10 Sep - 12 Sep 2009 Pa' Umor

Malaysian Borneo
Sarawak aka Land of the Hornbills
Pa’ Umor (1,066 m above sea level)
Gem’s Lodge gems_lodge@yahoo.com
Double room with full-board for MYR 50.- or US$ 14.20 per person per day.
Very friendly and helpful hosts with excellent cooking skills; good English.

Click below for an interactive road map of Gem's Lodge in Pa' Umor, which we would highly recommend, and for directions:

Hiking near the Indonesian border where we passed stands of rattan and hardwood, ancient giants supported on buttressed roots with their trunks enveloped in strangler figs and epiphyte orchids, meeting border-crossing shady characters with packed panniers, and discovering an old and archaic rural salt spring where the villagers used to produce salt from brine.

Watching a performance of collective exorcism of evil spirits when a Kelabit Christian pastor, using hypnotic trance induction and persuasive language patterns (“…by the bloood of cheeeses, by the bloood of cheeeses, by the bloood of cheeeses…”), tried to calm down a mentally deranged and emotionally agitated wildman in the departure lounge of Bario's agricultural airport, flying thereafter rather uneventful together with this descendant of generations of headhunters, who made himself uncomfortable only two seats behind us, with MASwings (“Connecting the World to Sabah and Sarawak”) in a rugged De Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter from Bario over the mountainous interior of Sarawak and an endless sea of neat palm-oil plantations back to Marudi, for all inclusive MYR 73.- or US$ 20.- per person, one way, and going along with Orson Welles who once said that there were only two emotions in a plane: boredom and terror.

Click below for a summary of this year's travels

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