By D’Drift Team
SIBU, June 30: The second day of D’Drift’s adventure today was all behind the wheel on the road, unlike yesterday which was entirely about jungle trekking, both were equally tiring but satisfying.
We departed from Serian at about 10.30am headed towards Sibu while making a few stops along the way.
The most obvious activity along the Pan Borneo highway was road construction which made the drive frustrating and quite a pain. As such, we opted to use the Coastal Road.
Quite surprisingly, the usually less-travelled Coastal Road was quite busy today as there seemed to be an increase in traffic including heavy vehicles plying the route.
While there is not much to see along the way, Sarawak is blessed with a lot of greenery to soothe the tiring eyes.
We stopped for a quick lunch at Simunjan town at about 12.30pm before continuing our journey to catch the Batang Lupar ferry to cross over the river spanning about 1.5km that leads to Sebuyau.
Luckily, it only took a short time to wait for the ferry as crossing the massive river took about 30 minutes. There are two big ferries operating for the river crossings to reduce the waiting time.
From there, the drive along Jalan Maludam was smooth. Cows and goats could be seen grazing peacefully on both sides of the road. The distance to the next Batang Saribas ferry was about 47km, that eventually leads to Pusa Town.
Arriving at Batang Saribas ferry crossing at 3.24pm, there were long queues of vehicles on both sides waiting for their turn to get onto the ferry. There was an exceptionally long queue stretching about 1km which was unusual for this shorter crossing that took only 10 minutes on normal days.
While waiting for the ferry, the D’Drift Team met with Sarimah Abdullah, 60, who has been selling kuih muih, local tit bits and drinks, barbecue skewers at the ferry point for the last 12 years.
The Iban lady who hails from Betong has been living in Roban for the last 40 years.
“Before we moved here, we used to operate at Pusa town. We moved here because we anticipated people would stop here. The small business has been able to support my family,” she said.
At the small stall, Sarimah was assisted by her eldest son, and her four grandchildren.
“Sometimes, I am quite pathetic when I think of my fate and that of my five children as none of them is educated. Nonetheless, this small business provides us the livelihood,” she shared.
When asked how she planned to support her family when the Batang Saribas Bridge is completed in four years’ time, Sarimah smiled and said: “Well, I started at Pusa, when the bridge is completed, I just go back to Pusa town. By the time, I hope my children will be able to be independent financially,” said Sarimah, whose youngest son is already 20 years old.
We waited for nearly an hour and managed to cross at 4.18pm and continued our journey to Pusa which is a small town in Betong division famous for Ikan Terubok and ‘gula apong’ (palm sugar).
Then from Pusa, we proceeded on our journey to Sibu where we had our rest stop.
From Sibu, our adventure will contiune to new destinations. But for that we leave it to another day.—DayakDaily
Travelogue, Day 1 — Discovering the green gem of Sarawak