After hearing countless stories from my fishing sifu, Wesley, about super gigantic rare fish catches in the Lanjak Entimau Forest Reserve & reading about it in a magazine article he wrote, I was really hoping for a chance to experience the deep forests, inner rivers & their life-threatening rapids for myself as well as take photos to remember it as a must-do-before-you-die once-in-a-lifetime activity.
Such high hopes & expectations were doomed to be torn down & trampled on esp when travelling in a large group & following the plans of other people.
The boatride was an adventure on its own. In the 6 / 4 hours, we experienced all the seasons of a tropical heaven: super sunny sunburning hot, heavy painful liquid droppings & cool cloudy goodness.
Let's not forget the welcoming splashes from the swollen debris-ridden milo river.
3 buildings set on a hillside: 1 was the reserve office while the other 2 were lodgings for visitors.
I was informed that the paint job was new. Previously, there was no paint & the buildings had beautiful natural tones of timber hardwood.
We lodged in the 2nd floor of the building on top of the hill. There were 4 rooms, 2 large common toilets, a large living area, balcony, kitchen & back-veranda. Very clean & well-maintained.
The guestbook reveals the frequent patrons: government servants, YBs, international travellers & esp Japanese scientists (looking for Godzilla?).
Every mouthful was pure mental torture & painful for the tastebuds yet tired bodies & empty bellies left little to fussiness. It was either eat or starve.
However, we had plenty of Cap Apek (the #1 alcoholic beverage of the locals) to put us out of our misery.
We decided to commandeer a boat & do some exploring of our own despite protests of not having enough fuel for the return journey from the person who was supposed to take us out.
So the 2 other boats could burn fuel all day & yet we cant? Ridiculous! Shut up & go drink Cap Apek!
That's what he did while we took a boat out to find fern & fish just before lunchtime.
We made Ikan Semah Pansoh (Semah fish cooked in bamboo), fish sup & stir-fry Paku Pakis (ferm). A welcome change from canned chicken curry & rice.
These guys made the trip special. Looking forward to more trips with them in the future.
Meanwhile, I am determined to return to Lanjak Entimau next year with my sifu.
There was so much in-river that I missed: the water-sculpted gigantic rock formations, superfish & the goodness of being near the heart of mother nature.
I must return. I must.
When I do, it's not going to suck. In fact, it's going to rock.