I have recently returned from an expedition to the heart of Borneo. There were three stages: 3 flights and 8 days in small boats to reach the interior of Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo).
7 days trekking with the Dayak across remote jungle , all the time studying their every navigational move.
1 boat journey, one motorbike/hike, one three-day delay as the Indonesian military refused to let me on board their aircraft, one missionary flight, one more boat journey, one more domestic flight, to get from the centre of Borneo to the coast.
It is a measure of the undeveloped and wild nature of this part of the world – roads can’t really survive in this sort of terrain and rivers remain the main arteries of the island – that it took me five times as long to get from the coast of Borneo to the heart of the island, as it did to get from London to Borneo.
And there was a lot of sweat and blood to follow.
All well worth it and hugely rewarding. I learned a vast amount and my respect for the people and nature of this part of the world could not be higher.
I will be writing up my findings over the next few months and the current plan is for this expedition to form a chapter of the book I am working on at the moment, to be published by Sceptre in 2014.