After the skull caves, we had to pass through a jungle village to get to a waterfall. This was the first time I had seen a village up really close and it was absolutely fascinating. I kept referencing in my own mind that these guys lived without any modern facilities at all. It was much like us camping in the Australian bush with nothing but your wits to survive on. The houses were made from local materials with bamboo held tightly together to make the flat panels for the walls, thatching for the roofs all sitting on four or five foot high stumps to raising the floor from the ground. The windows had no glass and of course, the village had no electricity, no sewage system, and the only running water is the stream to slightly to the north. There were somewhere between 10 and 20 huts with the young teenage guys having a bunk house like structure built at ground level out the back of the village.
In the middle of the village was a table which stood about four feet off the ground, it was clearly used to keep the pots, plates and bowls, as they were all on it placed upside down. The pots were mainly large aluminum, like our camping bills spotlessly clean. My assumption being this table prevented the pigs and chickens that snuffled and pecked around the edges of the village from interfering with the cookware and cutlery. It would also slow down whatever wild creatures were lurking in the jungle around them.
At the back of the village, we headed out along a jungle track towards the waterfall, along the way our guide pointed out the various plants and trees and explained how people in the village used them. I had never seen the palms that produced sago, the staple diet of these people. The villages extracted the starch from the centre pith of these palms once the tree is around 15 years old. Used in all kinds of cooking in the villages, one palm tree produces a huge amount of sago and the flour. What a bounty this jungle has for the locals, and it is an absolutely privilege to see it still working has it has for thousands of years.
The jungle is dense here, with a beautiful small stream running through it. We break into a clearing that has a large rocky pool in front of cascading water. The fall would be about the height of a three or four story building covered on one side by trees clinging to the cliff and a natural rock stair case straight up the left side. We watched as one of the locals walk up this face as if it were a set of stairs in the local super market. One of our party had to try and we watched as he slowly edged his way to the top of the falls.
Some young villages had followed us and were now climbing up onto ledges on the face of the falls and jumping off into the water. It was fun to watch and they appeared to be having a great time. This is yet another beautiful spot and right on the doorstep of this village.
From here it was back to the Tawali Resort for lunch and this afternoons surprise.