One fine day, when we had some friends down from Holland, who by the way, were interested to see the Famous Dutch monkeys of Borneo (When the Dutch first arrived in these waters, they reminded the local people of the proboscis monkeys with their large noses and fat bellies that they called the Monkeys after the Dutch men “Monyet Belanda”) We decided to take a leisurely drive down to the little town of Weston. We started our journey to South, drove through the City headed to the town of Beaufort.
Our first stop was for a picnic at a local fish spa. It was situated besides a very scenic river. The local family who owned the land here had erected a shelter and some picnic tables for guest and the fish in the river had been trained to gently suck off your dead n for the skin when you sat in the river. The fish were rather large carp which thankfully were friendly and actually tickled you more than did anything else. While we were enjoying ourselves in the water, the guide Lawrence prepared a selection of local fruits for the guest to taste. Fortified with some cold beers from the cooler, it was soon time to move on to Beaufort town for a light lunch of Murtabak and teh tarik.
We soon came across a family of Proboscis monkeys that were settling down for the night. They were close to the bank and we were able to have a good view of them with the naked eyes. Soon we saw even more families of Proboscis, Silver haired languor and often a huge Fruit bat (Flying foxe) would fly above us on their way to dinner at some fruit orchard in the hills. Our boat man showed us how to use a cast net to catch the famous river prawns
We saw a lot of water buffaloes grazing on the river bank and they seemed more curious to look at us than we were of them. Leaving the Buffaloes we made our way back to a local fisherman’s house for dinner. The sun had started to set and soon the sky was a riot of red, gold, purple and blue colours, Weston is an excellent place to get dramatic views as the sun sets over the mangrove trees.
Dinner that evening was a simple but very tasty affair of Barbequed fresh river prawns served with a local sauce of Soya, chilli, onions and lime. By the time we had finished dinner it was dark and we made our way back under a sky lit with thousands of stars. Trying to outshine the stars were literally thousands of fireflies that lit up the mangrove like rows of Christmas trees. It was a magnificent ending to a magical day.
Text and photos by DAVID DE LA HARPE