Location : Kampung Ayun & Kampung Sting, Padawan District, Kuching Division, Sarawak, Malaysia.
The rain has been punishing us for the last 10 days and some towns in Sarawak are already flooded. But that did not stop 9 of us from performing the last charity to bring down the curtain of 2013, a very fulfilling year indeed. 5 of us had to take leave from their employers. A peek at the Sarawak River just before making the journey warned me to expect a harder hike than normal. The river water was full of floating debris and hyacinth, flowing very fast towards the barrage and sea.
The trek started on a slight drizzle. Fresh green bamboos greeted us at the hanging bridges. Must have been less than a week old. Even the steps along the trail were replaced with fresh bamboos making it so much easier to walk compared to 2 weeks ago. However after about 45 minutes we were caught with a bridge submerged by muddy water. Luckily, it was only waist deep. Watching the black doggie ran back and forth, howling and finally plunged to swim across was extra entertainment. Quite an experience. Especially in a place we called ‘highland’.
The patient turn out at Ayun was low compared to other trips which we always did on a weekend. Besides, we started the program around noon so we could make it to Sting before dark. The villagers would still be in their farms until late afternoon. We had to service them still as the government’s flying doctors had not flown in for more that 2 months.
Checked into Bodui’s house for some nice hot coffee. It was here and then that Borneo Irish coffee was born-‘3 in 1’ coffee plus Cap Apek w/ginseng. Mama mia! Nice & easy way to beat the cold. Sipping it and enjoying the heavenly view of the misty mountains here at Bodui’s bamboo deck-PRICELESS!
Patients trickled in at around 7.30pm for the medical consultation and ended around 10.30. Although very tired we stayed awake for the countdown which was not much of a bang but the echos bouncing off the circular Bungo Range were phenomenal. Never experienced in the city. Loud bangs could be heard in the distance probably from Ayun and Bengoh.
Next morning at around 9.30 we decided to check out Mawi Waterfall 15minutes away with Berlin showing us the way. It was a 50footer but without a pool. I suggested that they build a weir so guests could come here for a few beers and a dip. I also suggested a bamboo deck (tanju) over a rocky spot and Berlin could not be more supportive when he said he would like to add a bamboo hut to make it even more exciting.
Talking to the villagers of Sting on any tourism project aroused intense enthusiasm not seen elsewhere. I like that attitude. They are the most left out as far as tourism industry is concerned. I strongly believe they have the fire to work hard to materialised all the ideas that I discussed with Bodui their headman. Kampung Sting will surely be the next village to be in the spotlight anytime this year.
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