Firestarter

Trip Start Mar 14, 2006
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Trip End Mar 15, 2007


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Flag of Malaysia  ,
Sunday, October 22, 2006

The heavy rain the night before had swelled the river this morning making getting across to the floating restaurants an adventure in itself with many of the little plank walkways leading to them being either too short to reach the river bank or having washed away all together.

Despite the rain the trails round the rainforest were still OK and not too muddy as I tramped around a little in the morning only managing to attract one leech to my leg which was less dangerous than whatever the heck fell from a tree and almost hit me. Considering I spotted a few squirrels and some monkeys crossing over a rope over the river I lay the blame on one of them.

I was preparing myself today for what I assumed would be quite a touristy visit to one of the Orang Asli villages near here who are the indigenous minority peoples of Peninsular Malaysia with the name meaning 'original peoples' in Malay. Being talked into it by Janet I went along with almost writing it off before I arrived but was surprised to find it better than expected with our guide 'Dragon' (again may not be his real name) being a real character.

The men of the village where away acting as guides since the park rangers where on holiday for the end of Ramadan so the small makeshift village was made up of just women and children. The Orang Asli are a nomadic people, moving from place to place living in small huts and living off what the rainforest can provide which is quite a lot we learned although they do still live in poverty like conditions with them getting a small share of the price we paid for the visit.

We were shown and also had a go at shooting a blowpipe which apparently could fire as far as 40m with us just managing to hit a tree a few meters away but more easily than I thought with less lung power needed than I'd previously assumed. After this we were also shown how to make a fire by rubbing some wood together Robinson Crusoe style yet was disappointed not to get some revenge and spit roast one of those monkeys after all that effort.

We did also get a small drink though from one of the vines hanging from the tree tops which once cut let out a dribble of woody flavoured water.

Rain in the evening again saw the night safari called off once more as we whiled away the time flicking through the extensive reading material on offer at the hostel which consisted off a motoring magazine from 1999 and a book entitled "Everything you've always wanted to know about Nixon".
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