Natural Happiness on Gawai Day

June 2, 2009 by  
Filed under Road Less Travelled

Monday and Tuesday are public holidays here in Sarawak. I was invited to join a group of “hard core” outdoor adventurers on their trip to visit a friend staying in Borneo Highland longhouse and later to visit a waterfall nearby. There were 15 of us all together with a few backpacker tourists from France, England, and a few expatriates.

It was a 2 hours drive to the long house. We were driving in 3 cars. We were driving from tar road to driving through mud tracks and rocky roads. Our friend, Saloma stays at a wooden house perched at almost the top of the hill. We also brought 2 crates of beer with us. She treated us to some cookies and cakes, barbeque pork, stir fried vermicelli, langkau and tuak ( both are strong rice wine). As we were chatting, I suddenly heard a loud “bang” sound. So I said to my friend, Sim, “Oh! The villagers also play fircrackers in the forest. He laughed and said, “That is a gun going off, someone shooting a wild boar in the forests”. I laughed. That is how most city folks would think. This being a festive season, so most likely the native would play firecrackers for fun like the Chinese as well.


Kitchen in Saloma's house

Kitchen in Saloma's house

Picture above shows a traditional kitchen in Saloma’s house. After a sumptuous lunch, we then head over to a waterfall nearby.

Top of land cruiser ride

Top of land cruiser ride

My adventurous friends decided to be really adventurous and sat on top of the land cruiser along the journey there.

Danny’s wife, Esther loaned me her slippers as it is easier to walk in slippers on the muddy steps than my sandals. She walked bare-foot as she is used to such steps. We walked for 20 minutes on muddy tracks and narrow steps to reach the waterfall. Everyone just jumped into the natural pool upon reaching there, no holds barred.

The water was cooling and refreshing. The waterfall was not a big one but it was a very refreshing one. Yours truly did not get herself wet though as she did not bring extra set of clothing though Sim offered to lend her his black Bermuda shorts. Haha!

After an hour or so of deep water dipping, we then head off to visit Saloma’s friend at a longhouse not far away called Simuti Longhouse bordering Kalimantan Indonesia. Again here, the longhouse here is perched high atop a hill and we had to climb a few hundred wooden steps to reach the longhouse.

Here is a view of archipelago of Indonesia.

football-field-top-of-field After passing through the longhouse, we had to climb more steps to reach a football field located on top of the hill.  Picture shows Collin (from England) walking.Â

Boys and girls were playing football there. As it was a girls’ football game, when the boys join them in a game, they had to wear sarong that covers all the way up to the chest. Don’t ask me why because I won’t know either.Â

We did not join them in the game because Claire needs to catch the 8pm flight to head to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Imagine a football field at a highland on top of the hill. Right beside the football field is Goodnews Church. Its great to see a church planted here so deep inland.Â

We then head back to the car and headed home while a few of us head back to Saloma’s house for more beer.


Watch Colin’s honest view on Borneo >>

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