December 10, 2010

1000 km through the Heart of Borneo - 2 - Towards Badau from Lubok Antu

Why was there a lorry named Nelly right at the point where one of our vehicles got stuck in the mud? Why did we have to make a few tries before the driver offered his help? We had several different cables and ropes and all failed. But with one pull with a proper cable the lorry pulled the vehicle out of the mud and placed it on more solid ground. No damage was made to our team's vehicle at all.

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.
Our vehicles were powerful metallic animals and two of them were just fresh from the factory!!!

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.


Ah Ngao said...

woww...! "Operation Borneo " - its gonna be exciting

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi Ah Ngao..

this is the Borneo "Camel" trophy challenge...and we drove throgh some of the thickest muddy roads any one has seen...Good that one of the requirements was the adventurers must bring their own powerful 4 wheel cars.

It was quite an experience for me. I was in a vehicle driving by a retired Guru Besar accompanied by his wife and 23 year old son. The little group encouraged each other and helped each other to survive the tough ride. Continue to Read to catch up !

Anonymous said...

Sometime it is God's way to humble us.... when things is just beyond our control, however it is also a way to learn to prepare better.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Yes...we have many lessons to learn. We were blessed because the only Chinese couple amongst us (later post) had with him a special wire rope given by his son who is a helicopter pilot!! That finally pulled the car out.

Hey...may be next year you can participate!

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