Anything I can't do in flip flops isn't worth it

Trip Start May 17, 2006
1
7
20
Trip End Jul 01, 2006


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Where I stayed
Niah Cave Inn

Flag of Malaysia  ,
Friday, June 2, 2006

Rosaline recommended a friend of hers that could take me to Bintulu via the dirt logging road out of Belaga, so I went that way so I could get to Miri without another 9-hour boat ride and a long bus trip. This dude was from the Kayan tribe and he and his two bros were fucking rokkers. They were super pumped on Aerosmith and a local band that does covers of songs like "Smoke on the Water" and makes them sound like Slayer songs. That guy has a boat in town that says "smoke on the water" on it and is painted rasta colors, so I wasn't that surprised when he told me a story about getting some weed for some Canadians that he took hunting.

The logging road went through what used to be forest and there were about two hours where everywhere you looked was clearcut to make way for oil palms. I think tourists aren't meant to see that road. It was fucked. Still, there were butterflies all over the place. We saw some people go by on motorcycles and the guy told me they were Penan, the nomadic tribe that lives upriver. Motorcycle nomads. Night Weasels.

We got to the junction of the logging road and the road from Bintulu to Miri and I flagged down a bus to Batu Niah, the town where the Niah Caves naitonal park is. My hotel was called Niah Cave Inn. Ha! I took some shared cab to get there from the town that was playing this heinous club music and these kids in the cab were singing along... "I am a superstar with a big big house and a big big car, I am a superstar and I don't care who you are." Fuuuuhk.

I got settled in and took off to see the caves at about 4. I walked the two miles to the entrance to the park, then practically ran through the jungle for 2 miles to get there in time to get back before dark. I did that in flip flops. I think I have figured out that anything I can't do in flip flops I shouldn't do. The Great Cave was so big I can't describe it and I am pissed I didn't have time to go in further. I think it was a football field wide at the entrance. The walkway there was through the jungle and there were all kinds of CRAZY bird sounds in there. I ran back and made it right at dark. 8 miles round trip in 2.5 hours in flip flops!

I got back to town and ate MORE fried rice. It's not like Thailand or even Cambodia where most tourists are foreign and there is food that they might like. The tourists are 99% local and so is the food, so you either find some local shit you like or starve. Luckily, I like fried rice. Those baby corn things are way better fresh, by the way.
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