Into the Heart of Borneo

By Redmond O'Hanlon

The tale of a 1983 trip to the guts of Borneo, which no excursion had tried considering that 1926. O'Hanlon, followed via good friend and poet James Fenton and 3 local courses brings wit and humor to a perilous trip.

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He shook his head on the plate of the Bald-headed woodshrike, yet then his face crinkled, slowly, right into a leathery smile. He grew to become the pages with bemused pride, mumbling to himself in his personal language the names of all of the birds of his wandering early life. a lot excited, I opened the Mammals of Borneo at Medway's picture of the wallowing Borneo rhinoceros, and positioned it beside Smythies. The previous guy stiffened. His thumb got here down at the web page with a crack. He became to our consultant, his face alert, his skinny muscular tissues bunched, and he talked with a wild depth.

There has been an ominous noise of arguing currents forward. The rapids-preamble, the white water, the relocating whirlpools, the noise forward, was once longer and louder than it should were. With the canoe pitching feverishly, we rounded a sweeping bend; and the cause of the agitated river, the unaccustomed roar, turned visible. the golf green Heave forward was once greatly greater than any we had met. there has been a waterfall to the left of the river-course, an important surging of water over a ledge, with how one can the correct blocked via thrown-up timber, piles of roots dislodged upstream, torn out in floods, and tossed apart the following opposed to a line of rocks.

After an hour or , Leon stopped. “Redmon,” he acknowledged, “we take unsuitable flip. Now we move backs. I pass over the mark. ” I sat down in melancholy. a little sleep right here, i assumed. The hill we had simply slithered down rose up in the back of us, a Himalaya that grew at the same time I watched it. To need to climb that… “Get up,” acknowledged Leon decisively. “You wake up. you may have one pack onlies. You wake up Redmon. You very fat. You stop—they concerns. you are concerned Jams. The Tuai Rumah — he imagine we misplaced. ” “You'll be a bloody rumah zoomer your self one day,” I stated, getting up inspite of myself.

He very smarts. He make a bit padi clearing within the jungle and all his other halves they arrive to determine his tail. ” Checking the Iban opposed to clinical and English names behind Smythies, the secret used to be quickly solved: ruai used to be Argusianus and Argusianus was once the nice argus pheasant. After breakfast, I awkwardly manouevred my Bergen directly to my again. it usually appeared intolerably heavy till it was once in place, whilst the brilliantly designed strapping and cushioning and webbing so balanced its body at the again that it used to be attainable (on infrequent events) to put out of your mind that it used to be there.

In the back of the netting beside me, James used to be silhouetted by means of the sunshine of his torch, propped up on his elbow, examining. As I lay and listened, toes off the jungle ground at the outer finish of our verandah hut, i presumed i'll listen, above the historical past electrical-shorting noise of 1000000 cicadas and the swirl of river water among 1000 small rocks, disparate rustlings. definite— anything mouse-size used to be relocating and sniffing the place James had jettisoned his fish soups; and the leaves have been being scuffed around and approximately the place Leon had kicked over his terong pipit.

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