Its been seven days since we started this expedition, after leaving behind the large built up areas on the east coast it immediately became apparent that the mapping we have is both out of date and extremely inaccurate. On one occasion following a track out of a village we hit a dead end consisting of a large swamp this is also where we had our first encounter with a salt water crocodile, lucky he was fairly uninterested in us and went on his way as did we back tracking our way out of there to find the correct route.
We have steadily been pushing west from settlement to settlement trying to gain as much ground as possible (we are against the visa clock). Some days have been hugely demoralising 10 hrs of painfully hot yomping with sun burnt faces and blistered feet only to do a map check and see our progress has barely changed from the previous day. Borneo is an enormous country and we are reminded of that every step of the way.
The welcomes and hospitality we receive is more and more over whelming and humbling in every village, people with very little welcome us in, feed us, give us a bed or a place to hang our hammocks. Every new community we reach we are greeted by a gang of smiling children that follow us for duration of our stay, we have even had a game of football which we lost badly but I’ll put that down to the sore feet and not mine and Ants skills?
In Kedang Ipil it was a privilege to be the first white visitors they have ever had- the party that night was fantastic.
We are sore, tired and missing home, we know we have a long way to go and each day the distance between settlements gets greater and greater and the tracks become smaller but before we know it we will be in the heart of the third largest island in the world on our way to achieving our first goal.
Louis and Ant.