Home! Well, as near as I can get in south-east Asia. Late night on Monday I arrived in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, East Malaysia. Or to put it succinctly, I am back in Borneo. The main reason for returning is to impart my wisdom to the new batch of Trekforce teachers that are going out to their villages this week, but that will only take somewhere in the region of fourteen and a half seconds, leaving me with the rest of the time until I leave on Sunday, April 4th, to kill.
I met up with the teachers at Kiulu, a camp where they were doing their teacher training, and also the location of our jungle training 11 months ago. The evening was spent telling people that they were going to have a fantastic time, a phrase that I probably used too much, but which is absolutely true. I had been half-hoping I would be asked to go back out to one of the villages to escort the new teachers, but that didn't happen. Never mind, that has given me time to do a couple more things. On Saturday I leave for the Tabin Wildlife Reserve, where I will spend just one night, but it does mean I will be catching a short internal flight to Lahad Datu, the nearest town to Danum Valley, and so somewhere I have passed through on more than one occasion. In fact, there should be a picture somewhere in Trekforce's computers of me walking through the rather basic airport holding an IV drip in one hand, with it going into my other arm as I walk towards my private plane to Kota Kinabalu. However, that was a long time ago...
Just as importantly, perhaps even more so, after I come back from Tabin on Sunday evening, I will be leaving for Maliau Basin on Monday morning. For those that do not remember, the Maliau Basin is where I originally thought I was going on expedition before I ended up in Danum. I tried again to get there last September, but failed due to the costs involved, but now I will be going for the opening of Trekforce's trail. I'm really looking forward to this!
Some more information on the Maliau Basin is available in the following documents:
As a slight aside, I'm typing this in an internet cafe in KK, whilst the attendant is listening to Virgin Radio across the internet. There are times when the world seems like a very small place, and others when it just looks absolutely huge.
February, 2004. January, 2004. December, 2003. November, 2003. September/October, 2003.