Christmas must have come late - today we had a relaxed start to the day with the luxury of a lazy breakfast before packing up to set out. Today we were walking towards a large rock outcrop called the pinnacles. However, we would only make camp 5 tonight and the real uphill work will start tomorrow. For this section of the tour we had a local ranger to guide us; John. Imagine our delight when we realised that the first leg of the journey would be on a small wooden boat. Sitting on our life jackets rather than wearing them became a popular move. On the way out we had a couple of stops to relieve the aches. Firstly we stopped off at John's home village where they had set out a mini-market of local trinkets to sell to the tourists delivered to their door. Eleanor spotted some interesting nose flutes and having made a purchase from John's grandmother promptly found that it really isn't as easy as it looks. Personally I found it hard to strike up the enthusiasm to get too intimate with anything that's just seen the very close attention of someone else s nostrils. But maybe I'm being picky. Not wanting to be out done on the tat front I quickly followed up the flute with a small blow pipe which is currently adorning my bedroom.
Our next stop was of a less commercial nature, a couple of caves to wonder through. Firstly the 'wind cave' but we seemed to have caught it on an off day of no wind. The second was 'clear water' cave where it is said that if you wash your face in the stream at the end you'll be pretty forever. Obviously as Eleanor bent down I couldn't resist a small comedy nudge on her back which almost earnt me a slap to make sure I would need all the magical properties of the water just to get back to where I started. After the coolness of the caves the outside air seemed even more hot and humid than before and we were glad for a lunch stop where there was a nice pool of water to swim in to cool off. In the same breath as commenting on the heat outside I will also add that the water was bloody cold. Just no pleasing some people is there? After getting in the other point to note is that your friends seemed to be getting smaller. After working out that this isn't just some effect of the cold contracting your eyeballs but the rather swift current dragging you downstream it was time to get splashing to keep pace. Only with quite a brisk swim could you maintain no movement - a perfect training pool!
With the swimming and lunch over it was time to hike to camp 5. Since our trail stuck to the river it was a fairly featureless flat 8km broken up by a couple of rope bridges. The first of which we had to cross two at a time with Rich trying out the amusing shaking bridge jape. Natasha soon made it clear to most of Borneo that she was not happy about this. With 8 hot, sweaty rather monotonous kilometers behind us we arrived at our camp, a single building consisting of an open eating area and several open walled dorm rooms. Since we had made good time there was an opportunity to relax and have another dip in the still chilly river. As darkness fell our lights were becoming relatively ever brighter to the local insect population how were obviously inviting everyone they knew to the party - mosquito nets rapidly went up around every bed. With some food and a can of random beer we retired to hope that the teenage lad who sold us our net knew what he was talking about.