We declared it the best breakfast ever – maybe the food wasn't absolutely the best but the fun factor was 110 per cent!
Musical breakfast oh yeah!
After an early start (we were in the bus by 7am!) we drove from our anchorage at Tangung Bajau, into the centre of Singkawan. We stopped for breakfast in a small and bustling cafe where the coffee was strong and the food spicy (rice and chicken satay!). Our daughter, being vegan was taken in a tri-shaw to buy beautiful fresh fruit at the local market.
Chicken sate for breakfast?
While we were eating, a guitarist came in and serenaded us. He played lots of old favourites and before long people were singing along and having a great time.
Then the band arrived!
The guitarist had only been gone a few minutes when a whole band stepped into the small cafe! Two guitar players, an excellent fiddler, and a percussionist playing a beat box reeled off classic pop songs one after another – "Them ol' Cotton Fields Back Home", "Won't you stay a little bit longer" etc etc. By the time they got to "Hey Jude" every person in the restaurant was singing along.
It was such an excellent way to start the day!
We were on our way again heading to a Dayak village quite a long way into the hills near the border with Malaysian Borneo.
The blue dot signifies our tour bus
Such beautiful scenery
There were some spectacular views of tree covered hills, cultivated fields, unruly jungle and near villages. After about an hour and a half's drive we stopped at the gate of a Dayak community and after seeking permission from an elderly man at the gate drive in to look at the community long house.
The elderly chief gave us permission to enter Dayak territory
Unlike the traditional long houses, there was nobody living there, rather, we gathered, it was used as a community centre by the local Dayak people.
Climbing up to the Long House
Dayak artwork in the Long House
A Dayak diety
We hopped back on the bus and were soon winding our way up a mountain – higher and higher we went through a series of alarming hair pin bends.
Winding our way up the mountain
About an hour and a half later we had stopped again at a handicraft shop. The only things I was interested in weren't for sale so after a while we wandered off and made friends with a cow before boarding the bus again.
Modelling one of the items on sale
Making friends with a cow
Another half an hour down the road and we stopped again a warung (cafe) for lunch as guests of the local government. After a pleasant meal (with very welcome cold Bingtangs) we set off once again.
Washing our hands Indonesian style
A little after 3pm we finally arrived at the Dayak Village where we were greeted by a group of colorfully dressed dancers who welcomed us accompanied by a "gong orchestra".
Dayak dancers welcome us
We were presented with Dayak bracelets – all different, mine was a plaited band made from some kind of plant material. The welcoming party then offered us rice wine which tasted earthy and was poured from a piece of bamboo and drunk from bamboo cups. It had quite a kick!
Pouring the rice wine
Strolling through the sprawling Dayak village we noticed that most of the homes were made from traditional materials (but with tin roofs) and the floors covered with woven bamboo mats.
A traditional Dayak home
The people we met were so friendly and welcoming and as interested in us as we were of them.
One of the Dayak families we met
Many of the families sold handicrafts woven from bamboo and other plant materials and we all bought something to take back to our boats.
Fabulous Dayak baskets
After a wander through the village and chats with families as we went, it was time to get back in the bus as we had a visit to a white water rafting spot scheduled in a nearby river.
We were hoping to hop into a rubber ducky and try our hand at rafting but sadly as we arrived thunderclouds were gathering and any hope of a quick rafting experience was dashed.
There was just time to have a snack and a drink by the beautiful river before the storm broke and we had to make a dash for the bus for the homeward journey.