MangoVine
Adventures in East Asia

Longhouse Visit Part 2 - Jungle Trekking

The "highlight", if I can call it that, was the guided rainforest jungle trek that formed the bulk of our first day stay at the Longhouse village. I say "highlight" because I couldn't walk properly for about half a week afterwards! A truly satisfying trek.

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Almost as soon as we arrived at the Longhouse village and left our stuff in the rooms we were staying in, we had to prepare for our jungle trek. We met our guide Elena, in the purple top below (who happened to be a mother of six and looked fantastic for it!) who explained that we should wear thick, high socks to protect our lower legs from leeches (eek!). We were able to borrow some.

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We also applied lots of mosquito repellent which required replenishing throughout our hot, sweaty day. There were simply clouds of the little buggers following us around.

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The jungle trek consisted of a two hour journey to a waterfall where we would have lunch cooked by our guide Elena, and then a two hour journey back.

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The journey there was pretty strenuous to say the least, consisting of walking up and down paths of varying inclines and consistency. We climbed up exposed, dry areas of land that offered steadier footing, but heat from the sun.

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Areas covered by all kinds of overgrowing flora and fauna, offered shade but slippery moisture-soaked ground underfoot. The others wore borrowed, non-slip shoes that seemed perfect for the jungle, whereas I unfortunately stuck with my slippery Nike Shox.

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We luckily stopped a couple of times for rest.

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Part of the route included some hill roads.

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Other parts of the route, crossed precarious bridges.

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Along the way, Elena showed us some herbs that she picked to be later included in our lunch.

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We finally reached our destination! The waterfall itself turned out to be several levels high and even after our two hour trek, we still had the energy to pick our way through the undergrowth beside the waterfall and climbed our way up. With hindsight, there was a good risk that we could have fallen a significant height.

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The four of us had climbed around five levels and when we couldn't go any higher, we stopped here...

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Looking down, the view is misleading, seeming to consist of easy steps up, although the bottom is way out of view.

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There were several shallow pools and we did take a dip before returning back down again.

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As we had left Elena for about an hour, we returned to find that she'd almost finished cooking our lunch - fragrant bamboo chicken!

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The chicken was being cooked with the herbs she picked earlier inside a bamboo tube.

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When the chicken was ready, she emptied the meat out into a sauce pan for us to get our portions and then handed us some pre-cut tubes of bamboo rice. We simply had to tear the bamboo apart to spoon the rice out.

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There were also some sardines to accompany the chicken and rice.

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Whilst we ate, some heavy rain poured down, but this subsided quite soon and we began to make the return journey back.

Along the way, we encountered a leech. Much smaller than I'd imagined!



Elena also pointed out some leaves that we could pick to chew on, which had a juicy, sour taste.

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Along the road portion of our trek, we stood by with our aching legs and watched enviously as scooters rode by.

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Just before we reached the village, Elena stooped to pick some wild mushrooms. As she lifted them up to look first, she explained to us that only the ones with lots of insects underneath would be edible. Any mushrooms without could be poisonous.

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With the heat, journey time and terrain, I thought the jungle trek was a little challenging but the worst part was probably at the beginning when our bodies had to get used to the journey.

The next day, we watched as a trio of Swedish blondes were about to set off for the trek looking like they were going to the beach, so we advised them to get plenty of repellent and the long football socks on.

We later found a couple, probably in their fifties, sitting beside Mr. Edwards house, looking the worse for wear. Apparently, they had attempted the trek only to give up and return after half an hour.

Next: Longhouse Visit Part 3 - Educational Evening


This entry posted in : Culture. Malaysian Borneo. Tourism.

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