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In January 2011 we went on our "head hunter trip". It was exciting and sometimes to our physical limits.
The start was in Kuching, the capital of Sarawak in Borneo island. Kuching in Malay language means cat. Therefore there were several cat monuments in town. We did a lot of sight seeing in Kuching as well in the outskirts. In the Bako National Park we walked through jungle and bush all by our self. Reward was the sighting of the rare Proboscis Monkey which can be found in Borneo only.
Free roaming Orang Utans looked at us in the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre.
Through the Dark Fairy Cave we navigated with our torch lights.
At the Cultural Village seven authentic ethnic houses of Sarawak were displayed, they were the Bidayu, Iban, Penan, Orang Ulu, Melanau, Malay and Chinese.
|Kuching - cats town (The cat statue at Padungan Street)|
|Sarawak Cultural Village|
|Orang Utans - Semmenggoh Wildlife Centre|
|Bako National Park|
|The Rare Proboscis Monkey @ Bako National Park|
The next two destinations were in the heart of Borneo on the border to Kalimantan (Indonesia).
The first trip we went up to a Bidayu village (Semban). It was a tough 7 hours walk, 10.000 steps and hundred of shaky bamboo bridges to the "Village above the clouds".
|Jenny on the 70 meters hanging bamboo bridge|
|one of the bamboo bridge|
The main purpose was to see the last "Ladies of the Rings". The rings were worn at the arms and calves. The remaining seven ladies wear the rings (actually brass spirals) their whole life except when they are hospitalised or when they pass away. If the last lady dies, this culture will be lost forever. One evening they performed an "Eagle Dance". Arms up with the heavy rings for about 10 minutes, the elderly moved in slow steps to the beat of brass gongs and drums.
|Lady of the Rings|
|The Brass Coils on The Hands|
|The Eagle Dance|
At an exciting walk we climbed 900 bamboo steps up a steep ridge to see at dawn the village from the top and the clouds deep below in the valley. The amazing view and coolness was finally flanked by a beautiful sunrise.
|The Beautiful Sunrise and Village Above the Clouds|
The villagers showed us what they cultivated, Padi (rice), barley, pepper, vegetables, tobacco and what they can obtain from the jungle. Bamboo (for eating and construction material), fruits, vegetables, honey and palm sap to make alcoholic drinks. Wild animals they catch with bamboo traps. There is plenty of fresh mountain water. All these could help them being totally independent from any outside supply. We slept on the floor in the living room of our home stay family.
|Sitting on Bamboo Veranda|
It was a very relaxing atmosphere. Sitting on the open bamboo veranda for a chat and having our meals there. Far far away from any modern civilisation, no hassle or catastrophic news of the "outside" world could reach to border us.
Dirk & Jenny