Somewhere in Asia travel blog

Our route


This logging road now bisects the jungle trail we were on

Picking one of the few non-poisonous mushrooms in the jungle for dinner


Fruit of the jungle, yellow when ripe (the inside tastes and looks...

A creative web weaving

A hearth in Ramudu longhouse

Andrew sharing a meal with his family

While it rained last night, Andrew made a comment about leeches. I didn't expect there to be quite so many. I lost count after 50 or so. Andrew and I picked/flicked them off my shoes, socks, pants, shirt and even walking stick. The tightly woven socks we purchased in Miri worked, as only two of them chewed their way through to my skin, a third one made its way up to my belly button somehow. Later on, someone told us that getting leeches was a form of a local trail tax, imposed only on travelers - if that is the case, I paid the tax in full for both of us, as Myles got none the entire time.

The jungle looked even more spectacular after the rain. The trail was steep and muddy almost the entire way. On the way we picked some mushrooms for dinner, and tried a piece of jungle fruit that tasted like an unripe mangosteen. We arrived in Ramudu in the afternoon, and headed straight to a wooden longhouse of 4 doors. Inside we were greeted by Andrew's aunt. Hot Milo and bee hoon soup came out shortly thereafter. At one end of the longhouse we saw a couple of dogs sleeping by the hearth, and a cat was making its rounds.

We walked around the longhouse, and met the headman and his wife. The woman was sitting on the floor while weaving a mat. They gave us a whole thing of bananas and encouraged us to keep eating. By the time we headed back to our longhouse, we were full. The couple gave us a really warm welcome.

Our dinner consisted of the usual rice, jungle greens, wild boar and a new addition to our list of 'exotic' foods - civet cat. Myles ate it up, but I found it a bit too chewy, and ended up having just a small piece in the end. The locals consider it the best meat in the jungle, and it is not very common - so, we were lucky to get the opportunity to try some.

After dinner, Andrew's brother went out hunting. He was wearing a one-piece suit, plastic soccer cleats, a parang, and carrying a massive torch and a gun. He brought home a wild boar, and we had it for breakfast. Meat cannot be kept long as there is no refrigeration available. It is cut up as soon as possible, and is often shared among members of the community.

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