Friday, February 10, 2017

#24 - Saturday, 11 February 2017 | Kuching, Sarawak, Borneo

It's early Saturday morning. It is my mate Mark's birthday and he and his entourage of mad Brits is en route to join me here in beautiful Kuching. I finally got some sleep. Last night I sat on the rooftop of the LimeTree Hotel and had an amazing plate of vegetarian Tom Yum fried rice and downed two extra delicious and perfectly chilled pints of Tiger draft. The LimeLight Rooftop Lounge had a refreshing breeze. I arrived in overcast conditions in Kuching and the weather was much less stifling than it seemed in Kuala Lumpur. Perhaps I've already acclimated, but it was an incredible surprise to experience cool winds blowing above the fifth floor of our hotel. I love it here. 

My flight from Dubai to Kuala Lumpur was made better by being on a brand new 777-300 and having an empty seat between my window berth and the young German lady on the aisle. Her name was Louisa and she was to meet friends in KL to begin a two month adventure in Malaysia, Cambodia and Vietnam. In between our conversations and both of our failed attempts at sleeping, I watched the movie The Girl on the Train. Louisa and I walked through KL airport together and it took us almost an hour to get through customs. It was a grueling trip to arrive and I'm trying to put my eventual return feat of endurance out of mind. 

Last time I was in Kuala Lumpur International Airport it was in the middle of the night and the place was deserted. Yesterday the it was so unbelievably crowded and it seemed like the humidity was about 300%. I had a fairly long layover, but made the mistake of going through security as soon as I could and ended up exhausted near the gates with little options for food and zero options for beer. I decided to try to keep awake and have a triple espresso and a little snack. Eventually I plopped my tired carcass into a comfy business class seat and prepared for 90 more minutes of air travel that would bring me from mainland Malaysia to Kuching, in Sarawak, Borneo. It took all of 8 minutes to get from the plane to taxi. I was the first off and the first to customs and then headed straight to the airport taxi desk and was whisked into a tiny and timeworn taxi on the curb. 

The drive from the small airport to LimeTree Hotel was no more than 20 minutes. The hotel staff was extremely attentive and I was rushed to my cozy third floor hotel room. I was completely exhausted, but also wound up, excited and badly in need of a long shower. I dozed a bit while surfing the Internet, but ended up seeking Tiger lager and some food. 

This hotel is amazing. I type this during breakfast of coffee, fresh lime juice, buttered toast, plantains, omelette, potatoes, shrimp, cakes, jack fruit fritters, and laksa.

As always, see Instagram for more pix ...

It looks like rain is coming and I forgot to grab rainjacket from the Wheelhouse sitting almost 12,000 miles away. But I am off to walk the city a bit before Mark, Kim, Brandon and the rest of my Brit mates arrive in a few hours.

All the best, Michael

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