Some of the guys headed over the border for some fun. Here is Ken’s writeup from the trip.
This Sarawak trip was planned for a total of 4 days to enable those interested to ride to Ba’Kelelan and over the Indonesian border to Lg Midang and Long Bawan.
When the weekend arrived for the trip, only three riders where able to join. They were Max on his hi tech Yamaha WR450, Ken on the trusty Suzuki DR600 Paris/Dakar (the pig) and Rick on the workhorse, Honda XR600.
Friday 11th April, Max trailered his bike up from Kuala Belait and after a small sight seeing expedition of the back streets, finally met Ken and Rick at the Kuala Lurah border check point.
Our first stop was Limbang town for passport control chop and it was here that Rick informed us that the Honda had no front brake. A closer inspection found that the disc brake pads and brake pin had fallen out along the route. Ricky decided to return to Brunei for some quick repairs and meet us in the morning at Lawas.
Max and Ken continued uneventfully to Lawas and arrived at the “Southern Comfort Bush Lodge” which is located 15 kms on the Lawas Damit road. Our lovely host Isty, had prepared a fantastic feast that night, and Max and Ken gladly finished off Ricky share in his absence.
Saturday morning was a casual start preparing the bikes, loading up with fuel, packing our gear and waiting for the Rickster to arrive from his fun night stay in Limbang.
The group set-off around 10 a.m. and after crossing the local stream nearby the lodge, they followed the 4×4 goat track for a few kms until meeting the main “Samling Logging” road. This great scenic track passes through Long Sukang, Berayong Logging Camp and traverses the steep trail to “Merarap Hot Springs Bush Resort”.
The group stopped briefly for lunch in the company of Alfred Padan, the owner and operator of this fantastic lodge.
After our brief chat and lunch, the bikers set off again on the main “Samling Logging road” passing through Merarap Logging camp, Ravenscourt Logging camp,and through the remote area of Mount Belingi on the way to the beautiful valley of Ba’ Kelelan. The group had to contend with deep muddy sections of trails and ruts on the decent over Mt Belingi. Exhausted, the riders arrived late afternoon at the “Apple Lodge’ located opposite the landing strip at Ba’Kelelan.
Ba’Kelelan is famous for it’s locally grown rice and delicious apples which grow in this cooler climate at altitude.
The lads enjoyed their nights stay with plenty of food provided by the Apple Lodge and a few soothing beers afterwards at the classy, local Astro T.V. entertainment venue.
Sunday morning, the lads were up early and re-packing their bikes in preparation for the trip over the Malaysian border to Kalimantan, Indonesia. They had all been praying for a dry night (not beer!!) and a sunny day. If it had rained, it would have been impossible to leave the Ba’Kelelan valley and climb Mt Belingi on the return trip home.
On departing Ba’Kelelan, the group rode their bikes along the buffalo trail around the perimeter of the airstrip fence, to the Malaysian Army check point. After a brief chat and a photographic session, permission to proceed was granted on identification. For previous bike trips this service had cost us 5 ringitt each.
The trail then continues for approximately 7 kms through “no mans land” until reaching the Army Check point and tiny village of Long Midang, Kalimantan, Indonesia.
Although this bike group turned around at Long Midang, on a previous bike trip the group traveled the further 10 kms to the village of Long Bawan (still in Kalimantan, Indonesia).
More photos and greetings were exchanged, before back tracking through the villages Panang Kelalan, Panang, Lg Muda, Lg Komap, Ba’Kelelan, Lg Ritane, Lg Rusu, Buduk Bui.
Before them lay the 3 km steep and muddy climb back up and over Mt Belingi. With a few reservations, plenty of sweat and a bit of luck, the riders finally conquered this incredibly difficult mountain trail.
The trail then passes through remote jungle and takes in spectacular views of Mt Murud and Batu Lawi Mountain.
Mt Murud (7950 ft), the highest peak in Sarawak, can be reached in 1 hour by a 4×4 logging track from “Ravenscourt” Logging camp.
Batu Lawi (6703 ft) is a spectacular sight with its vertical limestone twin peaks rising 300 mtrs above the rest of the mountain and is unique to the Island of Borneo. There are many legends, myths and superstitions surrounding Batu Lawi, but translated into the Kelabit dialect it means “fish-tail rock”.
The return journey home had the riders passing though “Ravenscourt Logging camp”, “Merarap Logging camp”, and an overnight stop at the “Mererap Hot springs Resort”.
Max had decided not to stay the night and returned to Brunei alone.
Under the guidance of the resort owner and operator Alfred Padan, Ricky and Ken where taken to the original Belvedere Helicopter (R.A.F.) crash site. Many parts of the aircraft still remain today scattered under the jungle canopy. The aircraft crashed during the Indonesian Conflict in the 1960s killing all on board.