‘S’wak more developed, cleaner, has more English speakers than Sabah,’ praises German traveller (Travelogue Day 8)

Peters (right) and D'Drift Team posing for a photo after our conversation by the Borneo Tropical Rainforest Resort. Photo taken on March 18, 2024

By D’Drift Team

BINTULU, March 18: ‘I am surprised to find Sarawak (is) more developed, cleaner, and has more English speakers than Sabah—which is good for me,’ says German-born avid traveller Wolfgang Peters.

It was an unexpected and seemingly destined encounter for the D’Drift Team at Borneo Tropical Rainforest Resort today especially when it was also Peters’ first time in Sarawak.

The 70-year-old retiree had driven by himself in a second-hand land cruiser he bought in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, from Lawas, passing by Ba’Kelalan and Limbang to Bario.

He fell in love with Bario due to its “impressive landscape”, so much so that he extended his stay to three nights as opposed to his initial plan of residing there for just a day.

Other than Bario, the Kelabit highlands famously known as the Land of a Hundred Handshakes for its friendly locals, he also fondly recalled Long Iman, a Penan settlement in Ulu Baram, where he enjoyed the homestay for its cosy atmosphere.

Peters commenced his Borneo trip starting from Sabah in mid-February and is due to return to West Malaysia later in April. Today marks the 31st day of his adventure in East Malaysia.

“Every year, I’d have a family vacation with the kids. The last couple of times, we chartered a boat and went to different places on Earth.

“Last year, my children asked me what plans do we have for next year. After having owned a boat, chartering is the second-best option, and looking at the price, it has become so expensive.

“So, I suggested going to Africa for a self-drive along the safari. We plan to go to Botswana and spend three weeks there to watch the wildlife,” he told the D’Drift Team today.

Throughout our one-hour conversation during breakfast with Peters, we were much captivated by the stories he had to share when he travelled the globe: when he swam in the Pacific Ocean with only a rope tied around his waist, witnessed a shark slapping his friend with its tail in the waters of Tuamotu Islands, kicked a blacktip shark that was approaching him, went snorkelling at the Maldives with his daughter, and admiring the magnificent landscape of Marquesas Islands.

Peters started his professional career in the army and studied as an engineer at a military university before he joined the automotive industry.

His life took another turn after three months when he figured working in the engineering field was not for him. So, he took up various leadership roles and became the general manager and chief executive officer (CEO) for four different companies.

Despite having a home in Putrajaya under the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme, Peters is determined to travel the world and live a meaningful life after decades of stressful work.

After bidding farewell to Peters, the D’Drift Team continued its mission and explored the activities available at the Borneo Tropical Rainforest Resort.

D’Drift team doing archery by the hall in Borneo Tropical Rainforest Resort on March 18, 2024.

We went ahead to try out archery at a nearby hall of the resort, which cost RM15 per 10 arrows. We spent a good hour attempting to hit the bullseye on the archery board, to which the resort guide, Helmi, told us not to spend too much time holding onto the bow.

“If you hold onto the bow for too long, your arms will start to shake and it will affect your aim,” he said, after which we started to make some slightly successful attempts at hitting the board.

Other activities offered are playing at the water park, flying fox, wet postman walk, resort tour, nature walks, wall climbing, waterfall hunting, fishing, boating, kayaking, and team-building exercises.

D’Drift team entertaining ourselves yesterday (March 17) evening by playing pool in the lobby of Borneo Tropical Rainforest Resort. Photo taken on March 17, 2024

On the previous evening of our stay at the resort, we spent an hour playing pool after dinner as there were not many activities to be done after 6.30pm.

The night was filled with laughter following horrible attempts to hit the cue ball and terribly missed shots. Regardless, it had been a fun night.

Borneo Tropical Rainforest Resort is approximately 42km away from Miri, with a total travel time of a little over an hour using the Bintulu-Miri Road.

As the D’Drift 2024 annual trip enters its eighth day, we are filled with a palpable mix of excitement and nostalgia, with only a fleeting two days remaining before the journey’s conclusion. Yet, a sense of wistfulness sets in, knowing that soon, this remarkable escapade will come to an end.

Nonetheless, our spirits remain afloat as each moment is savoured and the countdown to the trip’s finale begins. — DayakDaily