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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Sarawak, Malaysia

Aug 4, 2006 - Bintulu to Batu Niah

The travelling distances in Sarawak between cities or towns are considerably larger than on peninsular Malaysia. This also means that distances between food are greater. Leaving early and getting food when it's available is not optional, as one may not get a second chance on the way. So leaving Bintulu around 7:30am we set out for Niah Town. We were told that we would pass tonnes of palm plantations along the way. This did prove to be true, but it didn't come close to what we had experienced in West Malaysia. The riding took us passed lots...

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Jul 29, 2006 - Selangau Reststop to Bintulu

A very, very long day (143km of undulating hills). We almost stopped at Tatau reststop for the night, only to find out there was no water (no showers, no toilets, no fun). The final 60km was all about out-riding the rain. We arrived in Bintulu as it was getting dark, going through a nearby kampung full of people on the busy street. After finding a place to crash for the night, we headed for Famous Mama's cafe for some lovely thosai, and teh-c-kosong. We went to bed knowing it was going to be a good sleep, and it was. Our camera stopped...

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Jul 28, 2006 - Sibu to Selangau Reststop

Getting out of Sibu wasn't trivial. We got lost a couple of times. Eventually a friendly local came to our rescue with some straight and forward directions. The ride took us passed many clearcuts and logging stations, as well as areas displaying signs of heavy pesticide use. We also passed an entire longhouse community right off the road, likely a relocation area. It was quite beautiful and full of people going about their daily tasks, and many bathers in the nearby river. Selangau is just a couple of rows of shophouses, and a tiny local...

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Jul 19, 2006 - Sarikei to Sibu

We missed a very heavy downpour of rain by a few minutes. We could see it coming and hid under a roof of a closed down bank. The rain started coming in sideways, and we ended up getting a little wet anyhow. That was our first experience in Sibu. Riding into town, it appeared quite rough at first. Looking for a place to stay took us to a least one hotel which had several signs of perhaps doubling as a brothel. Our first night in town, which we had to share with some roaches, was already out of our budget. Our second place, although slightly...

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Jul 16, 2006 - Saratok to Sarikei

Sarikei has the feel of a highway town. Several large roads disect the town's numerous blocks of 3-storey high shophouses. Many restaurants closed for business between lunch and dinner, although a few stayed open. It was to be our place for the next couple of days as I recovered from my cold. The river on which Sarikei is situated appeared brown, and full of logs and branches - a clear sign of soil erosion due to some questionalble logging practices in the area. Sarikei is populated by many descendants of Chinese immigrants from the Fujian...

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Jul 14, 2006 - Sri Aman to Betong

The ride to Betong followed a beautiful road, with lush vegetation on both sides. I would have enjoyed it even more if it wasn't for the fever. The day got to be extremely hot for me at one point, but nothing a little Tylenol wouldn't fix. When it finally kicked in, I was actually able to keep up with Myles (not an easy task). Upon arriving in Betong, we had a hard time locating the town centre. Several directions from some friendly locals ensured we got to explore its outskirts while trying to find our way. At last, we managed to get...

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Jul 13, 2006 - Serian to Sri Aman

Our longest ride thus far - 131km of undulating hills. We managed to start riding by 7:30am, despite the gate being closed in the morning. The commotion I caused while jumping the fence, and collecting my bike and panniers on the other side, woke everyone up. They all came out to open the gate and let us out. Instead of heading to the market for some breakfast, we ended up in little Chinese restaurant. The meal was nothing to write home about, but Myles liked the pop music they played. Riding out of town we passed a huge bees' nest,...

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Jul 12, 2006 - Kuching to Serian

After finishing my book during breakfast, we set out for Serian having accomplished something so soon in the day. The ride to Serian involved finding our way out of Kuching. Borneo has rivers that snake through it everywhere. Roads leaving out of town often meander along rivers, instead of following the most direct line. Riding into Serian later in the day we were greeted by some massive durians. During the process of finding a place to stay, we met Cyril, who came over to Agnes asking her if we wanted to stay at his place for free. The...

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Jun 24, 2006 - Lundu to Kuching

We took a different road back to Kuching (not through Bau), and followed the coasline. it was a very quiet road, and most locals we asked didn't seem to know much about it. It started out with many undulating hills, with jungle all around and several isolated homes off to either side. No rest stops along the way, our riding fueled by breakfast and rice treats. Eventually we passed some clearcuts, and a palm oil processing plant. We were lucky to encounter a small place serving cendol in the middle of nowhere - quite a treat and a break from...

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Jun 21, 2006 - Bau to Lundu

The ride from Bau to Lundu followed a nice road with little traffic, other than the occasional truck blasting past us at full speed. Riding into Lundu was great - tall vegetation right up to the road. We passed some kids diving into a swimming hole on the side - they all flashed us big smiles. We passed many locals on bikes and got very nice feelings from people right away. Lundu is a quiet little town, which for most is a mere gateway to the Gunung Gading National Park. We stayed there for a couple of nights and enjoyed it's slow pace. We...

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Jun 20, 2006 - Kuching to Bau

Instead of heading East right away (as our plan is to ride across Sarawak in the direction of Brunei) we first decided to head West. Our first stop was a small town of Bau. We were going to spend some time with a local we met on our flight over from KLIA - Andrew. The name itself, means 'smelly' (Bau, not Andrew), and came about from a massacre long ago that left bodies to rot in the river (too many to bury). The town does not smell. It is quite beautiful actually, and very small (everyone knows your business - small). After a fire in the...

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Jun 15, 2006 - Arrived in Kuching

Landed in Kuching, Sarawak with bikes. Someone dropped Agnes' bike, and because of low pressure in the tires it caused a pinch flat, and left the back wheel in need of some good trueing. The front wheel ended up with a broken presta valve requiring a new tube. Myles' bike showed up unscathed. It all doesn't matter now, we are here, and excited about the road ahead.

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