Posts Tagged ‘Ngabang’


Our mosquito net is erected next to the altar of the church in the depths of Borneo. The anchoring point of the net is the heavy altar bible holding down the attached string at one corner. The chocolate-bar sized bugs are zooming around the bright halogen lights with a low drone, bouncing off the walls and then the roof, above the line of pews retreating to the back of the church. Outside the cicadas and crickets are the backdrop to this old Christian missionary place.

Anchor point for the tent

Anchor point for the tent

Today the road was easy, and we took it easy, stopping for extended breaks talking and talking. We talked about the cigarette billboards everywhere promising everything to the young – sophistication, boldness, the flavour of a new generation, asking if they dare. Smoking is part of the Javanese culture and part of their identity. It also used to be part of life in Europe – but no more. Advertisements like these were banned in Australia 40 years ago and now almost noone smokes there. I think Indonesia will keep its smoking culture for a while to come.

U bold

U bold

Tomorrow we return to country number 29 – Malaysia.


‘Is there jungle there?’ he asked pointing to the centre of Australia on the map.
A big space with nothing on the map must be jungle.
‘No.’
‘Is there snow?’
‘No. It is hot, and there is nothing.’
I showed some photos of the centre of Australia. No. The centre of Australia is definitely not Borneo.

The heart of the palm

The heart of the palm

We were shown the jungle out the back of the house. It was fascinating – and so rich with food and fascinating plants – most of which I had never seen before. A kind of jelly fruit – a bit like duku. An orange deformed shape that tasted like apricot. A red sphere that, when cracked open, was a lolly to be sucked but not eaten. Another green sphere which tasted like nothing and was hollow on the inside. All this was in the back yard next to the paddy fields. The family chopped off a heart of the palm for us, and the mother prepared it while we swam in the river flowing past.

Squishy fruit

Squishy fruit

Unknown fruit

Unknown fruit

Before leaving the village, we had another movie star photo shoot. Clement walked down the road to the place for the photo like the Pied Piper of Hamlyn.

The pied piper of Hamlyn

The pied piper of Hamlyn

Today we took a long-cut through the hills, past lots of little villages. It was beautiful and very rural. What a beautiful, huge tropical island.

The country road

The country road

We had a nice evening stop with 3 girls Clement met when he was last here, and are sleeping in a huge, empty house. Really cool.