Christmas in the forest

Fourth day on the trail. Perhaps we’ll get to Bario tomorrow, perhaps not. I don’t really worry about it. On one hand I begin to feel the tiredness, I realize it from my walking pace slowing down more and earlier during the day than it did in the past days. On the other hand I am now used to the weight of the backpack, and I am not in a rush for leaving the forest and the company of my silent guides.
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Towards Bario

Day 1

On our first day, Ukau, Luat and I leave Long Sabai at 08:30, walk along Sungai Badat until we meet Sungai Tutoh, and set camp near its banks around 16:00. It is a breaking-in day for me.

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Across the forest, into the hills

About half a day walk and a short boat ride from Long Lellang there is a small Penan village called Long Sabai. Lease, who is hosting me in Long Lellang, has told me that it will be easy to find someone willing to guide me to Bario among the 50 or so inhabitants.

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Where the road ends

The shopkeeper of Long San, named Jab, drives me on his 4×4 as far as it is safe to drive on the muddy and slippery logging road. Then he pulls over. “This is it. This is the only road, just follow it and you will reach Data Bila. If you have doubts follow the motorbike tracks, the Penan use them to move around here”. I find myself alone.
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