I deeply believe that there was Divine Providence at play. What ever God you may believe in He was there to help us.
We were indeed in one of the most remote places in the world. The road from Badau to Putussibau is new and few vehicles pass by. It is no East/west Highway of Peninsular Malaysia. Not even the Miri/Bintulu Road.
See for yourselves these photos!! I was in agony for almost two hours. I kept looking at my watch and also at the sky. As the sun sank further down the skies my heart also sank. Why was I in the heart of Borneo and not at home watching my Korean drama series?? But God was there indeed. Believe you me.
|This was the 4 wheel which got stuck after three had already gone ahead.|
|Now what should be our next method of getting the 4 wheel out of the mud?|
|The car moving towards harder ground|
|The convoy lined up and waited for further instructions after the breath taking rescue. We had to hurry as night was approaching.|
The adventurers were made up of Dayaks (Ibans) from Kuching (6 cars) and Sri Aman (4 cars). Two vehicles were from Limbang and four were from Miri. Bintulu Ibans came in three vehicles. Sibu Ibans came in 3 vheicles . The officials were all from Kuching.
The first challenge was the treacherous muddy and soft roads and there were several bad spots. We met our first skirmish after our official tea given by the Chamat Badau or the District Officer of Badau the town nearest to the Sarawak/Inndonesian Border after Lubok Antu. At about 3 we hit a very bad stretch of road and we made many attempts to rescue one of the vehicles from the thick mud and the ropes and metal cables all broke. Finally a Kalimantan lorry by name of Nelly pulled the car out.
Finally when it was almost dark the convoy with police escort went on our way. We arrived at our first Kalimantan Iban Longhouse (Tetamu) in Lanjak Kalimantan Barat for our first night stay.
There we were given a real traditional Iban welcome which included the spearing of a piglet and whole night ententainment of singing and dancing. Traditional rice wine was free flow and everyone was casual and falling asleep "as is where is".
A note to raise: It was disconcerting to be stuck in the mud in the heart of Borneo to say the least. The more elderly adventurers kept their faith in the younger ones and the women folk kept quiet and accepted everything which happened - taking in the good and the bad. Many prayers went up to Heaven those few hours. We had many more days ahead of us.