So, with all that shopping, we really didn't see much of Kuching on our first few days there, just China Town and the water front board walk. Saturday morning we caught a city bus for 1.5 ringgit to the Central Bus terminal, then headed to Sematan, about half an hour from Gunung Gading National Park, famous for its “stinking corpse lily”.
Sadly, none of the Rafflesia were in bloom at this time, as they only open up once every seven years and usually after a hot spell.
We were met at the bus station/fish market by Dr Kelvin Chong, a big, happy glasses-sporting Buddha figure of a guy. As we pulled up to the small government-run clinic where he lives and works, we spotted an ambulance and several police officers standing around.
“Uh oh,” he said, “Looks like I need to go to work for a few minutes. You girls make yourselves comfortable! We'll go to the beach when I get back.”
A short time later, he came back up the steps to his big, pink, wooden house-on-stilts. “Suicide,” he said conspiratorially. “Not much I can really do about it, we need to send the body to Kuching. I don't have the right paperwork here. Let's get our stuff in the car and go to the beach!”
So we basically packed up all the items in his kitchen, rice cooker and wok included—everything but the kitchen sink, quite literally!
Kelvin showed us his favourite view and the really good beach resort where we could visit if we stayed longer with him, and then took us over to the beach.
We rented a little hut with electricity service and began to cook dinner after a little wandering on the sand.
The beach was nice but a bit dirty, lots of garbage washed up on shore. I brought my swim suit, but despite having just bought it that morning, Grace forgot hers in her luggage! I stalked off on my own in frustration, and calmed myself beach-combing.
I found a number of interesting shells and a sea fan, and then I found a snake.
Borneo is home to any number of poisonous creepy-crawlies, so when I saw the snake, sticking out of a hole in the high-tide line, my first move was to jump back as quickly as I could. It didn't move at the sound. I had a stone in my hand.
I threw it in front of the snake. It didn't move. I threw another and hit the snake. Nothing. Cautiously, I crept up for a better view. Some wise-ass had found a rubber snake and stuck it in a hole in the sand!
Continue reading (Incl. Pics) at: Malaysian Borneo! : Sematan waterfall adventures!.