Ok, so I have now arrived in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Drifters Inn is pretty nice and the two australian guys I share a room with doesn’t snore to badly. For the first time in my life I am having some language problems talking to australians, the two guys are from a small mining town around a 1000 km north of Brisbane and talk english like crocodille dundee multiplied by ten :) The local sheilas do seem to find it charming though :)
Me and my newfound friends thought we should rent a car and drive around the city to look around, but after talking to one of the guys at the hotel who tended to say ‘no, you don’t want to take the chance of going there by yourself’ we decided that caution should take precedence. Instead I went for a 25 minute walk to a local shopping mall as recommended. The guys warning about not going most places on our own struck me as being in accord with local customs as I noticed on my way to the mall that every house had a high wall with either iron spikes or an electric fence on top of it and signs from local security companies promising an armed response if anyone should trepass.
The Safari trip starts tommorow which look forward to, should also try giving Wingo a call so we can work out some more details for meeting up in Namibia.
Had some nice days in Sydney starting with Jan and Jamie talking me to Jeff and Pia’s place for a barbeque. Even got to try some barbequed kangaroo. I am really curious to see what Jeff and co. will cook up to revolutionize the Linux world, could be really interesting.
Jan and Jamie took me the next day to see some wildlife at the Australian Reptile park. Although the name says reptile they do also have a collection of Australian non reptiles so I got to see and touch both live kangaroos and koalas in addition to seeing a nice sample of the Australian reptile population. In the evening we went to Jan’s parents for a nice dinner.
Although I had a good time the first few days my stomach problems from Borneo had not really gone away and it was really draining me of energy. So the third day I just took it easy at Jan and Jamie’s place trying to just drink Gatorade as an apotechary had suggested to me. Didn’t really help much so yesterday I visited a doctor. Got some antibiotica and about one hour after popping the first pills I was feeling much much better, my appetite returned, my nausea gone and my spirit much lifted.Also met up with Caleb and we toured the city together so I got to see the harbour bridge and the Sidney Opera. We also went to see Spider-Man 2 which was ok, although a bit to sappy at times. Ended the evening with some games of pool.
Today I will get introduced to the Sidney debian community as I will be joining Jan and Jeff at a local debian users meeting. Supposed to be a talk comparing Debian to Gentoo which will be interesting to hear, although I am a habitual Red Hat/Fedora Core user myself and I don’t see it changing anytime soon. Only bad thing is that due to the antibiotica I will not be able to partake in the heavy drinking which seems to coincide with these debian gatherings, luckily I was able to leech some beers of Jeff the first night so I have sampled the local brews. Guess I find out today if it is true as some religious people say; that you can have just as much fun without alchohol. Have a feeling I conclude what I usually conclude; that religious people should be refered to as religious nuts :)
For those interested I have also gotten my photos online now. Although in a simple fashion. When I get back from Africa I hope to get them onto my new apestaart area which Thomas is setting up for me, with a proper photo gallery.
After my last entry we went to an island resort run as part of a giant sea turtle conservation effort. They had a large sea turtle hatchery on the site and in the night we could see the huge turtles come in to lay their eggs (under ranger supervision of course). I think I managed to get a sun stroke cause I got quite sick in the evening and the days after. Luckily the rest of the trip we just flew back to Kota Kinabalu and rejuvated at a nice holiday resort kinda hotel. Had big problems eating anything, but even my stomach seemed to make a comback the last day so I had a plesant flight (as pleasant as they can get flying economy class) to Sydney today. With a little effort and some help from Chantal (one of the girls who had been on the trip with me) I managed to get hold of Jan (thaytan) and he came and picked me up at the airport which was very kind of him. The little I have seen of Sydney so far looks nice, but it is friggin cold here :)
My adventures on Borneo continues. After leaving the hot springs of Porig we travelled on to stay a night out in the jungle. They had built a small wodden platou where we slept under a mosquito net. Was quietly lulled to sleep by the sounds of the jungle around me. The jungle was nice, but due to a forest fire some 60 years ago it was relativly young. Jungle cats came into our camp in the evening just before we fell asleep which was very cool. The night after we spent living together with the villagers in their houses. We where splitt into groups of two people and placed at various families. It was an interesting experience as you got very close on the daily life of the people of Borneo. The shower beeing a bucket of water and a smaller bucket to use for pouring the water onto yourself is quite a bit removed from the life I am accustomed to, but definetly an interesting experience.
Travelled onwards to the Sepilok Orangutang sanctuary. It was fun seeing all the young Orangutang’s come running in for the scheduled feeding. There was even a young mother with a child. No large males though as the older Orangutangs tend to stop comming to the sanctuary’s feeding sessions. On the afternoon feeding there was also a large host of smaller monkeys swarming around trying to steal bananas from the Orangutangs. I hope some of my photos turned out well.
Today we travelled to Sedakan, with a short detour to a Probiscius Monkey sanctuary. These monkeys only exist on Borneo and the mature males have a very distinctive look; a huge nose. They where definetly worth the watch, and it was kinda ecouraging to see that the sanctuary had been started by a palm oil plantation owner who after seeing the plight of the monkeys had decided to not turn the jungle into a palm oil plantation after all. (The vast majority of the tropical jungle in Sabbah has been cut down and replaced by palm oil plantations in just the last 10 years).
So know I am sitting at an internet cafe in Sadakan where we stay until tommorow when we take a boat to an island just outside here where sea turtles come in to lay eggs at night.
My next post will probably be from Australia and hopefully I be able to post my pictures online then too :)
Glad to see advogato is back up and running. I am currently sitting at an internet cafre in a small town in the middle of Sabah, Borneo. Had a great start of my vacation. I am on a trip done by a company called Intrepid, which specialize in adventure travel. The first night we spent sleeping in a small village being the guests of the Dusun people which is one of the local people of Borneo. They where really friendly to us and shared willingly (maybe a bit to willingly :) of their homemade ricewine. We had a great time talking, singing and drinking. The next day we had a small guided tour around their village before heading of to Mount Kinabalu which is the highets in South East Asia (4095 meters). It took two days of hard walking to reach the summit (staying the night at a lodge in the mountain) and getting up at 0200 in the morning to reach the summit at sunrise. Incredible to see the local people carrying stuff up the mountain as the lodge was supplied by foot so they had to carry everything up on their backs.
Going down really got to one of my knees, but luckily we are taking in easy at a hot springs resort today. Only thing on my schedule is going to see if some Orangutangs come to the an organized feeding session they do here.
Tommorow we are traveling on to visit the organgutang orphanage and to stay one night in a small village populated with bumiputras, which is the malaysian muslim people.
Traveling with a fun and interesting group of people; some very cute and single girls among them. Our tour leader Nathan Cox is a great guy and really pushes himself to make us have a good time.
Next update the next time I am near civilization :)