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The plan: head into deepest Sarawak and Sabah to find a bit of fishing in the jungle rivers for Kelah, Hampala and a mystical and endangered Mahseer species called the Empurau round these parts... The reality? Well if things were a bit of a struggle in Taman Negara, then the trolley wheels got stuck in a right twist in Borneo. Some pictures...

Malaysia - onwards and upwards to a burgeoning first world economy; they're even feeding the Terrapins hard currency! 

 

"Oi! Ming! Get a dog up ya!"

 
 

A spot of sunshine for the first few hours shuffling round the temples of Kuching, before the heavens opened and biblical rain swept through Borneo and buried large swathes of it under dirty brown water. Fishing trips washed out in Kuching, Miri, Kelabit highlands and Kinabalu.
Wilko might have been putting a smiley face on it, but singing in the rain I was not!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Give the rain dance a rest now luv.

 
   

Do 1? Get 1 free? Now that's what I call a special offer!

Above: H&S down in the park. But what, pray tell, is the point in the handrail then?
Below: Bollocks. Rotten bridge. Little did I know the grief this little scratch was gonna end up causing.

   

A trip to watch the Orang Utans getting mobbed by the Orangu Paps down at the sanctuary. 
Tick, I guess.

   

Bako NP was great though, and there we witnessed Proboscis Apes, lizards, Hornbills and even a spot of Monkey Love - all with our very own eyes!


Farmer tending his crops down at the bottle farm.

 

"Always look on the bright side of life...." whistles the frog chorus down at the Chinese amphibious take-away.

 

Nose picking Monkey Bastard down at the very pretty Bako National Park (left), a place which was "hot chocolate", apparently. According to the bloke at the tourist info centre, anyway.

 
























Childish tissue placement at Kuching Gallery.























Kuching waterfront at the end of the day.

Below left: Laksa. The Breakfast of Champions. All your food groups in one steaming bowl. Nice.







And more great seafood at the night markets. I like it a lot also much.











Chance'd be a fine thing. Begs the question 
"what the hell am I doing here then?"

 

Downtown Sibu, just before it disappeared under a few feet of dirty brown water, and the kiddie below is nabbed with his fingers in the cookie jar. You naughty boy. Wait til I tell your mum.

 


Nice weather for Mudskippers.
















   

"Open or wrapped sir?" 
The point when a free range chicken stops being a free range chicken.

By the way... Why did the chicken cross the road? To get a paper.

Below: They knew I was coming then.

 

































Sharing the room in Bario with our eight-legged buddies. Not sure if they bite or not, but they didn't look particularly cuddly.

 

Above & Left: A short prop plane fight from Miri into Bario and the Kelabit Highlands, and it's a bird's eye view of the havoc being wreaked on the jungle by the loggers way below. Not long left now...
 

Right: Down the main-drag at Bario - famous for it's rice, salt, pineapples and neck deep mud.

 

Bario was a very pretty kind of Eden, nestling in a green valley of padi fields and orchards. A really lovely spot. And our homestay hosts Steven and Tine really looked after us. Lovely people, and Steven's one mean chef. Wild Boar with Bario salt, sago, rice, pumpkin and jungle fern? Sounds a bit ropey? Nope. Terrific, I can assure you.

 
 
 

I got persuaded to go fishing on one of the rivers nearby for a day, on the basis the boatman reckoned the river was in "good condition por pishink". 
"You sure, cos it's been a bit wet?" I says.
"Yessah!" he says. We got there and it's as brown and  swollen as a brown hatter's hat - and that's the hat of a brown hatter who's been doing a lot of brown hatting lately. Marvellous.
I had my first couple of casts with a lure: "Oh this ting better when watter clean sah" he says. Of course. But advice not appreciated at this stage. Another 200 Ringnuts down the pan. Nice one. Cheers mate. 

El Capitan sucks the gristle off a frog femur.

 















So we caught some more catfish (Baung baung baung baung...), boat man somehow slashed a 
big frog on the river bank with his machete, and soon we sat down to perhaps the most unappetising pan of webbed feet and whiskers I've ever been presented with. Mmmmmm! Garcon! Two bowls, please!



Dusk over the padis and catching Tilapia on tiny fly spoons. Wasn't exactly the hard-core angling adventure I was looking for. Meanwhile, my leg had started to look like a pink umbrella stand.

 


















"That leg there. Is that right then?"...

 

"Karate chopping trespassers will be shot in the neck."

....apparently not. Admitted to hospital, a pellet of dead shin scooped, flushed with antibiotic cocktails, BBC World News on a loop, and banned by doc from going anywhere near a jungle river for the foreseeable future so as not to get any further infection. I've been happier, but on the bright side at least we managed to retain the leg between us.


So all I could do is hang round towns and cities taking photos while waiting for a scab to form. These are some chicken wings.Good eh?

"Would you like to come and see some puppies?"


The Marlin monument in city centre Kota Kinabalu. About as relevant as putting up a zebra in the middle of Spalding, really. 

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