From Boat Power to Zebu Power

An even earlier start the final morning on the river, I'm a bit bleary eyed and crumpled as we set off

The scenery makes up for it, we've entered a gorge and the rocks look amazing as the sunrise reflects off them

To our surprise we saw bats hanging from the cliff face, out in the open

We had an early stop at a bustling village on...dare I say it a sandbank. The guys seemed a bit shifty and went of towards the huts saying they were going to get a coffee- very unusual behaviour we thought. They left us at the edge of the water, where we found a randomly placed bench to sit on

The morning wore on

and we realised Henny Penny was being a bit quiet- in fact we couldn't see her. We questioned the guys and the admitted she'd been despatched during the night. We hadn't smelt any meat cooking and I suspect that our unexplained and rather odd stop at the village earlier had been their attempt at selling her body parts. There's a lot of fish on the river but very few chickens we'd noticed. It was not a subject to discuss but we were subdued.

It was a warm day with little shade until the guys hailed a bloke under a thatched shade. we pulled up and joined him and the two boys

The bloke pulled some birds (!) out of a bag

Sparrows, baby budgies and other small birds, all apparently destined for the cooking pot.

all alive and desperate to escape.

At least the puppy looked happy

We didn't realise but this was the final meal break, as at the next stop, we got out to walk for a while along the river bank and at the end of the walk were told the trip was over and we were at our destination.
Except that the actual contracted destination (remember that "business meeting") was 6kms down the track after some river crossings.
We were given the opportunity to off-load our luggage which I wasted no time in doing, the bags went into the zebu cart and I also took advantage to off-load my passenger, after all she's not going to enjoy river crossings

We said goodbye to Marietta and Fali. Nasulah was continuing on with us and fancied himself as the next Lewis Hamilton of the zebu world and picked up the reins

The guy in front with the white T-shirt?? Well he announced he would come on the bike with me and be my guide- why not I thought as he jumped on in his barefeet.

The zebu cart took off at a gallop while I was still getting my helmet on and making introductions with my "guide" - John the Baptist, OK it's actually Jean Batiste, but that is what it means.

We soon caught up with the cart, Abi was in the back barely able cling onto the sides and so she did well to take these photos as we followed

Abi's view from the back looking forwards

I finally had to hop up onto a footpath at the side to get past

I got to the village quite a time before them, found a hotel/bungalow place and grabbed a room, Their zebu cart came trotting along, with Abi now smiling as she realised her life was no longer in danger.

John the Baptist had been great as a pillion rider, cackling away as we sped along and ploughed through a river. He just clung onto the rack at the back and I didn't even notice he was there.

A cold as the sun set finished the day off nicely for me.