Sunday, March 30, 2014

What a great kayaking adventure in Sarawak

ELEVEN kayaks are rolled out by the riverbank – nine for guests and two for tour guides.

When everything is ready to go, one of the guides calls out: “Welcome to Kuching and our 11 km-kayaking adventure along Sungai Sarawak Kiri.”

Asin Dares, a Borneo Trek & Kayak Adventure tour guide, says the outing – to and fro – will take between three and four hours, depending on the water level along the main river.

“We are providing each of you a life jacket, so please put it on at all times for your safety.

“Also, be reminded that nobody is allowed to overtake the front guide or trail behind the last guide,” he instructs.

Asin then briefs the guests on paddling and balancing the kayak.

Shortly after, the journey begins – in the clear water of Sungai Abang, a small stream flowing past Kampung Bengoh.

The take-off point is about 100 metres from the junction of Sungai Abang and upper Sungai Sarawak Kiri or Sungai Semadang.

From there, the kayakers can paddle leisurely while enjoying the tranquility and the beautiful riverine scenery.

The river is tame during the dry season. The water is crystal clear and shallow – submerged pebbles or sands are clearly visible.

However, kayaking along the river is not recommended, even for adults, when the water is high because the swift current can be dangerous.

This normally happens after incessant heavy downpour during the rainy season. At this time, the water is usually a turbid Milo O.

Sometimes when there is rain in upper Sungai Bengoh, the water may take on a tea-like colour or even black.

The best time for kayaking along Sungai Semadang is during the dry season. Kayakers can row along slowly and gently, making toilet or photo stops any time.

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