Bario Day 2 of misadventures and a looooooooooong walk

The guilt of doing nothing was getting to us.

On the second day, we decided to embark on a walking trip to Bario’s famous salt trail. Now that I think about it, I wasn’t sure why we were so ascertain that walking around Bario was the right thing to do. Probably because everyone around us kept talking about how near in walking distance some places were.

We started the day fairly early, around 9am? After a delicious breakfast, we started our walk towards town but were flagged halfway through by Felicity who offered us a ride. We had been ambitious enough to wanting to walk, but thought we had the whole day to take it slow so we said yes.  

Upon reaching town, I rejoiced and rushed towards their town-hall that was supposed to be the only place in Bario to have internet connection. I WAS SO EXCITED. I started registering and logging into the government portal, and by the time I got connected, a string of beeps and notifications from work and random groups started ringing. After the 50th notification also….. I was beginning to realise, maybe I don’t miss the internet :-/

Yuen didn’t even bother to look at her phone, let alone connected to the internet, and I really admire her for that. She told me that the moment she’d switched it on, her phone would be beeping non-stop as well, and truth is, she was enjoying the technology-notification free life for the past 24 hours. She had finished her book in just hours of picking it up and I never had the opportunity to truly bond with Yuen not until the way we did for the past few days since we got into Miri and then to Bario.

I switched my internet off, and then off to start our walking trip.

We got lost in the first leg of our trip. We were walking towards another direction, when it was supposed to be the other. By the time we truly started our Salt Trail journey it was almost 11am. The sun was almost to its peak, and the roads were not covered in trees.

We continued walking.

We passed a few constructions. We felt a little hopeful after seeing streams thinking we are already so near to the river. We passed a few long houses, and more streams. Many four wheels had passed, and smiled at us, many indifferent. We stood out as tourists like a sore thumb in these kampong roads because of our outfits, raincoats and caps.

After one divergent, we were positive that the Salt Trail Bridge would be much closer now. So we continued walking despite the sun being right on top of us, our skin burning through the raincoat.
We passed through many other things including suspicious locals with sandbags in their hands…. uncompleted developments and constructions, fancy custom building offices and small villages with broken cars.

By the time we reached the first stream…….. We were unsure whether to laugh or to cry. It was a small stream and almost inaccessible. We started throwing twigs and laughed about the many things that might come out from the river.

Until we met a few locals, and asked whether this was the bridge we had been looking for. Turns out it wasn’t.

The positivity in their eyes convinced us that we were mere minutes from our destination. So we continued. After about an hour or so, we saw a small signboard.

<< Indonesia

Yuen and I looked at each other in disbelief. DID WE JUST WALKED TO INDONESIA?!

We laughed and took many pictures; I can’t imagine doing this with anyone else. Yuen was very positive throughout the entire walk, and we had only one goal in mind, to finally find the river we’ve been looking for.

Approximately 20 minutes later, we saw a small entry… and found out, it IS the river!! 

After about 3.5 hours of walking, we finally found the river and let out a huge sigh. We relaxed by the river, and contemplate to walk through it but it looked like it was about to break, so we sat by the river playing with butterflies and taking photos.

It was indeed a huge and beautiful river, but not clear mainly due to rain or landslide. The river was gushing so I particularly thought it wouldn’t be safe to go near it.   

 About half an hour later we decided that it was getting quite late, and dreaded the walk back.

EXCEPT this time, we would be shameless enough to hitch a ride.

On our way back, an adorable doggie followed us through and we couldn’t help but think it was trying to accompany us. We were exhausted, legs sore and skin burnt from the sun. I waved to one of the four wheels, and he took us in at the back of his car so selflessly.

It’s hilarious, of the few cars that passed by and saved us, we went on one with lots of stuff on it.

By the time we reached home, we WERE so exhausted.

But ready to tell of how our day was.

Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.


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