2009-08-24 Sibu-Miri-Mulu (English)

Ahoy Landlubbers,
We were in Sibu and that’s about 150 Km upstream the Rajang River. This is the area where a lot of money is made with the logging of tropical wood. The River is used by numerous tugs pulling big barges full of piled wood downriver. We decide to go to the centre of this wood business to the little town of Kapit. That means we have to take the fast ferry, fast means 30 knots, because it is the only way of transport in that direction. There are no roads to Kapit and the cars driving around there came by boat. In fact everything goes by boat and the roof of the ferry is packed with boxes, eggs, boxes with this, sacks with that and complete furniture sets. We bought tickets for the first class, yes we are yachties, and in luxury we sit in a kind of freezer because the air co is working full throttle. In a bit more than three hours we cover the 150 Km. The water level is very low but the speed never went down, not even fractionally. Unfortunately we cannot go any further to Belaga, what would have been nice, but we enjoy our stay in Kapit. We see a young Chinese lady with a gas burner (big enough to win a war with) preparing pig legs for consumption. There is a market with exotic herbs and plants and things we´ve never seen before. But Kapit is only a small town and next day we take the ferry  back to Sibu where we spend a few more nice days. After a long trip over the River, three days,  we´re back at sea. We are happy with the slightly more fresh air and definitely less bugs. Every night we stopped at a little hamlet or village and always people welcomed us warm and friendly.  Further on we arrive in the big harbor of Bintulu. We ask permission to enter the port and we get a wonderful place in the brand new second inner harbor. Very friendly personnel in superfast boats guided us to our anchorage.  Next day we explore Bintulu and in a seafood restaurant we choose from the aquarium the fish we gonna eat. The weather is as usual very quiet. At our next trip we just drop the anchor in the evening. It is shallow and with all our flash lights in the mast we have a safe and quiet night. At last we arrive at our last stop in Sarawak, Malaysia, the marina of Miri. There is a bar when you enter and only with a few Cm under our keel we get in. How convenient when you can take as much water as you want and when the power comes out of a socket. We receive internet with our strong WIFI-antenna so one can ask what do you want more. We want to go to Mulu! The caves in Mulu are among the biggest in the world and we want to see them. We make a good deal with a travel agency and within 45 minutes flying we are there. The resort and excursions are fantastic. The `Deer cave` is big, 180 meters high, and we find heaps of Guano, that´s the same as bat shit. About 3,000,000 bats live here and when they fly out it looks like there is a dark cloud in the sky. We visit “Lang’s cave”, the “Wind cave” and the “Clear Water cave” and we are impressed in what nature has to offer. Our time in the resort was wonderful and at diner we were entertained by nice dancing ladies and colourful warriors. Fien won´t give up and we play cards. This time I let her win. On the last day we do the Canopy Walk. This walk goes over 480 meter of hanging bridges on an altitude of 15 to 25 meters. We walk high between tree tops and over a deep River. Jacqueline is not too pleased with this and tries to catch up with our guide. Finally after three long springy bridges she asks her how many bridges more. The answer was eight. Back in Miri we do our usual things. Some maintenance on the boat and some more Diesel because you know the story about the wind. It is so bloody hot here that we buy a portable air co. I have no clue where to put it but quality of life improves dramatically. Unfortunately we have to go and we are cut off the shore power. Now we go to the sultanate of Brunei. Next time more about that.

Cheers Rob en Jacqueline

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