Getting my Protest on……..

A company is wanting to Open Cast Mine behind their house in Chesterfield, UK. Today the Hilltop Action Group organised a protest march. I filmed it for promotion.

Please link, comment and share this to help stop Open Cat Mining in small communities.

Here is a little background information.

Provectus announced in April 2012 that it is planning to carry out open cast mining for 3 to 4 years between Tupton and Clay Cross to the west of the A61, Chesterfield, UK. Their intention is to remove up to 200,000 tonnes of coal by digging a hole up to 100ft deep.

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There are about 1300 houses within 500m of this site. In Scotland and Wales, such mining activity cannot take place within 500m of houses by law. No such protection exists in England. There are also nurseries, primary and secondary schools, care homes and doctors surgeries within 1km of the site. Expert opinion tells us that fine dust particles from the site may be harmful to health up to 5km away.

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Its so great to do something for my home community whilst I am back in the UK

Thanks for travelling

The Kid

@thekidtravels
http://www.thekidtravels.com

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One of the most AMAZING things I have done…..

Still on Expedition on 12 A I decided to attempt something a little crazy. We have 140 people taking part who all come back from project sites to base camp for 2 days every three weeks.
My idea was to film a full length music video in just one shot using everyone on expedition. Not only this, but to do the whole thing from choreography, direction, rehearsal and shoot in just 1 hour. I chose Jessie J – Price Tag.
To create a video that would usually need a massive budget, production team, weeks of planning, filming and post production.
At 8am on Friday16th March 2012 we started rehearsal, placing every person, teaching choreography, running the camera track and perfecting cues for 140 people. Everyone was to be running around a field that a camera is moving around in and never be in a shot unwanted.
At 8:59 we filmed the video in one Shot…… this is what we ended with.

This just proves what we can achieve in such a short amount of time….
Well done Expedition 12A…. You Rock !!!!!!
If you like this video I would love it if you would repost it. The 140 people who took part are still in the jungle and will not see this for a while. It would be great to have a load of hits for them…

A whole load of walking

Borneo has the Oldest rainforest in world and is home to some stunning landscapes. Over the past 6 months I have had the opportunity to trek across some amazing ground with spectacular vistas.

I have been trekking in groups of 12 along with local guides. I was a track leader which means working alongside the guides in the task of leading 10 people through the jungle. the treks generally last 11 days and we are resupplied with food only once in this time. this means carrying heave packs with all your clothes, and personal belongings with a personal tarp (to keep the rain off when you sleep) and an army hammock. Each night we set up camp and cook over an open fire which is both amazing and challenging. Rainforest is wet and so is the wood, but it is always possible. we also carry a Radio with dipole for communications with Fieldbase, jerry cans river water to drink, food, a medical kit, GPS unite and washing and cooking equipment. needless to say it is crazy heavy.

But carrying you entire life one your back is amazing, interesting and backbreaking. the video I made below tells most of the story.

Thanks for travelling

The Kid

Going a little deeper.

I first came to Sabah 6 months ago and since then I have become lost in its majestic jungle and heart warming community. The rainforest here is some of the oldest on the planet and is home to a spectacular amount of wildlife. From the stunning rhino hornbill to the famous orang utan, the long tonged bat and the tree frog all the way to the blue ringed octopus and the smallest bear on the planet, the Sun Bear, all of which I have had the great fortune to see. It’s a wilderness out here, a wild island of bio diversity which is fast slipping between our fingers.

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The brutal onslaught of palm oil plantations and industrial logging is quickly changing this incredible landscape. In a effort to protect areas of this hugely important rainforest I have just taken part in a bio diversity study. This is part of an initiative set out by The Asian Forestry Company (AFC) who a few years ago acquired a lease for 60,000 hectares of land for sustainable logging. Since acquiring the land they have not yet cut down a single tree, instead they have spent years of research and planning to make the project truely sustainable for both the land and the local villages. Firstly they flew plains over the area scanning the ground to get accurate information for things like, elevation (certain plants and animals only live at certain altitudes) water sources (vital for local villagers and animals alike) and migration corridors (areas of land that animals use to move from one area of forest to the other). With this information it is my understanding that AFC will only log in the less naturally important areas. Not only this they have been working with the 54 villages in the acquired land to give them land rights and assurance that they will not destroy any of their land. All the area is forest that was logged in the 1970’s so is secondary rainforest and will be cut down on a 10 year cycle to reduce catastrophic land damage.

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After meeting with Drew Boshell one of the managing directors to discuss the project I have to say that I was overall impressed. I drilled him with questions to I received honest and open answers. As he put it, logging is not going away we use wood for everything, it gets cut down in Borneo sent to china and Vietnam to be made into furniture and then sold in Europe and America. This is not about to change, but we can change the source of the wood and that is AFC’s mission.

One of the key founders of AFC was one of the creators of the concept for carbon footprinting which leads me to think the intentions are good. One type of area they are aiming to mark out are High Conservation Value Forest (HCVF). This are areas that are particularly dense in bio diversity. Once a bio diversity study has been completed the area will become protected from logging.

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I was in the Pitas district which is in in the north of Saba in an area of land that has been labeled the ‘Coupe 8 conservation area‘.

For the study we set out two routes, a river route and a hill route. The river track is used for two different trails, the first is for collection of birds and bats. Mist Nets are are made from very fine thread and set in an opening along the river. Bats and birds fly into the net and get caught. We check these twice a day a caught a variety of bats including the long tonged brown bat, king fishes and spider catchers. Unfortunately from time to time the animal will die whilst caught in the net. I found it hard to deal with at first but when you look at the bigger picture it most defiantly is worth it.

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The second purpose for the river route is amphibian capture, this is done at night and is very low tech. Using normal flashlights we searched up the river until we saw a frog, I have to say I didn’t spot a single one but our guide was an absolute pro at spotting their eyes found in the light. he could spot them all the way down the river and was confused when we couldn’t see them. Then it’s just a case of catching them with your gloved hands. The first few are tricky but its a pretty fast learning curve and before we new it we had caught 8 species in one night including a tree frog.

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The hill trail is for small mammals like rats, slow loris and civil cats. We used bait traps for this wich are small cages who’s door is triggered by a small piece of banana. During my time on the project we only caught rats but let me tell you they are not at all ugly like city sewer rats. They are more like squirrels without the bushy tail.

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Oh, and it rained. It rained every day, nearly all day everyday. Clothes never dried and feet got unbearably wet but I guess it’s all for the cause.

It was an awesome experience nboth for the greater picture and the opportunity to get up close with animals and find out more information about them. Each animal we identified and took down some vital information. With this data it’s possible to estimate the type of species in the area, their population and their spread all of which is vital to conserve the area of land.

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Directly resulting from this data the area of land will become a conservation area that cannot be deforested. This truly was an awesome thing to take part in and easy to see the value of such a study.

Thanks for travelling

The Kid.

Here’s a video I made about the project.

Falling Trees, climbing trees and living under trees

Phase two of the Raleigh international 11K expedition I was back down in Primary Rainforest. With a new team of 13 including the other project managers, Jen (I am still in love with you) and Julian (I hate this guy, jokes). This phase we only had to trek in our food which gave time to do some other spectacular things like climb a 60m high tree to look out into the canopy.

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To climb the tree we had to pull ourselves up the steel ladder that was haphazardly arttached to the tree. The first platform was 20m and then there was another twice that hight. Jen, who is a bit of a bad ass went first and when she arrived at the second platform it was sealed shut, the ladder just went to the bottom of it. Hanging from just one hand at 40m above groud Jen forced a trapdoor open to make way to the top. Hardcore!!!!

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The view from the wobbly platform at the top was amazing. Only 4 people we allowed on each platform at a time and only one on the ladder which made it like one of the math problems you have to solve at a business development weekend.

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After this it was back to trekking at straight into UlU Purut camp 8km into the heart of primary rainforest. He we spent about 14 days working on the site putting in the support posts for the bathroom. It’s tough work in the wet heat of the rainforest. It’s amazing how wet it really is. Not only does it rain every day but even when it is dry the moisture in the air is so dense that damp clothes just get wetter. We would was our clothes in the river and then hang them to dry in the sun (which we saw for only a few hours a day) but then they had to go into a dry bag no matter how wet they were as over night even with no rain they would be soaking. Working with Julian’s ninja jungle technique worked but that meant washing you clothes everyday then putting them on wet the fooling morning. I took spares and dried them for a few days.

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Working meant digging wholes, chiseling iron wood, collecting rocks and levelling ground. The there was mixing cement, moving the stones and moving the stones again (Rufus, son, I feel your pain)

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Not only was there a lot of work but there was a whole load of play. We build thenVally Casino complete with Blackjack table and Roulette wheel and table. We build a swing, a door and some viewing benches. We laughed, we smiled, we fooled around and we laughed some more. The team was like a well oiled machine, amazing.

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We Cooked meals for the group each evening and sat around the table elbow to elbow. In the PRD we introduced a few things like an inspirational speech every morning, a prayer to our god ‘James’ every evening before dinner and an inspirational song played before bed. We cooked three layered cakes, doughnuts and even a full English breakfast.

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There was always a little time each day to spend next to the river to bask in the sun and just chat and chill out. The heart of the rainforest is a stunning place to relax and spend time with your thoughts. To be peaceful and share the moment with those around you and those who are not there.

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Ollie brought a ukalali with him which I learned to play queens ‘fat bottomed girls’ on a spent the whole phase rewriting the lyrics into awful songs. Sorry guys. This phase I decided to buy a cutthroat razor for 1 Ringitt ($0.30) and shave with it in the jungle. I am happy to say I did not cut myself once but it sit pull a lot and hurt like hell. jules opted for the Mac 3 good choice.

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Towards the end of the phase we came off the the worksite for a break at around 10:30amto a massive downpour of rain which was not so unusual. Then there was a massive crack that sounded like thunder about 10m away, which was not too far from the truth. A 40m high tree had just collapsed and came crashing to the ground. Now I really don’t know how to explain the feeling when a colossal tree just collapses next to you and crashes down about 20m away from where you are standing. Our hearts we pounding and there first thing I had to do was a head count to make sure everyone was ok. Amazingly the last guy had just got back and was literally a few feet away from the falling tree. To put it into context the tree tree was a few hundred years old and if anyone got injured it is a minimum of 29 hours to get someone to a hospital. It was crazy. The tree fell across the river and into the rangers camp where the were 4 people, remarkably not a single person was hurt. It was a real heart stopper.

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A few days later we trekked out at the end of he phase. On the last morning we got up at 3am so we could climb the global observation tower to see a truly spectacular sunrise. For all you photographers the golden hour at its best.

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This was a truly amazing time in the Jungle working on a great project with some fantastic people. There are plenty of more images wich can all be found on my photography website

Thanks for travelling

The Kid

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Back from the Jungle

I’m back.
I haven’t written a post in months but for a very good reason. I have been project managing for the charity Raleigh International in the heart of Bornean rainforest. Raleigh international is a youth development charity which uses environmental, community and trekking projects to encourage the Venturers to think openly about the world we inhabit. The ten week expedition is split into three phases, this blog will focus on the first.

I flew into Kota Kinabalu (the capital of Malaysian Saba in Borneo) at the end of September to embark on two weeks of training including medical, physical and soft skill training. At the end of this more than 60 17-24 year olds arrived for the expedition. After spending a week training them it was time for deployment.

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I was going to the far eastern part of Saba Borneo to Danum Vally which is a large protected area of virgin rainforest. Virgin means it has been untouched by man and is some of the oldest rainforest in the world. There are trees more than 1000 years old and reaching up to 87m in hight. Myself and the rest of the team of 13 were incredibly privileged to go here.

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Of the 7 hour bus rinse 4 hours were flanked by none stop palm oil plantations. This is one of the main struggles the borneo environment is battling with. Hundreds of thousand of hectares of rainforest has been destroyed to plant this mono crop uninhabitable by wildlife.
We jump out of the bus at ‘Banana Junction’, it has a real nam but they sell amazing banana fritters there. We hopped into 4 4×4’s with all of our food, bags, medical kit Amd radios for 21 days away from any form of society.

We drive for 3 hours to Danum Vally Field Centre where we will stay for the first few nights. Here, in Mengaris Camp, we have to re all of our food and equipment to transport it into the Jungle. mengaris is on the edge of primary rainforest and we were heading 8.2km into into the heart of it to a place called Ulu Purut.

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Each of the the piles you see above is our rations for a whole day between 13 people. Aaaaargh. To get all of the food and equipment (including 1/4 ton of cement) into Ulu Purut we had to spend 3 days trekking the stuff in half way (4km with full packs followed by 4km back out with empty packs). We would leave everything covered with leaves at the base of a huge buttress tree. Then on the 5th day we trekked the full 8.2km to Ulu Purut with our personal gear and food for 1 day. The rolling 3 days were collect all the the gear. HARCORE.

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The full trek takes between 5 and 6 hours and is not simple. Massive hills, river crossings, mud and so much rain. All this with a massive backpack (I carried a 20kg gas bottle all the way in).

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Once in the heart of the Jungle it was time to start the work. We are building a research camp for biologist to help with research in the forest. Currently scientists have to stay at field centre on the edge of the Virgin Rainforest, this means there reach is relatively small. In a clearing we are building a ‘basher’ house (a covered building that contains hammocks) small kitchen and bathroom that scientist will be able to stay in to extend there reach. Working with Yayasan Saba the project is helping to continue the protection of the area and hopefully extend it to preserve and entire migration path accross Saba.

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Living in in this Rainforest is both primitive and privileged. We drink from a river, we wash in the river and play in the river. The river is pretty much the most important thing to us and there is nothing better at the end of a hard days work than playing in this spectacular place.

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One of the Venturers and a great friend of mine Ollie said one day whilst we we sitting at the serene waterfall, ‘it’s like a paradise’ he was wrong, it is a paradise. Spas all over the world spend millions trying to recreate what nature has given us for free.
The jungle towers over 80m above you at the canopies highest point but benighted that is the sub canopy and where all the primates live and then there is the wet, rotting, muddy forest floor filled with insects, this is where we survive. Everything wants to eat you, from fire ants to scorpions, mosquitoes, snakes, hand sized spiders and the worst of them all, the leach. These little wet slug like cretins come from anywhere and suck your blood. They like dark warm places (yes you guessed it) and you can’t even feel them until they a full and drop off.

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As soon as they bit you they inject anaesthetic so you can’t feel it, then they inject anticoagulant, this stops your blood from clotting so you just bleed and bleed and bleed. Johnny knows all about this, he basically bread nonstop for three weeks.

One night I went to get into my hammock and there was a little scorpion sitting on the end of it, then it just ran under my sleeping bag. So tired I just shrugged it off and got into bed, it wouldn’t kill me after all. Hurt like hell but not kill me.

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It was truly an amazing place to be and I w with a spectacular team, thank you Alpha 3 and the PRD (People’s Rupublic of Danum) more photos can be found at My photo Website.

Thanks for Traveling

The Kid

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The life of a fish Market

I am now in Kota Kinabalu in the Sabah region of Borneo. It is probably the largest of towns (cities) in Malaysian Borneo and has a real gritty working atmosphere. So far my favourite part of the city has been the fish Market. It is a pretty huge peice of concrete directly on the water from which during the day is completely empty. The concrete is burning hot from the sun, even the rats and cockroaches don’t venture on the vast concrete sheet.

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At 4 pm all of this changes. Slowly locals arrive and bgin wheeling out huge boxes and tables and chairs, cooking pots, electrical cable, tarps, gas burners, literally everything it would take to make a massive Market.

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Everybody is working from all generations of the family, 9-90.

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Many of the fishing boats are already sitting in the port, laden with fish, waiting to be brought ashore to be sold in the evenings events. As the sun sets spectacularly over the busy fishing boats the Market begins to buzz.

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You can buy so many different types of fish like large yellow fin tuna which the cut up and creates a thick bloodbath which you must walk through to purchase the fresh produce.

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They have many types of grouper one of which is spotted like a leopard but they call it the soldier grouper.

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The Market is busy with locals buying up the fish as quickie as possible. Plastic bags are filled with fish that is handed by every passer by wanting to check the quality.

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Next to this huge area there is what I can only describe as the Market restaurant district. Tables upon tables lined up with huge griddles of cooked fish and crustations at the resting on the end. Here you just select the food you want and moment later it is served with rice and a spicy salsa on one of the huge communal tables.

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For about 17 Ringitt ($7, £4.5) you can buy a whole fresh fish, rice and a bottle of water. and it doesn’t come fresher than this.

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This truly is a Malaysian experience. I was full with food and full with culture. Perfect. I got talking to a lot of people as I ate too which just makes travelling a great pleasure.

Thanks for Travelling

The Kid

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Broken paths, Floating Villages and Amazing Mosques.

After a lazy start I grabbed some breakfast at ‘Da Cafe’, a great coffee shop in the heart of Bandar Seri Begawan City, Brunei. I was finished by 10:30am and already it was 32*C, I was wondering what the point of clean clothes was. Headed down to the waterfront where I found a number of small wooden boats hovering at the bottom of some steps. As I approached the drivers (or should I call them captains) bust from their melancholic state into a perfect example of ‘survival of the fittest. They were all asking if imwanted to be taken around Kampung Ayer (the Floating Village). Apparently it has earned the name of the Venice of the East however this village is over 500 years old and the largest floating village in the world.
I bartered the price down from $25 for 45mins to $15 for an hour. Moments later I was in the boat named ‘Chelsea, The Pride of London’ and whizzing down the river with Azmi at the helm.

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First of all we headed south deeper into the jungle for views of the mosque, the old kings residence and a massive floating primary school. Further along the river we passed the kings new residence and wow, it is huge. We were only able to see the roof but apparently in has 1,000 rooms and is the largest royal residence in the world. Brunei gained it’s independence from the UK in 1984 and is a very wealthy country mainly due to it’s oil and gas reserves. Further down the river we passed some boats fishing for giant prawns.

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The floating village is quite simply amazing. Just house after house standing about 8 feet above the water on stilts. Many are still build on wood which means the stilts have to be replaced every 4-5 years. The new ones are built on concrete stilts.

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The houses have wooden walkways down the side (streets) and bridges between what I guess we would call estates/blocks. The only way to get around the village, which is more like a city, is by water taxi which operate more like busses. Inside Kampung Ayer they have have everything from restaurants to schools and fire and police stations. below is a photo of the police station complete with small prison.

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Azmi, who lives in the village, told me about the free healthcare, free education, no income tax and the $1000 each family receives each year to pay for school uniforms and books and pens. I asked if he makes a good living, he instantly replied with a huge smile ‘yes, if you work hard at school everyone can make a good living here’. He payed $2,200 for the boat and $6,300 for the engine and makes enough money for himself and his four children.

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I jumped off the boat Andes headed straight to the must see Sultan Umar Ali Saifuddien Mosque. It’s sharp white walls and golden domes look like an oil painting against the vibrant blue sky. Apparently the spike on the top of the dome is made of pure gold.

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As I moved around the back of the mosque I could see a walkway going directly into the floating village. So just like a kid I jumped onto the stilted walkway and headed into the depths of this unknown world. It is an absolute labyrinth of walkways getting narrower and less stable. Apparently each house has a number and street name all with postcodes, it must be quite the challenge delivering to these places.

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Just after the above photo was taken everything nearly went a little wrong. My camera was standing on my back pack an as I got next to it one of the rotten planks on the walkway broke and went crashing to the floor below. I nearly fell through it but caught myself, knocked my camera over and grabbed it as it tumbled towards the end. I even saved my flipflop. Phew.

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Then came the tropical rain. Hot sticky and very wet.

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It was time for a little more culture so I headed to the Royal Regalia Building. If you are ever in Brunei this is a must do and it’s free. No cameras are allowed but this museum contains everything from the coronation uniforms to the knighting sword. You have to enter with bare feet and once you have got over the sensation of the freezing cold tiles you will see gifts from what seems like every country on earth. There is the Olympic torch from Korea, a vase from queen Elizabeth II and some stunning artwork from Vietnam. There are guns, golf balls, model boats, goblets, glasses, swords, pens and paintings all of the most ornate designs from con tries like Canada, Syria, Malaysia, Ghana, Chile and Pakistan to name a few. I whipped round in about an hour but you could spend half a day there easily. No photos allowed though, sorry.
As I came out it was rush hour in the city which consists of a few extra cars and a lot more water taxis.

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I have to say that people in Brunei are some of the most welcoming and kind people I have encountered. People have waved at me in the street and answered all questions with delight. Even now whilst wring this blog I met Joshua, a guy from Brunei interested in performing arts and has invited me to come back some day. He wants to start the first theatre group here and was full of questions. A moment later I was sitting across from a journalist doing an interview for a news paper.

My day ended with sweet and sour prawns, garlic bok Choy and a fresh lime juice. Delicious.
Oh and one final look at the mosque at night.

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Brunei really is a wonderfully calm country. I am in the Capitol city which feels more like a small town. I do have one question, with a country with such a small population and a city that seems empty why do so many people live in houses over the river?

Thanks for travelling

The Kid

NOTABLE THINGS.
– Brunei has the larges floating village in the world
– when it rains it pours
– it is always hot here.
– Brunei was a British colony until 1984.

My blog: which you are reading.
Twitter: @thekidtravels
Flickr: thekidtravels

Sydney to Brunei without plans.

On Sunday 18th September 2011 I said my goodbyes and hop pen on a plain from Sydney airport headed for Kuala Lumpur. I was off on my next adventure, Project managing 3 projects in Borneo with Raleigh International I thought I would be signing off this digital world for there months and I probably will but I just ended with some internet and a little story to tell.

I had packed my bags carrying everything for the next 3 months including sleeping bag, roll mat, hiking boots, cooking tins, work clothes, a mammoth first aid kit and a load of other things. However I squeezed it into one backpack weighing just 19kgs. Wow I hardly own anything.

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I was at the airport trying to check in for my flight to Brunei , a tiny country on the north side of the island Borneo, when I ran into a little problem. I did not have a flight out of Brunei which means I would be declined entrance and deported home to the UK. Oops. The thing is I am supposed to be in Kota Kinabalu in 4 days to meet the Raleigh international team. I had no idea how I would make the trip up the north coast of Borneo and over the Malaysian border but I new I would make it. However the lady at the airport didn’t seem convinced and started telling me about the huge fines the airline would incur if in was refused entry. Anyway a littler sweet talking later and I was running through the airport to catch the soon departing flight. I made it and slept for most of the 8 hour flight.
I had 6 hours in Kuala Lumpur airport before my 2 hour flight to Brunei. Somehow in all this time I did not check anything about the country, where to stay, where the airport was or even what currency they use. Needless to say I was unprepared.

Somehow I ended still running for this flight, I sat down and that’s when I realised I had no idea what I was doing when I got off the other side. I mean does anyone have any idea what to do when arriving in Brunei? I just had to make up an address for where I was staying in Brunei. The have ‘Holiday Inn Hotels’ everywhere right? Oh and it clearly said if any false information was given there is a $40,000 fine and up to 3 years in prison. It also said drug traffickers would be killed. They repeated this on the speaker system too.

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Next thing was to find out what the currency was. 5 minutes later I was standing there with 60 Brunei dollars. I asked where I could get a bus into the city and I was told outside for a dollar. Sweet, everything is going well so far. So I walk through the taxi rank and ask a driver for directions who replied ‘walk over that bit of grass, cross the highway then walk down the flowerbed for 5 minutes then there will be a roundabout, the bus comes there sometimes. Ok so this was not so straight forward so I asked how much a cab would be, $25, so I headed for the flowerbed.
10 minutes later I am standing at a roundabout sweating in the heat with 19kgs on my back waiting for an illusive bus.

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This got boring within Bout 2 minutes so I did something which is probably breaking all the backpackers rules. I stuck my thumb out and tried to hitch a ride. I have no idea about this culture and if anything like this is acceptable.

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It only to about 10 minutes and I hopped into the back of a minivan with two guys lively chatting (or arguing) in the front. Luckily they spoke English and were happy to do the 20 minute drive into the city. They asked where I wanted to be, I had no idea and asked if there was a bus station.

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During this trip I picked up a few bits of information on what to see and how I might get to Kota Kinabalu. When I asked what there was to do at night I learned that Brunie is a dry state, meaning there is no alcohol allowed. Good to know as I remember I have a hip flask of Grey Goose Vodka in my backpack. Remember what I said about fines and prison sentences, well you have to go through double customs meaning you have two opportunities to declare anything. I had just lied and was carrying illegal goods. Oops.
I just kept quiet and got dropped off in the middle of the city. I said thank you and I was alone again. Ok it’s 6pm and I need somewhere to stay. I walk for two minutes and as a security guard on the street who pointed me in the direction of a guest house which was only minutes away. This is what I found.

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With nowhere else to go I walk up the mouldy staircase to the 3rd floor where an electronic buzzer goes off and a recorded voice squeaks ‘welcome’. I get a room for what amounts to about £10 but I could have booked it buy the hour. (always a good sign!).

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If it was 30*C outside it was about 40*C in this room. I fought with the zircon unit for about 5 minutes before I gave up and asked one of the 7 family members from 3 generations on the front desk. The problem was that really hard thing to find which is on the wall right in front of you.

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The room was cooling off and as I opened my back I found the illegal vodka had leaked all over my bag. Well it had mostly been soaked up by a pair of brand new socks.

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So I’m sweating in my mouldy room in a country i no nothing about knowing nobody for miles (countries) with a pair of vodka soaked socks. There was only one thing to do. Suck the socks dry. I had one go at this and realised it was a bad idea so headed for a shower instead. I poured the rest of the illegal vodka away, I had lasted this long with it but even I don’t want to experience prison in Brunei.

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I took a shower and washed the clothes I had warn for this lengthy and eventful journey. The water was refreshingly cold but it was hard to feel clean when it was so hot and humid as soon as the tap was off. I contemplated the day and threw my towel over my shoulders. It had been quite the journey and as I stood in my new travel towel that was too small and still having the label ‘wash before use for best results’ I thought right now I could do with a nice cold beer.
No chance of that though…… Aaaargh. Where’s that vodka sock.

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As always everything turned out just fine and I go to see this spectacular sunset of the Mosque. I have just drunk some sort of soy drink (which is really nutty) and showed down on some spicy green curry. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.

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Thanks for travelling

The Kid

NOTABLE THINGS.
– Being early for a flight doenst mean you won’t have to run for it
– Checking laws in a country before you enter is a good idea
– Vodka through a sock is not good, even if it is clean and the vodka is Grey Goose.
– I’m still alive.

My blog: which you are reading.
Twitter: @thekidtravels
Flickr: thekidtravels

1055 Forward Rolls Hurt….

So today was the Big day. I had challenged myself to Forward roll over the 7 Bridges of Sydney. Which is around 2.7km of forward rolls on concrete in one day. Here is a video of the day.

I was woken at 5:45am by Dan Cooper my Support Team Chief, took a quick shower, ate some porridge, then ate an omelette, stretched out a little and got dressed in all my gear. I wore a spinal support, knee pads and elbow pads donated by Motorcycle Race Gear of Melbourne. Over the top I wore a padded rugby rugby top and rugby scrom helmet which was kindly supplied by Impact Rugby. I looked a little rediculouse but I was definitely prepared for the day.

By 7am I was in the Ute (donated by WEM) with my support team Dan, Nae and Ellie. after about a 15 minute drive were at the first bridge. at 7:32 I did my first roll on Fig Tree Bridge.

The First Roll - Fig Tree Bridge at 7:32am

 7 minutes and 20 seconds later I had done 64 foward rolls and completed my first bridge.  Next up was Tarban Bridge. I started here at 7:59 am and did 54 forward rolls in 3 minutes and 20 secounds.

Tarban Bridge

Bridge number three, Gladesville Bridge was the first real challenge. A lot longer and steap on the way up and the same on the way back down. This one took 12:23 and 188 forward rolls. I felt super sick after this but had developed two great techniques the ‘Ninja’ and the ‘tuck ball’ one for distance and the other for rhythm.

After short break we moved onto Iron Cove Bridge. Now this bridge I kind of enjoyed, we got the music out and the sun was shining. Although it was super windy and freezing cold. At this point my back was starting to get really sore and you could see a red patch growing at the top of my spine. I pushed on and finished this bridge 11:24 rolling 156 times. After this bridge I had to stand outside for 15 minutes to get some air. My body felt great my mind was focused by the stomach was turning faster than I was rolling.

Only Three more to go. I had the Famous Anzac bridge which really took some doing as it was long, I was tired and it had a bit of an incline. It was 11:20 by the time I finished this bridge doing 174 rolls in 12:02.

Anzac

Two bridges to go. Next up was Pyrmont Bridge directly over Darling Harbour. It was time for the buckets to come out. Taz had arrived to pump a in little new energy and give her support. this bridge took just 11.12 minutes and 170 rolls as well as more than $70 dollars in the Bucket.

Pyrmont Bridge

It was’t even 12:30 and I only had the one bridge to go. But this was not just any bridge it was the longest and the most famous. It was time to roll over the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Starting at 1:35pm the first roll hurt, a lot. The pain in my back shot from the top of my spine to the bottom. The 550m long bridge is in a perfect curve, first half up hill and second half down hill. This was tough on my legs , painful on my back and challenging for my neck. But the team was puping me with energy and the fight was on.

Sydeny Harbour Bridge

It took a couple of conversations with security guards to get across the bridge who told us we were being watched on camera. The final bridge took 23:17 to do 249 rolls. Success.

The Finish Line

In total I did 1055 rolls in just over 79 minutes of constant rolling. I finished over 2 hour ahead of my target but regardless of the amazing gear i used my body still took quite a hammering. here is what my back looks like.

Painful Back

I’m not ure how walking is going to go tomorrow. So I did all of this to raise money to volunteer with Raleigh International on a 10 week environmental expedition. I have raised more than $2,250 of my $2,900 target which I am extremely happy with.

Thank you for travelling.

The Kid