Trails of Borneo 23.10.10

Hi everyone,

Thought I'd start a forum post to see who's booked onto the Trails of Borneo trip, departing 23rd October 2010.

Look forward to hearing from you all,



Hi everyone, I'll be joining you at Heathrow too - starting to get excited now. Glad to see all the kit talk and some good tips! Bought some new boots at the weekend ready for Mt Kinabalu. What is opinion on worth of technical vs normal t shirts etc? I'm also as yet undecided on the bag thing - like Ian I think a decent sized daysac could be useful. Looks like we have to carry it 8-9 km to camp5 (hoping we don't have to carry everything we bring!). I think a headtorch will be essential. Cheers, Alan.


Not long at all now, so exciting! In terms of clothes, I've heard so many different things. I think I'm going to take a mixture of the technical type clothing and then some light cotton things too. Guess it's not like we can go clothes shopping when we're there! In terms of shoes, I have the walking boots but does anyone know if they'll be ok for every day wear or maybe trainers or trekking sandals too? Also, does anyone know if we'll be given a meeting point at Heathrow?


I believe, trainers or sandals is a must along with proper walking boots. We will spend some time in cities and in evenings, after a long days walk, you will be delighted to swap boots for something lighter.

I always practice two rucksack option, big one for all the bulky stuff and small day sack for day trips, all the stuff you would normally have to carry with you at all times.

I have purchased DEET free insect repellent. Says it works as 50% DEET. Will find out soon.

I think In Kota Kinabalu and possibly in other locations, we might find a "good variety" of clothes, this time I mean fake designer ones. So Steph might follow women's natural instinct even there! ;-)

Would any one be interested to watch an hour long documentary about Borneo's biting creatures and other wild life? It is a programme I recorded from TV. I found it very interesting. If you would like a copy, let me know.

Welcome all who joined the chat recently! Most of you will have a chance to meet up in Heathrow. I will join you in Miri. Yeah, it is only two weeks left for me to depart for KL, few more bits to sort out and I'm ready!


Hi Steph,

I'll meet anyone that wants to meet at Heathrow in the bar!! lol



The bar sounds like a plan! Thanks for the tips re- footwear too Janis!

Happy to join the "meeting in the bar" party but from memory, there's quite a few!! Steph, Exodus don't organise anything in terms of meeting points or local reps until you arrive at the destination, so it's up to us :-)

Totally agree with janis on bags & footwear: Plan to take a mixture of technical & normal tops. Think the technicals will be essential in the humid jungle! Head torch is a must and a God-send!! Think they advise hand torch too. Be interesting to see if the DEET free DEET works! I'm taking no chances and have the real deal!!!!

Only 3 and a bit weeks now - woohoo!!


Good point Gail ha ha! I've had a look and there's a pub/bar called Bridge Bar which is in Terminal 4 after passing security so that could be a good one if anyone is up for meeting there during the long wait to board? I also have a head torch and solar phone charger which doubles as a hand torch!


Well I will be mainlining DEET as mossies are very fond of me - picked up three bites this evening on a bike ride when I stopped for a 2 min breather! Apparently Avon skin cream also repels them and it's what foresters in Scotland use, so I'm told..Footwear wise I will try to pack walking boots, trainers and sandals. Reading all this I now feel very underprepared and will be shopping Saturday to remedy the situation!


Little more than a fortnight!! Am looking to book a hotel near Heathrow to stay the night before, anyone else around, fancy sharing a drink??


Not much more than a fortnight!! Am looking to book a hotel near Heathrow the night before, anyone around ... fancy a drink??


Little more than a fortnight to go!! I have booked a hotel near Heathrow for the night before our flight, anyone else around, fancy a drink??


... say it three times. IT inept, me, nah never??

I was just reading through this thread and it's great to see how much you're all looking forward to the trip. I've been to Borneo (back in 2002) for a few days and loved it. My wife is Chinese Malaysian (from Kuala Lumpur) but has never made the short journey to Borneo, so a return trip is on the cards at some point. I just wanted to add a couple of things. Whilst you're limited to only bring 1,000 Ringgit into Malaysia, you can bring an unlimited amount of sterling and change that once you're there. You'll generally get a much better exchange rate in Malaysia than you do at this end for some reason.

Janis - what are you planning to do with your extra time in Malaysia prior to the tour? Are you sticking to KL or exploring a bit? I'd recommend Batu Caves, a short drive from KL as a definite place of interest worth seeing. If you have any questions, or want any other ideas based on where you're planning to go, don't hesitate to drop me a line at [email protected]


I'd say cotton is a 'no no', stays too wet for too long! Nylon/tech. fibres always best bet, delay you from ponging too! sound desperate for a drink John!!!! Is there something you need to share with us before we go?!?! LOL!! Unfortunately I won't be joining you, as I'm staying with my aunt up in North Kensington on Friday night.

Steph, good thinking to investigate. Sounds like it's the Bridge Bar at T4 then :-) Looking forward to it! Especially as I'm currently in my preparation phase and have been off the hooch for 10 days now and plan to be until I hit the bar with you guys ;-) (Did the same for Peru - a virtuous and sober soul was I for 2 weeks prior, then the first night hit the red with the group - fab!!)

I'm touched to see that Scottish foresters are in touch with their feminine side and take an interest in skin care!! Thanks for that Alan!!

jbooth sound desperate for a drink John!!!! My secrets out!!!!

As to the scottish foresters (& and that's kinda what I do) I beleived they used urine ... not tried it myself, a dab of JD behind each ear ......

That makes two secrets now out!!! What else will be revealed next?!? The tension mounts....


Cool, see you in the bar Gail! Hopefully some others too! Really looking forward to the trip!

The meagre cost of my Malarone!!! Next time I'll try and blag it that I live in Lambeth!!!

If our flight leaves at midday on 23/10, what time are you guys planning to check in?

And if we're meeting in the bar, is it too early to hit the sauce around 10.30am?!?!?


Yep first round's on me!! I'll probably be there really early as will be getting tube to Heathrow and after past experiences need to leave myself plenty of time! So thinking of checking in around 9.30ish if that's possible, then head through to security and departure lounge/bar. Could always meet at check-in as then we could all get seats together?!


Expect I'll be really early too ... desperate for a drink, in fact might not bother with the hotel and spend the night in the airport bar!! ;o)


Ha ha! I'll just look for the guy slumped in a corner dribbling! Also, is anyone buying any water purification stuff or do you think it'll be ok to get proper bottled water in Borneo??



Since we've not been asked by Exodus to make such provuision I am assuming it will be in supply?!

John, if you save cash on a hotel the night before, i reckon you can split the first round with Steph ;-)

I'll be there 9.30ish too I reckon. My aunt's not far from Paddington, so might cadge a lift from her and get the Heathrow Express (the cheap one, not the rip-off one!!)

Could meet at check-in, but think I already have a booked seat - asked Exodus a while back to bag me a decent spot!

Sure we'll be able to get bottled water. The only time we couldn't get it in Peru was the last 2 days of the Inca Trail and then the chefs boiled and cooled water for us and gave us sachets of fruit flavoured powder to sweeten it - kind of like squash!! Water purification tablets make the water taste foul!!


Guys, have you checked on weather recently? In KL thunderstorms have been constant for last two weeks, since I started monitoring. Miri and Kota Kinabalu is the same. Have no previous Monsoon experience, will test the first encounter on a big scale. :-)

Unfortunately I wont be joining you in Heathrow, will see you all in Miri on 24th of October, hope to share a drink then. ;-)

Spoke to Exodus last week, bottled water will be available in all camps except one.


Thanks for the advice about water guys, it's a relief not to have to buy anything else and drink foul tasting water! Monsoons should be interesting, I guess at least we'll get a good wash if there aren't any showers! Gail, I asked for a window seat but not sure if they've booked my actual seat. Will see what happens at check-in I guess!

Well, we did know from the Trip Notes that it would be going into rainy season. maybe I should pack my wellies...?!? Had monsoon (well, rainy season)experience in Thailand before now. - it's very wet!!!!

Steph, after I asked Exodus to book me a seat in advance, I got a mail from Joanna Zubr at Exodus giving me a reservation number and a link to which confirms my seat number. I've got 44K from Heathrow to KL. Also bagged the window seat ;-) Maybe you can contact her and see if they can get you a seat somewhere close to that (or far away from it, whichever way you feel ;-))


"John, if you save cash on a hotel the night before, i reckon you can split the first round with Steph"

The idea was to spend the night in the bar rather than the hotel ... not sure that represents a net saving!? ;o) Anyway, have opted for the hotel option, might be the last decent nights sleep for a fortnight.


What about the sun screen then? :-)


Yeah we may not need any! I just called Exodus and apparently they reserved me 45K when I asked for a window seat anyway. So I'm in the row behind you Gail!

Great stuff Steph! At least I'll know who I'm annoying when I put my seat back ;-) That said, I'm sure there would be comeback with a few strategic missiles lobbed from behind ;-)

John - don't forget the earplugs and blow-up pillow!!


Or even a classic kicking the back of the chair!! Of course I won't do that, though it is going to be a long flight so missile throwing would be more fun. Hope there's some good films on and lots of food/drink to entertain us!

Oh yeah! That's always a choice move on a long flight ;-)) If the film choice is anything like on Continental going to Peru, we'll spend the whole flight trying to choose what to watch!!!


Hi Folks,

Looks like we will be departing for hotter climes just as the colder weather arrives, what a shame hey!!! ;-), cannot believe holiday time is nearly here now :-)

It's official!! One week today - gulp!!!


... is that the sound of Gail falling off 'the waggon' I hear??

...though opportunities have been plentiful but I've stuck to my guns.

More like "Thud" - the sound of me falling off the bar stool at Heathrow at about 10.05 on Saturday ;-)

Just decided to check the chat forums and found this thread. I'll be flying from the USA. I'm very excited for the trip & can't wait to meet everyone Sunday!

First of all - welcome to Valerie! Safe trip from the good ol' US of A - look forward to meeting you.

Is anyone taking trekking poles for the Kinabalu climb? Mine were great in Peru on teh Inca Trail and I'm sure they'd come in useful on Kinabalu, but it just seems a bit of a fag to take them for a 2 day climb!

Half my packing is done!! Yeah, I know, rather advance planning but I've got a hell of a busy week ahead!!

Contacted Exodus. They reckon the sticks are useful, especially on teh way down (and from my memories of Peru, they were invaluable!!), so I think it's a yes for taking them!

Janis, thanks for the tip on Travelex online currency ordering. All is fine until you find out that you have to be UK resident with UK card and UK payment address to complete the order! UK card I can do, but not the payment address. Anyway, I've ordered by phone and will pick the Malay cash up Friday afternoon :-)


I agree re- walking poles Gail! I know a couple of people who've done the climb and they said poles really helped. Hoping to borrow some this week, or else I'll be panic buying on Friday. Am mostly all packed now too! Looking forward to meeting everyone!

If you buy poles Steph, Leki are a very good brand. Try to get the ones with suspension in them - they have some give, so less hard impact. They're not cheap - think I paid about £35 each for mine - but they're worth it. Also, make sure you get the rubber protector tips for them so they are more environment friendly :-)

Only 4 sleeps to go!!!!


Gettin' anxious now, hate travellin' but love arrivin'!!!

15 hours of flights?? What's they're to hate?!?! (she says dripping with irony....!) Well after 3 very bloody long days, I took the momentous decision to step off the wagon and enjoyed a bottle of champagne with a friend!! Well, got to get into practice for Saturday morning....!!



I have spent wonderful week in KL, now few more days left to rest and our journey into wilderness will begin! :-)

It is very humid and hot, sun is not strong, mainly covered by clouds, in some areas outside of KL it also covered by thick smog. Have not used sun screen, I don't feel like I need it, my white skin feels fine. Surprisingly, but no rain so far where I have been. Food? Mm... Traditional Malay food is very different to what we are us to, Chinese feels more familiar. In stress moments I have eaten even a Cheeseburger in McDonalds, but trying to avoid it. Already managed to get Diarrhea, lived with it for two days, now it is OK.

See you all in Miri in less than 3 days!

But don't worry, I will be coming armed with my medical kit - stuff to make you go, stuff to bung you up, stuff to rehydrate you, stuff for this, that and the other!!

All I need to do now is finish my work and go home, but it's 8.30pm now and I still have quite a lot to do, so best I get on with it!! See you all on Saturday!!!!


... decision to step off the wagon and enjoyed a bottle of champagne with a friend!! .... weak .... just no resolve some folk!! ;o)

Totally!! Turned out to be Dutch courage though for my 14 hour day at the office yesterday!!!


Last minute packing stress anyone?? The pile is bigger than the bag...

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