(Backblog from 4th February)
Good morning World,
With the start of a new month, the first quarter of my trip has already passed and it’s time to leave our first camp behind us. After three weeks in the simplistic yet beautiful Camp Tinangol, it’s safe to say that this place has become a home to us all. In light of this, I thought that I would share 10 things from everyday life at Tinangol, some of which I will miss thoroughly and others which I struggled through; I’ll let you be the judge of which are which.
1. Long house life. Leaks in the roof, beetles in the beams but an ever present sense of community with the long open corridor perfect for reading, napping and chatting together.
2. Kenny the camp manager. Forever meeting our outrageous demands, Kenny set the adventure off to such a wonderful start even if his karaoke renditions of “Imagine” and “Hey Jude” were simply awful.
3. Outdoor toilets. I’ve reached the point where an outdoor shack becomes the very definition of toilet. With signs reminding you not to throw toilet paper down the toilet, a tap and bucket as a flush and the constant fear that a gecko may fall on you at any point (as happened to me one drizzly morning) I’m feeling a long way from my swish shower-room.
4. The food. Aside from the mountains of rice and the expected chicken, we were able to fill our stomachs with the most incredible curries, fish, fried bananas and even donuts. The professional chef, Frendy, was most definitely a force to be reckoned with.
5. Cold showers. Not quite cold enough to give you brain freeze but still enough to get the blood-pumping and to take your breath away. Nevertheless, after a hard day of digging, any temperature is perfect to clean and refresh.
6. The jungle chorus. From the buzzing beetles to the exotic birds and of course the cicadas which seemed to get louder by the minute. Quite a change from the motorbikes and cars that were my nightly lullaby back at home.
7. Mosquitos. A swollen foot, swollen ankle and six blisters later, I’m pretty certain I must have some sort of allergy to mosquito bites. I have been reassured that I do not have chicken pox though, just many, many bites. Still jealous?
8. Long evenings. With such wonderful people around me, early sunsets are a blessing. Card games, monopoly and hours of chatting; I haven’t even noticed the lack of a television (I will be catching up on Death in Paradise on my return to England though).
9. The scenery. When else will I ever have to walk beneath a coconut tree on my nightly teeth brushing journey? Tinangol is thoroughly green, dotted with the bright red of the hibiscus, the national flower of Malaysia.
10. Kimo the dog. Supposedly here to protect us from snakes, Kimo has become a dear friend to all, accompanying us on our walks to project and watching expectantly when we eat.
As we leave camp number one, I’m feeling so fabulously positive about the rest of the trip. And now off to even more jungle-y jungle. I’ll let you know what I get up to and, most importantly, whether I’m still as tasty to the mosquitos.
I’ll keep you posted,