Friday, 16 May 2014

The frogs and the waterfall part 2. A ...

Once on our walk it became clear that we walk our dog Louis on longer treks ... But anyway.. maybe we will spot a wild beastie ... A lessor toothed thingy -ma-Bob ... Or even a wild orangatan.. but we actually had more chance of seeing a polar bear ..  the end of our huge trek we hopped back into our floating beer mat .. well ... For John and guide and me .. it was another long walk carrying a lowary version of a boat off to the waterfall. 

An hour later we are at the waterfall... At last something that matched the word used for it... It was a WATERFALL ...

We had been told that the pool by the waterfall was the place to be... I can't recall the name of those fish that have populated treatment centers .. the ones that you pop your feet into a tank.. and these little fish kindly pop along and nibble away at you hard and dead skin to make your feet naturally healthy and smooth... Well these fish lived in the wild in this pool at the waterfall... So as the guide and the chaps from the boat set up camp in a bank near the waterfall, it's a swim across the river and into the waterfall and pool.. fresh clean water - quite deep, after pushing a boat for an hour was welcome .... Frolicking around in this pool was very welcome and also idyllic and relaxing.... until I feel a huge bite on my calf ... It's time to see how fast I can swim to the bank whilst shouting a few obscene words... Aside from a red Mark and the outline of teeth on my calf.. no blood .. And I was pretty much ok. The shock wore down as I tried to reason out the bite... What was it.. as I stood quietly in the shallows... That's when it all became clear... As soon as you stand still in the shallows .. these helpful little fish ( with helpful little teeth) pop over and start chewing at your feet. Of course they had to come in all sizes in the wild.. And my little helper in the pool was (I guess) the big brother of these little chaps. We are told by a guide that they look for areas of discolouration in the skin to select dead skin from live skin... One big one had clearly decided that my large blue vein on my leg needed removing.. And he was the chap big enough to do it...  The sensation of having fish with quality sharpened chompers noshing away at your feet took a little adjusting to... But was a great feeling and quite pleasent..  you had to keep a keen eye on the larger ones ... Who had a habbit of sneaking up  with 10 or so smaller ones.. And harmless as they are... Their teeth are a little too big... 

As all this is going on... In another 2 beermats the French appear... They don't speak English much, and we try to point out the fish and where best to stand... But they don't seem keen. One of the women strips to her bikini, but does not go in.. One nibble in the shallows, and she was off.. the other 2 don't go near the water. One of the blokes is happily swimming around and climbing the waterfall. That was as entertaining as it was puzzling .. as he kept falling off the slippery rocks trying to pose for a photo. Maybe it's something they eat ??? 

Anyway.. bored with trying to get them to have their toes bitten off .. We head back across the river to the BBQ.. now in full steam and smells wonderful. The onions are not far behind us.. but walk the bank to a shallow crossing. Puffs !!!. 

The BBQ was made up of chicken... Beef... Rice.. mixed with wild herbs they had collected from the trees as we went up river... The rice and meat was mostly cooked in hollowed out bamboo they had been cutting from the river side ... And it was as tasty as it was  .. embarresing really - for us that is. If you think about it... These chaps can happily survive if Tesco closes.. they had caught their own fish to eat.... And had all the herbs and spices they needed to make a very tasty meal from their surroundings.. no Tesco needed. So who will survive when the civilised world collapses around us ... Not the hunters from the Tesco tribe ... That's for sure! .. 

BBQ served .. And polished off .. flys (we are told) are nothing to worry about.. they are not interested in the food... Like most things in this paradise .. it's people they want to eat !!! 

Did I mention the booze ? So lets start with the fact that rice wine comes in 2 forms ... No way to measure strength, and is as personal to each tribe member as a signature. The strongest form of rice wine is more like rice whisky. Sure enough.. as soon as the BBQ ended.. our little chap from the front of the boat.. Who had been remarkably quiet all the time.. for out two small cups made from the bamboo we had been chopping ... Waited until the onions were not looking .. And poured us both a short each from his personal stash... As this stronger stuff is clear, and mostly stored in water bottles, you began to realise how much of this rice whisky they drank !!! Another fact became clear also.. iban don't like the onions either... we found out later that they were not alone.. (sort of nice to know that the local headhunters don't get along with the French ... You know.. just incase :) ).

A last dip in the river to cook off.. And it's back in our floating twigs to the long house .. hurrah back to another area of jungle .... 


No comments:

Post a comment