Sunday, January 23, 2011

Hop in! It's gonna be 28,200 km for the record

Mama Daisy and Inul ready to go.

On Friday 21st January we left our farm in Bintulu to proceed with our journey back to Kuching. We left the farm at 8.30 am in fine weather which was unexpected due to prevailing rainy monsoon season we're in these days. For that reason fospa had decided to skip Sibu town. Instead we took the bypass through Durin to escape any floods in Sibu town just in case. We have been staying in Bintulu over an extended time that is more than three months. Everyone seemed eager to go to Kuching after such a long lapse. Mama Daisy threw one last look at the farm ( see inset) and when everyone was on board off we go in fine spirits..

Looking up Mama reported " Inul, it's gonna be a sunny day. The journey should be fine. Ok, fospa rev up the engine ". "Ok, ok, k k k here we go!" fospa replied lovingly.
Scenes and stories along the way >>>

Oil palm integration by native farmers within existing multi-cropping system.

Typical countryside scenery between Bintulu to Sibu are the many smallholdings of oil palm trees that crop up on both sides of the highway. These smallholdings enable the native farmers to earn a decent living due to sustained and gradually increasing prices. About four years ago the FFB ( Fresh Fruit Bunches) prices of oil palm was RM 240 per ton. That was the price when fospa started to plant oil palm in our eco-farm . Today it hovers in the region of RM750 per ton for the lowest grade i.e. Grade C and above RM 800 per ton for Grade A. In the local practice by peasant Ibans and Malay cultivators, oil palm cultivation are well integrated into the existing farm landscape thereby making them more sustainable instead of the monoculture practised by the big plantation groups which are destructive on the original jungle landscape. In fact big plantation cultivation are prime destroyers of biodiversity in Sarawak - something Mama Daisy grumbles about every time she passes by the vast expanse of single cropping undertaken by big plantation companies in Sarawak . As at today there are slightly more than one million acres of forest land being taken by plantation groups in Sarawak. Can you imagine the amount of wildlife and tropical diversity that were in there disappearing in smoke? "Unbelievable is too kind a word!" Mama quipped. These big bodies scramble every available forest land from the government. But then Mama said we are not in politics...... we are pets, not pawns...but Inul we do have two votes don't we?

Mama Daisy loves her new blanket of a thousand dreams. Mama's habit haven't changed a bit. On long travels like this she takes the opportunity to sleep. Oh, how I envy her. On the other hand I find it difficult to have a nap . Fospa and fosma have noticed by now I even seldom eat even at pit stops. But not to worry fospa, this little girl gonna be fine.

Two pit stops - Sebangkoi and Sri Aman

Written in Malay the sign translates as 'Sebangkoi Recreational Park'. Besides being a picnic area for the people of Sarikei, this country park also serves as a convenient rest area for motorists travelling the Pan- Borneo Highway. More pictures of flora and fauna at Sebangkoi below:

Dragon fly at the pond of water lilies.

A huge liana or climber hugs tightly at a jungle tree at the park.

The last pit stop was at a canteen situated next to the junction before reaching Sri Aman. The white buildings on the left of the road leading to Sri Aman town are the complexes housing the police personnel's and department. In Sarawak most buildings belonging to the police department are painted in white and blue colours.

We left Sri Aman around 3.30 pm and it took us three hours to reach Kuching from there. Thus we arrived at Sarawak's capital city just before nightfall. Total time for the journey was within our normal record of 10 hours. There was no rain on this journey.

Note: Total cumulative distance achieved on trip 24th trip back Kuching = 28,200 km

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Friends droppin' by at the farm

" Tupai" or the squirrel

The Bulbul - or 'Kepulau' in local Melanau dialect.

My blanket of a thousand dreams

Hooray! At long last I have my own very blanket. Fosma took about a month to quilt a 'thousand dreams' blanket just for me. She did this at our home in Laman Kambatik, Bintulu. The size is more than ample for my little body. Thanks fosma for being so thoughtful. Love and kisses from Daisy.