Thursday, April 10, 2014

An Adventure up a River in Borneo

Meandering slowly up a river in Borneo on a local wooden boat, with the jungle passing you by, is easy travelling at its finest.

The idea came out of curiosity and a desire to be somewhat lazy.

The occasional laziness is needed after all when travelling to keep your energy levels up for more strenuous adventures. That was the excuse anyway.

So it began in the supposedly exotic city of Samarinda (it’s not), downstream from the second largest river in Borneo on the Indonesian side.

The passenger boats make the trip upriver everyday, transporting people and goods over the course of 40 odd hours to various small villages on the river, some with traces of old culture, like the Dayak people.

Embarking onto the wooden passenger boat, you set off at a slow pace. The first few hours are made up of mostly modern going ons at the riverbank, but as you head further upriver it becomes more and more quiet.

Enjoying the absolute thrill of having to make almost no decisions, except for maybe wether to be bothered to move from your comfortable position to get up and take a piss, you laze up front watching life go by.

Watching life go by centres around two things. Observing the villages en-route with local life  going ons, and checking out the other boats coming downstream to see if there are any  foreigners coming back, so you can ask what the hell is up there!

You see no-one really speaks english up there, so it’s almost impossible to get any idea when to get off the boat to stay at a village, or just see something.

Anyway the sun soon sets with the sounds of a mosque from a nearby village, and a great display of lightning ahead from a thunderstorm. A thunderstorm you are rather inconveniently moving straight towards.

Continue reading (Incl. Pics) at: An Adventure up a River in Borneo