Mel has already written about the teacher recce to Borneo last month but I wanted to add a few pics and thoughts from the trekking element of the trip. It appears that scuba diving is more popular and not many schools sign up for jungle trekking ‰ÛÒ I am not quite sure why ‰ÛÒ if you‰Ûªre coming to Borneo surely you have got to try some jungle trekking (having said that our dive teams do get some jungle time but its not same if you‰Ûªre not carrying your life on your back for a few days!). So I was lucky enough to split off from the main group with a small team of hardy jungle trekkers – åÊLizzie, Ben, Matt and Clare ‰ÛÒ accompanied by our illustrious jungle expert Mike and carefully driven around by the one and only Fendy! We departed from KK in a leisurely manner, the divers having left at ‰ÛÏsparrow‰Ûªs fart‰Û several hours earlier to catch their boat, and meandered our way up through the stunning scenery to the base of Mt Kinabalu. I have driven this route so many times I sometimes forget to take in the stunning scenery ‰ÛÒ and even after many years it is still stunning, with long views across to the mighty Mt Kinabalu, the lower foothills, steep slopes covered in thick jungle and low lying cloud in the valley bottoms below. We arrived at Sabah Tea in time for a gourmet lunch and the obligatory glass of locally and organically grown iced tea. We then checked out our accommodation for the night (a huge long house in rooms or 2 and 3) and prepped for our afternoon‰Ûªs jaunt along some of the jungle tracks. The aim was to give the teachers a taste of what it is like to walk in the jungle ‰ÛÒ and boy what a taste they got! Right on queue, literally 30 seconds after stepping out of the van and onto the first section of the trek, the heavens literally opened ‰ÛÒ and we are not talking a meagre UK style shower ‰ÛÒ we are talking full on torrential tropical downpour. We were soaked to the skin within a minute. There had been much discussion earlier about waterproof jackets and their varying effectiveness ‰ÛÒ those wearing them put them to the test ‰ÛÒ the verdict? The winner = åÊa cheapo poncho which allowed for some air circulation, covered the rucksask if necessary but also went down below the waist and hence a dry crotch. And so we trekked onwards and upwards, experiencing the full jungle effect in 2 hard but highly enjoyable hours. The jungle effect?……Lashing torrential rain……slippery tracks……carrying a rucksack and squeezing through and past fallen trees across the track….far off thunder and lightning making us feel exposed on our hill……discussion and worry initially about snakes but quickly forgotten….leeches (oh yes and well done to Clare who mastered her fear and pulled two off other peoples bodies without so much of a shake, shiver, quiver, scream or delay!! :-))……thirst and dehydration……dirty butt from slipping over……the joys of the team becoming stretched out along the trail and the back becoming separated from the front….(slow down at the front!!)…..getting soaked through to our knickers……the life saving and “crotchly” benefits of talc….a great sense of achievement afterwards….serious appreciation of the hot showers on return to the longhouse (well the boys appreciated it, the girls showers were cold apparently, hehe) and above all else a fantastic sense of camaraderie. We had only known each other for 24 hours but already had endured more than most and had bonded via our joint adventure. Its difficult to put into words or to explain to those who don‰Ûªt experience it, but this is why jungle trekking and its hardships are such an awesome experience.     The remainder of the 24 hours together whizzed by and it was like we were in the company of old friends. We took the tour at Sabah Tea and became experts on detecting cheap non organic imitations. We climbed up into the trees to see the canopy from above at Poring Hot Springs. We ate ice creams. We saw a blooming Raflessia flower (the largest flower in the world) and we ate roti with egg and curry and drank stewed tea. It was great fun and I felt privileged to once again get out from behind the desk and realise what an awesome place the jungle is. Thanks team trek!åÊ