Lulu: *talking with her mum's friend in their Chinese dialect*
Me: *whispered to Zul* ... Zul ... Should I barge in and say "Kaap" (Thai respond meaning "yes")
Zul: Hehehe ... I'd say "O .. O laaang" (Filipino respond meaning "yes")
Lulu: *saw us laughing and annoyed* What?! Laughing at my slang ah you!!
Me and Zul: LOL :P
Zul: Remember our meet last time during the briefing?
Salwa: Which one?
Zul: You laughed the loudest when *** said the 'oraller' ..
Salwa: Oh yes! That was funny!! Hahaha!
*later on ...*
Zul: Eh, what do we call the person who drives the boat?
Me: Dunno .... Boater??
The rest of the time we had at the jetty we spent on building words ending with '-er': boater, ticketer, loader, etc LOL!
On the way to Temburong, our boat stopped by a small hut on the river bank. The other passengers started panicking. We overheard them say: "Are we chopping our passport here?" We couldn't help laughing and of course, we started mocking Zul again hahaha! We reached Bangar after 45 minutes, with 3 cars waiting for us driven by Irman, Rosman and Fareeda. Zul and Johnny followed Irman, me and Salwa joined Fareeda and Lulu and Ratna Rosman. We headed straight to Selapon Recreational Park, which was about 30 minutes road journey from Bangar. Fareeda is a fast driver so we got there first, then the other 2.
Reaching the park, we were welcomed with the sound of the water flowing in the stream. The water was so clear that I could see rocks underneath. The air was soothingly refreshing and the sound of crickets was just naturally calming. Colourful butterflies flying about freely and the sight of some kids swimming in the clear river sent peaceful feeling in me personally. While waiting for the others to arrive, I took a few pictures of the place. It was just too pretty to be forgotten!
We had our so-called breakfast of snacks and sandwiches, not to mention the melamine-free chocolate filled biscuits, before heading into the river. Stepping into the water sent a sudden shiver to us all as it was very cold. I didn't have my shoes on so walking on the rocks and boulders was just painful! I then knew that I needed my foot reflexy soon since I realised that stepping on the hard stones gave me that painful feeling. We enjoyed our time in the water the rest of the hour. Irman, Salwa and Fareeda took a swim while the others just sat around joking about and of course, taking pictures of the sceneries and us!
*sitting on boulders and observing shapes of small rocks we got in our hands*
Lulu: Owh! That's a pretty shape you got there!
Me: Yea! Nice huh!
Lulu: Haha ... Suzi! Use that for this *rubbing her piece of rock on her foot*
Me: Haha! Brilliant!! Foot scrub!! Zul! Look here!!
Zul: Haha! Bah! I want ehhh! Hahaha *started picking up a suitable piece of rock, then started rubbing it on his foot*
The 3 of us: *laughing crazily while doing our 'foot scrubbing' in the water*
Johnny: Oh my God! What are you 3 doing!!! *started taking pictures while laughing*
Irman: Haha! Are you scrubbing your feet with the rocks???
All of us: LOL
Irman: *picked a piece of rock and joined the group* Hey Johnny! Snap me!
Zul: Give that fierce look Irman!
Irman: *putting up a pose: holding the rock to his mouth with his tongue out*
All of us: LOL! Irman!! You crazy guy!!
We went on a jungle trekking, crossing the river and went up a slippery slope. We had our shoes on, except Irman, as he had lent his pair of slippers to Zul. So Irman was bare-footed when showing us the way.
Irman: Okay guys. Is everyone here already?
Us: Yes ....
Irman: Right, now ... We have to be very careful here ya as you can see, we have just reached the 300 years old cemetary of one of the ethnic groups here in Temburong.
Us: Oooohhh ... *startled and started looking around silently, me observing the place which was full of old trees and remaining of rather eroded stilts on the ground*
Irman: So guys, you know with this surrounding, you have to be careful with what you do ... or say. It could make ... you know ... It's sensitive here ...
Us: Ohhh ... Ok, ok *all fell silent, waiting for next instruction from Irman*
Irman: *stood still and eyeing us one by one quietly*
Irman: Gotcha!! Hahahaa!
Us: *cursing Irman*
A few minutes of jungle trekking, we went down another gentle slope and went into the river again. This time the rapids were stronger than the one we had downstream. And colder!! I didn't wanna put myself into the water as I didn't bring extra undies but just my clothes while Zul just didn't wanna get wet! He was even having his jeans on! But minutes later, we were tempted to join the others. Reaching deeper into the water, we shivered! The water was really really cold! Salwa was right! With the rapid flows hitting our body, it just felt like we were in a jacuzzi!!
Irman was just the best host! He was so used to the jungle and nature that he just walked only in his short and bare footed! He went cross the river back and forth serving us drinks and snacks. Yes people! We had Pepsi and Twisties IN THE RIVER!! How crazy was that!! Don't worry! We didn't throw the plastic cups into the stream cause we're all nature lovers! ;)
An hour or so, we just sat down in the water chit-chatting and laughing over Irman's never-ending jokes. The group laughed out louder when Zul's slipper floated away downstream. Irman didn't mind it at all though that pair of slippers of his was bought last March in KK with Rosman. Didn't mind it but he 'briefed' Zul of that, making Zul feeling more guilty hehehe :P
Irman was so good with his multiple lies that when he told us that he was feeding a group of fish at the river bank, none of us went to have a look. Instead, Zul and I spent our time collecting crystal clear stones, which Salwa joined later on; Johhny with his camera and snapping pictures of the surrounding and us; while Lulu, Rosman, Fareeda and Ratna sat on the boulders simply enjoying the beautiful sunny day.
Johnny and I finally gave in and walked across the river to where Irman was. At the river bank, Irman was not lying when he said he was feeding the fish cause in the calm area there, we could see small fishes swimming about and feeding on the Twisties that Irman sprinkled on. He was NOT lying afterall! By the time the rest came closer, the shake of the water had made the fishes to swim away. Johnny tried taking a few snaps of them but their scales were just too shiny that they wouldn't show in the photos.
We started our journey back before noon. Lulu fell, her third, on the slippery rocks on our way up to our hut. Zul, who laughed the loudest, also fell in the end, making us laugh even harder! Salwa took out her shampoo and shampooed her hair, which Lulu later on joined in. The bottle almost floated away too. Thank God Irman was fast enough to catch it! His swift moves in the water made us wonder: Weren't the rocks hurt his feet?? I guess he's got used to it afterall!
We nibbled on our breakfast leftover and started packing. Zul hopped towards the car; with one foot on slipper, bare-footed of the other. Johnny and I spent the time taking pictures of butterflies while we were drying ourselves with the heat. The next hut was now occupied by a family of Ibans who jumped into the river and swam about. By then the water level had risen but that didn't stop them to stay long in the river. It was nice witnessing this :)
30 minutes journey back to Bangar was hot but Fareeda stopped her car on a meandered roadside so we could take a few snaps of a beautiful sight of the river nearby. We then continued our journey to Fareeda's house, overtaking cars on the way. She is a crazy woman driver hahaha! Now I know how my friends feel when I drive them around in my car kekeke :P
Fareeda's house was just welcoming. It's a bungalow and she lives alone. She used to have an amah but without one now she could save that $200 per month. She's a Muslim South African, who is also a friend of my colleague's. She's been working here since January this year and is enjoying the rainforest so much! She's even adventurous! With her small Vitara Swift, she's gone to KK twice, alone! It's embarrassing cause she knows the whereabouts of Temburong more than us Bruneians!!
After freshen up, we moved on to Batang Duri National Park, but it was closed. We then tailed Irman to Amo B's Long House. We were just a while there but it was indeed nice to have a look in there. While looking around, Salwa danced along the traditional music of the ethnic group as played by the children of the house. I guess that is how they welcome the guests :) It's very very nice seeing kids as young as 6 years old playing the instruments. The rhythm was also beautiful music to the ears. As we left the house, we looked up to see a row of triangle-shaped bamboos hung above our head. Irman said it was to cast away evil from entering the house. We chose to believe him this time ;)
We continued our journey to a nearby restaurant to have our lunch. Next door was a small shop so I dropped by and bought a pair of sandals as my shoes were all wet! Andrea, a colleague of Irman's, joined us and he was right. She's cute and adorable! And when she laughed, the room was filled with her laughter hehehe :P All of us had Roti Chanai, except her. This restaurant served the best Roti Chanai EVER!! I had Roti Plaster. Others ordered varieties of the Roti: Plain, Sweet, Sardine, Vegetable and Beef. All tasted soooo good!! Even the curry and dhal dips tasted fine! I wouldn't mind taking the water transport to travel all the way for this very very fine dish!!
Just before 4pm, we zoomed back to Bangar Jetty. We didn't wanna miss the boat, which we almost did, erk!! We had to split up cause the boats were just full of passengers. Me, Lulu, Zul and Salwa went onto the first trip while Ratna and Johnny waited for the next. Our trip halted and the boat driver made a U-turn back to the jetty not even half-way after we left. All faces went pale and Salwa, Lulu and I couldn't help laughing seeing Zul chanting quietly at the front seat!! He was obviously scared hehehe :P
We had to change to another boat and the one we had gone onto left without passengers. We guessed that the driver was testing the engine. After roughly 5 minutes of waiting at the jetty, we boarded another boat and started our journey back to Bandar. 15 minutes later, our boat stopped when the boat we were in before got stranded! There's something wrong with the engine afterall!! Everyone was relieved and we joked about what had just happened: mocking over Zul's bringing passport to Temburong; this time as Plan B, in case we missed the boat next time! Zul and I took a few crazy snaps to kill the time. I felt exhausted in the end and fell asleep the rest of the journey :P
We reached Bandar at after 5pm. The last time we heard the news before leaving the jetty was that Johnny and Ratna had got their tickets home but yet to board the boat. We had to leave soon as we were all too exhausted with all the fun that we had had today. At home, Irman texted me that Johnny and Ratna finally boarded the boat home at 6.30pm, erk!! It should be really scary travelling at night on the water ... But I was relieved they were safe :)
It was a crazy trip right from the start right up to the end! And we've planned on doing more trips in future: to Tasek Merimbun and Ulu Kuala Belait! Can't wait to set my foot into the jungle again!! :D
PS: I will upload pixies of today's trip later! ;)