA hmmm. I was interested in seeing it...but uh I didn't think I would see it this way...it's a long story. But I'll tell you the short version.
You follow the cute little guy up a little dirt road, hang a left, walk through some bushes, and come to a stream. Then he stops and holds his hand out for you to go ahead...
only then did I look up to see a little fence. I was dying.
Is this really what tourists do? Apparently...it is.
I'd rather just get a picture with the natives and get it over with. These guys were the best part of the whole...Rafflesia experience.
SEPILOK ORANGUTAN REHAB CENTER
I took a really cool film of her which won't post. She was so close and it was special not to see her behind bars, but in her natural habitat. The Center rescues and reintroduces these amazing creatures back into their natural environment.
UNCLE TAN'S RIVER SAFARI
I don't know what this was made of (smelled like vicks) but it was the most amazing repellent I have ever used! Definitely a life saver! Better than anything on the market fo sho.
A glimpse of the jungle. I LOVED IT! You ride in a little fisherman boat at different times of the day and see the wildlife in it's natural habitat. I admit that I wasn't too sure how we were helping their environment with a somewhat noisy boat and smoke choking out the natural air, but uh....the locals run this joint and they are fighting the gov. to keep the jungle area from being replaced with palm oil tree plantations. DON'T BUY PALM OIL PRODUCTS!
We took a small trek in the jungle and looked closely at the insects and other living organisms.
Lan in the front. He has been doing the backpacker safari for 12 years. I wish you could have listened to him speak about the palm oil plantations, the struggle with the government, and the fight to keep what jungle they have left. He would call me "Samoa" after explaining to him why I looked like a local ha ha. It was good to meet another bro out in the world.
Our last morning at Uncle Tan's we headed down a different part of the river and came across this little guy. A 2 year old Orangutan eating the fruits of the tree. Obviously my camera wasn't good enough for this moment, but I think we all could have just stayed there for hours watching it. It was actually a humbling experience...and makes me sad to think that the jungle keeps getting smaller and smaller.
He or she looked like this...only way cuter and this one is already way cute.
I loved seeing the jungle this way. It was actually quite sad to leave after only 3 days in it. I have to go back. I just have to. Anyone want to come?
More stories and pics to come.