The Pinnacles, Gunung Mulu National Park in Malaysia(Mathieu!! You are a superhero!!), Sep 13, 2013

On the 13th of September 2013,
my airplane, Miri to Mulu(09:20 – 09:50AM), was canceled!!
I was stuck in trouble 2 days in a row!!
I got a meal coupon again. How can they make a profit?

After I got a meal coupon, I met a Japanese guy named W-kun.
He lives an amazing life.
He engaged in volunteer activities in Kenya during his school days.
He works for a city hall at present.
He copes with complaints of local residents and rogues everyday.
Especially, a bunch of Japanese mafia, whom we call ‘Yakuza’, seem to barge into his office sometimes.
He must have nerves of steel.

MASwings provided an airplane to leave at 12:50.
That was also a little bit delayed.
Eventually, I got to the Head Quarter at Mulu National Park around 2:00PM.
I opened the entrance door and got into the office.
The staff said to me, « Hi, Mitsuharu! Welcome to Mulu. »
It was amazing.
The staff recognized me before I didn’t say anything.
There were a lot of Malay and Western tourists and
quite a few of Asian tourists besides Malay.
So, the staff might figure out.

Me: « My airplane was delayed. So, I missed the Pinnacles tour today. Do you have any ideas how to arrange my whole plan? »
Staff: « You can go there today. 2:30 to leave. I’ll make things done quickly. »

It’s unexpected, glad and heart-thumping response.
I was not prepared mentally.
This is because I was going just to hang around nearby place on that day.
I packed up my stuff for trekking in a hurry.
This one is necessary. This one is not necessary.
My brain fully operated.

When I went to the waiting point,
Mathieu and Catherine were already there.
We shared our joy that we could go to the Pinnacles.

I put my blanket on my backpack.
The blanket was curled up without cover.
The tour guide gave me a plastic bag not to be soaked by rain.
We wondered « Rain? It’s clear blue sky. »

We took on a boat and
left a jetty to Camp 5 where we stayed on that night.
A few raindrops fell down and cool wind breezed
within 10 minutes after leaving.
Catherine wore no-sleeves shirt.
It was cold enough so that Mathieu kept rubbing her arms.

When we reached to the other jetty,
it turned into driving rain.
To my surprise, the tour guide went back there.
He told us the path to Camp 5 is straight and hard to be lost.
We figured out that we must walk about 10km to Camp 5 by ourselves.
It was unbelievable.

Mathieu: « Can you walk fast? »
Me: « Yes. »
I usually walk more than 30km a day when traveling.
I indulged myself for one month after kidney biopsy.
This walk was the very first strenuous activity since then.
But, I still have a confidence for my legs’ strength.

However, this was wrong.
I’ve never walked with over 20kg baggage.
Plus they walked really really quickly.
I had to run to follow them,
when the distance between us was over 20m.
This happened over and over.

We went through muddy, slippery, tree sticking out path,
and a bunch of unstable bridges in the jungle.
When we went up a slope, our eyes popped out.
A river flooded and we couldn’t find our way.

I wondered.
« We are doomed. We can neither go nor get back.
We are stuck in the middle of jungle.
Does anybody help us? »
But, Mathieu carefully stepped into the flood.
I was impressed with his brave.
Who can do that which you’ve never know?

Mathieu stepped one by one through the knee-deep flood.
Suddenly, he’s gone. It looks like a bottomless swamp.
He was soaked to the top.

He came back, picked up a long tree stick somewhere and
started to look for our way.
He swam to the opposite side by 3m or so, kept to search our way
and went to nowhere.
All Catherine and I could do is to wait and wish his safety.
10 minutes or so later, he came back.
It seemed he found our way.

Mathieu and Catherine speak French, when they talk each other.
I’m not sure what they were talking about.
But, I’m a dream traveler.
The word « imagination » exists for me.

Mathieu: « Come here, sweetie! »
Catherine: « I can’t, honey! »
Mathieu: « Don’t be afraid! You can do it! »
Catherine: « Never! Crazy! »
Mathieu: « You are every reason, every hope and every dream I’ve ever had. Everyday we are together is the greatest day of my life. »
Catherine made up her mind to jump into the river and swam to the opposite side and said to Mathieu.
Catherine: « Do you know the first thing I want to do in the morning? »
Mathieu: « Tell me what, cutie? »
Catherine: « To look at your sleeping face, darling. »
I watched a romance film in the jungle.

10 minutes or so later, Mathieu came back.
It’s time that a supporting actor kicks in.
There is little time that a supporting cast is on the stage.
Everything has to be done quickly.
I grabbed Mathiue’s backpack which might weigh at least over 25kg.
I was not sure whether I could throw such a heavy thing to him by 3m or so.
However, it was emergency. The God gave me power.
Mathieu: « I’ll be back soon! Stay calm! »
A superhero caught his baggage tightly and called gently to me.

5 mintues or so later, I could see Mathieu coming back.
I was absorbed in his brave figure.
It’s time to take a picture of him.
I took my iPhone out of pocket and turned on in a harry.
Stupid iPhone!! Boost quickly!!
Don’t display an apple for such a long time!!
Mathieu already got to the opposite side.
I was afraid Mathieu got upset, mad and furious.
I didn’t take any pictures,
nevertheless I put my iPhone into my pocket.

After I swam the river,
the knee-or-ankle-deep flood path was over 30m.
I tipped over in the middle of the flood path.
« Goddamn!! »
I felt a sense of discomfort on my toe’s index finger.
Plus I didn’t have enough energy to run and catch up with them.
But, they, a superhero and a princess were kind enough to wait for me many times.

Around 6PM, finally, we arrived at Camp 5.
I felt relieved from my heart and collapsed on the ground.

==================================================

2days later, I took a video , when we returned from Camp 5 to HQ.
You don’t believe.
But, actually this all area were flooded.
That’s why we didn’t notice this bridge.
I surely threw our baggage to Mathieu and swam near this bridge.

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