A mum, dad and their three kids from Tasmania, go on an epic adventure in Borneo for 3 weeks in December

Bako sting rays and the local mafia

The boys are up early this morning hunting the comical Proboscis monkey and watching the mafia trying to drain a stray soft-drink can. I had a bad dream about a uni professor making me do an assignment in the nude and woke up at 4am. Things are not good in the sleep department.

At breakfast as we overlook the beach, boats start rolling in bringing the days’ tourists. It dumps the first lot on the beach. I’m keen to see a loud fat American get dropped off in the water for my own humor. The next load draws near and I take off across the beach to get some happy snaps of the beach landings Bako style. The next load is a family from Selanggor. The dad tells me he studied business admin at RMIT in Melbourne.

The mosquitos are a bit feral here. They bite through clothes and gaps in repellant. I hate mosquitos and whenever I see them or think about them I feel itchy. I try not to scratch.

As the tide pushes up Proboscis troupes generally make their way inland. A troupe is swinging wildly through the canopy, crashing through foliage smashing branches as leaves flutter like confetti to the forest floor. We watch them launch themselves onto the roof of our cabin and they pound the roof with their hands banging the tin loudly. They’re either having fun or the dominant males are asserting themselves with a show of intimidation.

Back at the cafe a few Poms arrive having stayed at Marco Polo hostel in Kuching which they rated. They had been to Mulu and said they couldn’t get over the smell of the pillows in the hostel which took two days to shake. Thankfully we booked the longhouse. One of them takes a banana from his daypack, placing it down to zip up when one of the mafia spies it and comes down and like lightning it’s up the rafters eating it flat out. I’m laughing and tell him he’s busted for feeding the monkeys. The thief consumes the banana stuffing it into the loose skin under its chin which now looks like two testicles but it isn’t done yet. It moves to the exit stairwell to cut off the poms retreat because it saw he had three left. It sits there menacing him until I threaten it with a 2 liter bottle. Plotting, it slinks along behind the Pom who tells it to fuck off ever so politely.

We head out for one of the many possible jungle walks and Abbey tells me someone was stung by a sting ray on the beach and got stretchered away. She asks if I believe her and I say yes. When we get to the office to grab a map, a malay tourist in a shitload of pain is doubled up in a wooden chair with one of the guides sponging his leg. I get closer to inspect the wound. He looks like he’s been shot in the foot. He’s sucking air through his teeth and exhaling in groans, eyes tightly shut. I offer to irrigate the wound with a large syringe but the guides are boiling water to put his foot in a bucket of warm water. Rays have venomous slime on a razor sharp barb which causes amazing pain. I ask if they have given him pain killer and they say yes but give him more. I take a couple of snaps and we’re on our way.

Spider leaf monkeys move through low shrubs pulling the newer leaves and and busily chew on them. A nocturnal flying loris is trying to sleep but he’s chosen the wrong spot right next to the path outside chalet 7 and can only get 40 winks in between tourist arriving to point and use flash photography. I point him out to the kids, take a couple of flash assisted pics and we head down the Pacu trail.

Afterward I hit the travelers wall. It’s a combination of early mornings and possible reaction to the heat. Whatever, I’m buggered. I feel sleepy, slightly nauseous with the beginnings of a headache. I tell Lachie to buy the other two some lunch. Abbey returns to complain that Lachie is mimicking her. I hate whining so I make her miss out on lunch and she sobs uncontrollably on the bed next to me ’til her eyes are puffy and face red. It’s about this time her mother arrives from Kuching who gives her some food.

Abbey sings a song to get to sleep; “when I was young I used to smoke whoa ho ho then I had a stroke. My health is out there, out there somewhere…” to the tune of a Bruno Mars song. I don’t know why she sings these things.


2 responses to “Bako sting rays and the local mafia

  1. Kit December 8, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Is Nani actually with you all on this jungle trips or is she actually in the towns with her relos?

    • John December 9, 2011 at 1:55 am

      She arrived for only one night in Bako but didn’t cope too well :(. She’s a concrete jungle girl, but she’s coming to Mulu caves today. I think she’s freaking out about bats and cockroaches

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