Malaysia, Borneo, 2014

Batang Ai River

Several hours driving from Sarawak, Malaysia on Borneo (the island is also home to Brunei and a portion of Indonesia), we arrived at the Batang Ai Dam and transferred our things to our boat. We spent the next four days with these two boatmen and our guide traveling by river, deep into the jungle, staying at indigenous “longhouses.” Along the way we picked up the younger boatman’s wife, so that’s six of us in this boat. And all our stuff. And all our food and drink. The river would get so shallow sometimes, the guide had to get out to keep from scrapping bottom; then I would have to get out, then the boatman’s wife, then one or both boatmen, pushing and pulling instead of poling or paddling. I think I waded half the miles we covered. Barbara could not get out. The day before heading out for this excursion, she tripped on a root and fractured her ankle when we were hiking in another national park. She could barely hobble along and missed the two hikes I was able to do, spotting two orangutans in the wild. At least it was something large and orange, but high in treetops, so I’m making an assumption.

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