Jul 292006

Well I survived a trek over the Crocker Range National Park, and a trop up Mount Kinabalu. Both were superb. We had more time free on the trek than I thought – we were finished by lunchtime or early afternoon which was great. We managed to go swimming in rivers, wash there, try to buy pigs from the community (we ended up with fish), cooked tapioka inside bamboo on an open fire, a couple of folk burst the water pipe supplying a community which we managed to arrange to fix, we burned loads of rubbish left by other visitors, we stayed in the jungle and community halls, there were loads of leeches, and a whole lot more!
On Mt Kinabalu we stayed at 11000 feet overnight, then left for the summit at 0245. We got up Mt Kinabalu in just enough time to see the sunrise, and managed to stay up there for an hour or so which was superb. On the way up I coaxed up one of the host country participants which was superb as he thanked me a lot for getting him up there. There were several folk that hadn’t been on anything like that before, or seen the views which was really rewarding. When I saw one of the other partcipants summit and come down again I was almost in tears as she found thre previous trek, and this, so difficult, but was so proud to have achieved it. For the first time I was really buzzing after we got to the overnight camp. I had my fleece on, I was on a real mountain, and I was going to start walking in the dark. It was an amazing feeling, and was quite obvious to the others I was loving it. Despite all this, the inital path on Mt K sucks – I hate paths like that. Full of people, rocky, and large steps. All worth it though. I decided to shave off my ‘trekkers beard’ today.

Just now, we have a 36 hour changeover period at the Borneo Paradise Resort which is a nice enough hotel, just out of town. All the groups get mixed up, and allocated to different projects. Just now is a tiny wee moment I have to myself.
Tomorrow (Sunday 30th) at 6am I roll away from the hotel and head to Linapasan in the Ranau region of Borneo to start working on a gravity water feed site for a community. This involves laying pipes to the kampong, and constructing a dam, and taking loads of photos of the work. In a week’s time I’ll get picked up by the resupply loop vehicle, and get dropped off in Danum Valley to help the team build a suspension bridge. Both projects are a lot of hard graft. In Danum I’ll have to drop any worries about insects and animals as they’ve got everything from frogs to scorpions to snakes and wild board…and a whole lot more! And a whole lot more you wouldn’t even recognise.
That’s all until 16th August! Have fun!

 Posted by at 6:33 am

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