..so we linked arms and boarded the plane, which set off into the sunset….Utopia bound….
The tannoy announced we were boarding, so we headed to our gate to queue up. It was then that Tiana got cold feet and had a meltdown. She started crying saying she couldn’t go, and didn’t want to leave Cape Town. She refused to budge and we had to let people pass by us in the queue (N.B. I never let people queue jump me!). This was my first lesson on our trip of keeping my calm and being patient; really patient. It wasn’t just a case of a child being obstinate – this was our daughter leaving everything she had know in her human life behind and we really felt for her. After a few minutes of reassurance and hugs, T was coaxed onto the plane, and once sat down in front of the plethora of movie choices, the apprehensions were all forgotten.
Three flights and just over 24 hours later, with no more dramas, we landed at Kuching airport in Borneo. We collected our bags, headed for the exit and were greeted with a wave of hot, humid tropical air and the starry Bornean night sky. There was a slight panic as we were supposed to be met by the owner of the lodge, ‘The Kebun’ where we would be staying, but he soon found us and bundled our bags into the tardis like boot of his 1984 Volvo 240. The journey was only about 40 minutes long, and we only got glimpses of the green banks and palm trees at the sides of the road due to it being night time.
On arrival, there was a welcoming of suspicious growls from the 14 dogs on the farm. We were led down what seemed like a never ending path through surroundings that would not have looked out of place in an India Jones movie. Strange tribal figurines poked out from lush green shrubbery along the way, and the thick night air was alive with the cacophony of a million cicadas and lord knows what else.
Our lodge was something out of a movie set….literally! It had been used for a film starring Jessica Alba: “The Sleeping Dictionary” and had been disassembled, moved and reassembled on Adrian’s plot. Alas Jessica wasn’t there to greet us, much to my dismay, but Jeneil who worked for Adrian, was, and served up the most amazing home cooked meal and made sure our lodge was stocked with treats.
The heat was too much for all of us to sleep. The kids were chatting and moving about in their room, and there was no way either Becky or I could sleep, so we all got up and played board games and talked until about 3:30am when we thought it would be best to turn in.
After a few hours of very restless, sweaty sleep, I blinked my eyes open in anticipation of the feast of new scenery and I wasn’t disappointed. The lodge was set a few meters back from a beautiful river, which was host to a few crocodiles. The four of us perched on the rickety walkway over the river and marvelled at the scene in front of us and the amazing surrounding sounds; there was no doubt we were in the jungle now.
I’m not going to go into great detail about each place we visit: how to get there, prices, etc, I think we’ve come to the conclusion that our blog is about the narrative; our journey: the highs and lows, the why the hells and why nots? There are lots of other very good blogs with details of places to go and the best ways to see them, so we’ll leave that to the experts. However if you are thinking of heading to one of the places we’ve been to and want our opinion, feel free to get in touch.