Today we left Borneo and tomorrow we head to Indonesia, But I could have easily spent a few more weeks exploring Borneo. After Sipolok we headed deeper into the centre of north Borneo to a place called Poring. And when we arrived it was! I guess if you go the RAINforest and the place is called poring you are tempting fate!
Our accommodation was again basic but functional. It’s was clean and comfortable enough, although the husband did say the pillows bruised his face.
There was no restaurant on site so food was ordered in from a local takeaway, the menu was in Malaysian so we never really knew what we were getting but some yummy noodles and a kinda of curry/sauce/tomato chicken dish and green beans turned up.
We decided to spend our first full day exploring the hot springs… the very reason we had come. And it is a very strange experience… randomly built on the edge of the jungle are an arrangement of concrete baths with stinky hot water running trough them via a network of underground pipes… you can mix the boiling water from the thermal spring with freezing cold water from the river to make your own temperature tub. Despite the egg smell (from the sulphur) it was overall a pleasant experience. I sat soaking in warm water while the boys played with all the tap combinations of various baths.
During our lunch the heavens opened, I thought it was raining hard when we arrived the day before but this rain was epic… it reminded me of the Zambian rains.
After 2 hours waiting it out in the restaurant (which was thankfully had the best coffee in Borneo so far) the waiter informed us that the rain was set in till this evening.
Ok so… we were gonna get wet, very wet! After a quick trudge around the butterfly park (where we saw no butterflies who unsurprisingly don’t come out in rain) we decided to head back to the accommodation. Now some may think this would be quite an upsetting experience for the boys… indeed most other family’s huddled safely under shelters, but not our boys… they loved it! Running around like crazy fools, splashing, shouting and jumping all the way back.
The next day we headed back to the hot springs, hubby was keen to complete the canopy walk which I had point blank refused to do in the wet conditions the day before, never mind the lighting! Before the canopy walk however, I managed to convince everyone to trek to the waterfall first (with the unspoken hope that prephaps rain would scupper the canopy walk again 🤫) .
It doesn’t matter how many times I walk through forests around the world, I love the feeling of peace (yes even with loud boys in tow). The waterfall it’s self was of course beautiful, another natural feature which brings me much calm. The boys had there shoes of straight away, paddling and climbing. I found a dry rock to soak my toes and watch the commotion. After initially being freaked out by something sucking my toes, I relax and enjoyed a free bonus fish spa.
Boyblue, perhaps realising his tendency to fall into water but probably more likely because he likes being naked, stripped off and went for a full on swim. Within less than 5 more mins, all the bigger boys (daddy included) with swimmers on (thankfully) joined him.
We spent a pleasant couple of hours there before a massive tour group turned up and we decided to head back. so before I knew it we were back at the canopy walk entrance and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. There was a sign advising those with certain medical conditions to not partake, phobia of heights was not surprising listed, but I knew I had no chance to get out of it really. Although I think being scared of falling to my death from a stupid height is perfectly rational, I don’t want my boys being afflicted with the sweaty hands, crazy heart rate and limiting control over their movements every time they are more than a meter off the ground as I do… so as always to set an example I go along.
The canopy walk way was more terrifying as I had expected, unlike the previous one it swung and bounced as you traversed the narrow plank supported by netted sides.
The couple of times I manage to regain some kind of composure and look at the view it was beautiful, I imagine for those whose body doesn’t go into panic the experience would be a slightly excilleranting experience which rewarded you with fanatics views over the rainforest canopy. 2 bridges down and 1 to go, I froze. I was seriously concerned I wouldn’t be able to make it over the final one, it was hung over a ravine in which the valley floor dramatically slipped down to a river or stream (I didn’t open my eyes to check).
The boys and husband had already made it across, I saw husband turn and come back to help me, but I waved him back. Once the bridge was clear I stepped on, my best chance was when no one else was bouncing it. Inch by inch I moved forward, not looking down, trying to think only about moving along I forced my legs to take one step after another. Past half way the bridge really started to sway so in panic more than anything I sped up and made it to the other side. Phew!
After a late lunch and my nerves had finally calmed we headed back to accommodation to pack. Our last stop in Borneo was a beach resort just south of Kota Kimble airport. And I must admit I was looking forward to some luxury, maybe I’m getting old but after week of bunk beds, flimsy cold showers and no alcohol I was ready to hit a resort 🤫.
And what did we do there? Well nothing really. Just chilled on the beach or around the pool. We collected shells, watched sunsets, played soccer and frisbee, swam, ate, and consumed way to many mojitos 😄