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posted 20 June 2005

(with thanks to Hugh Miall)



16 June 2005

Dear All,

Just time for a quick update - the first in fact, as they don't have computers in the jungle.

I finished my work with Trekforce on 16 June at a brilliant beach resort near Kota Kinabalu for the final party, after 2 months of sleeping in a hammock, and absolutely ponging. Washing in river water on stones every day is not the best for pleasant odours. We did really well on our project, building 2 30 - 40 ft bridges and a 6m high staircase, as well as creating steps and edging/securing a further 2km of jungle paths, which were slippery and treacherous at best, impassable after the rain. And it rained a lot. When I'm back I'll try to explain in more detail about it all, but the rain is like a huge storm every time, and usually lasted 4 hours or so. We had a few that went on for 10/12.

It was pretty tough but really good fun. Except breakfast, which was porridge every morning. Lunch was good, being crackers and jam or cheese/tuna. Dinner was a pasta/rice/noodles meal with some sauce as created by us. Spam and corned beef are not so bad, I've decided...

The Trek at the end was amazing - I've never seen such an amazing and beautiful surrounding. There were incredible views at dawn in one camp, and even though we had to cover a lot of distance with heavy packs, it was still really enjoyable. Swimming in Maliau falls was a highlight - it's incredible, as the photos will hopefully show.


Right now I'm in KK, just been to the market, and am planning the next few days. I'm going to see Orangutans, to some islands and hopeful out to Turtle Islands national park, where green turtles are in abundance. Then next Mon/Tue I climb Mt. Kinabalu up to the 4095m peak - should be fun if a little tiring. Certainly different to jungle temperatures and 85% humidity!!  

Anyway, must be off now, sorry this is not detailed - there would be so much to put I'd be here for ever. I can't say when I'll be able to check emails, but I will try reasonably regularly. I am going to lunch now to try and regain some of the weight I've lost!! Plus I have not been bothered to shave for 2 months, so my gap year goatee may well return to the UK...only for a day though, it itches! I'll get a photo anyway I hope everyone is well, I look forward to seeing you all upon my return, which is 1 July. Could that be before Henley weekend? someone let me know, if it is, the barn bar might be cool...


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