Thursday, September 9, 2010

Kuching Kayak Experience

You're here with me. We're just drifting down a wide river ringed by a lush tropical jungle. The morning air is fresh from the mountains as the wind plays catch with us among the trees overhead. I close my eyes, remember you're still here with me, and lean back onto the kayak. Acid's oar in front splashes the cold water, made muddy from the heavy rains the night before. There are birdsongs in the morning air as we head down stream. I close my eyes. I feel like I'm floating although the boat is being carried by the current. I could almost fall asleep.

Then I hear Acid calling me an asshole. Think she realized I was trying to cop a nap under the morning sunshine...

Kids playing with a fishing net in the river below

We had started the day early and drive out about an hour to a small kampung to collect our kayaks. It's a regular kampung, with the buildings almost similar to any other kampung or new village in Semenanjung. Its about time that we realize that the orang asli dont all live in wooden long houses while running around in loin cloths.

A brightly colored home in the village.

We drive up stream for about 30 minutes and start out journey. In total 2 double seater kayaks and two singles which carried one guide and a English bloke who runs a tour agency in Hong Kong.

This river ride is most definitely NOT for adrenalin junkies. Its just you, the river and whatever you see and hear in the jungle. Its about taking in the scenery, feeling the cold water in your hands and marveling at the mountains that tower ahead and sometimes beyond the jungle canopy.

We pass by some villages and some home stay programs. But other than that things are pretty sedate.
Taking a breather unders a cable bridge connecting the road to one of the villages.

Many of these tours have Western tourists in mind. Like stopping to see 'aboroginal villages'. I mean the folks now have advanced. You're not going to see head hunters squatting around a wild boar roasting on a pit in the middle of a forest. If you seen one kampung you've seen them all. Of course there is the 'see local herb gardens tour' which is nothing more than various varieties of vegetables and chilis. And no, you're not going to find anything to get high from here.

We sometimes had to weave around trees and debris which was easy enough. No real dramas. I gues communication is key as we actually ran smack bang into that branch in the middle there when I was busy taking pictures and forgot to inform Acid that I had temporarily suspended steering duties.

The Kurakura homestay.

We stopped by the Kurakura home stay, run by a Norwegian guy Lars and his local Bidayuh wife from Semedang ( thanks to Langkau for the additonal info !) . It was quaint but again for maybe us small town kampung folks this is not a novelty but it was a great place to stop by and relax for a bit. Pity the kayak agency did not stop here for lunch. It would have been perfect surrounded by gardens and surrounded by thick jungle and the river just below. We just had some local plant juice which was refreshing on a day that was getting a little hot.

Home made flower deco

You get to appreciate the force of the river as evidenced by the rock formations towards the end of the trip.

We stop by a small section that has a deep end where some of the guys take turns diving into the river. I just lay down in the cold water and took it the lush majestic jungle around me.

It's tarjan time as the vines are strong enough for a full grown man to climb up (and dive off if they feel like it).
The craffy rocks along the way

Most kayaking or white water rafting trips actually waste a lot of time. I think we we wasted at least 2 hours going to see ' an original aborogine village' same as any kampung you see in Batang Berjuntai, and some small water fall which was slightly larger than a broken monsoon drain in Setapak. We paid RM150 for this trip but prices are normally around RM180 which includes bottled water and a sandwich lunch.

Gear - bring lotsa of sun block, insect repellant and long sleeved shirts. The sand flies are mean little bastards and I've still got the bite marks to mar my pretty arms.


langkau said...

Lars is a Norwegian lah and his wife's a Bidayuh from Semedang, not Kelabit. :-)

Chindiana said...

Norwegian Swedish, all sound alike man. Was trying to be clever! fail....

Thanks Langkau! eh how's Laos? you still there? Dont forget to drop by the Plain of Jars and Luang Prabang!

freshsourmilk said...

O.o I called you an asshole? LOL.

langkau said...

hahah...ya lah, betul juga with the scandies.

didn't have time to do Plain of Jars but Luang Prabang was great! am thinking of skipping Vientiane next time and spend more time in Luang Prabang and go south to Savvanakhet and Pakse.

off to KL tomorrow for two nights.

Chindiana said...

dont think i din hear Acid! hahah! not the first time eh? :P

Langkau! skip vientienne la - its boring. LP is cool but dunno whats south. Good luck. Tomorrow I will be busy but if you're up for early drinks Sunday lemme know ya. Acid's got my number.