Trek: Our Amazing Jungle Guides

1st August 2017

If it weren’t for our jungle guides, I’m sure we would still be on the roadside where the coach dropped us off on our first day of trek. Without Perry, Ken and Kunor’s help, I’m not sure I would have made it to the top of ‘sexy bum hill’. Without them, trek would have been a very different experience.

The guides: Perry (left), Kunor (middle) and Ken (right).

I didn’t know what to expect on entering the jungle for 16 days, but I know I didn’t expect to meet three of the most incredible humans I’ve ever come across. It took them a few days to come out of their shells. But when they did, we discovered their amazing personalities and humour, and they became an irreplaceable part of our trek experience.

All our guides were humble, caring and had a solid sense of humour. They taught us the art of using a parang correctly; they led us and guided us as we trekked some difficult terrain; they taught us how to create jungle jewellery, including bamboo bracelets, necklaces, as well as bamboo mugs. I’d describe Perry as Mr Incredible – a man whose name was called all times of the day, any time of the day. Kunor too; he not only his 25kg backpack, but Marina’s as well when she needed a hand.

Climbing some tricky terrain.

Perry, Kunor, and Ken. The guys who got everyone to put their backpacks on, no matter how tired we were. The ones who built handrails and steps into the steepest downhill jungle slopes – within minutes. The guys who trekked in football socks and plastic plimsolls, and who provided an absolute feast, including pumpkin curry. The guys who know the best card games, and who use what the jungle offers to craft anything we need. The guys who move rocks during river crossings so that we don’t have to take our boots off, and who don’t let the rain phase them for a second; the smile always stays on their faces.

When the last day arrived, it was hard to accept that we had to say goodbye – so our guides ended up staying an extra night with us.

Living in a city like London, it’s hard to make such genuine connections with such genuine people as Perry, Ken and Kunor. The most generous and knowledgeable people, willing to share everything. Over the 16 days of our jungle adventure, they opened my eyes.

 

Words by Sadie

Photos by Perry, Ken and Kunor

 


 

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Coming up at Raleigh Borneo: 

August 2-11: Project Support visits

August 16-17: Changeover 2


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