tv The Travel Show BBC News August 30, 2020 1:30pm-2:00pm BST
we are really worried that we could see universities becoming the care home of any second wave of coronavirus in the uk. tens of thousands of people are expected to take to the streets of minsk to protest at what they believe is the rigged re—election of the belarus prime minister. european countries are urged to offer "a place of safety" to hundreds of migrants — rescued by ships in the mediterranean — including one paid for by the street artist banksy. fire has destroyed much of a large tower block in the spanish capital madrid. more than 20 fire crews needed to tackle the blaze. there are no reports of any injuries. now on bbc news...another chance tojoin mike corey in this classic travel show episode as he travels across malaysia's biggest state, sarawak, and ventures deep into the bornean rainforest. this week on the travel show,
i'm in the jungles of borneo exploring malaysia's biggest state — sarawak. in the western corner of malaysian borneo, sarawak has some of the most spectacular and diverse ecosystems, but it can be overlooked by tourists drawn to bright lights or its neighbour state sabah. so i'm going to discover for myself the sites and inhabitants of this remarkable state. along the way, i'll be hanging out with these guys. climbing jagged peaks. easily one of the most beautiful and one of the most difficult hikes i have done. and, getting a taste of one of the world's most remote food festivals. i have to work on my
snail sucking technique. i love sarawak so much. we are very unique in sarawak. we have 26 ethnic groups in sarawak. my trip starts here, in sarawak‘s biggest city, kuching. and the word kuching, it means something special, right? yes, kuching means cat! like the city of cats? yes, cat city. we are starting here in the state capital, kuching, and travelling all the way over here to the kelabit highlands. it's going to be a journey. on my first stop, i'm going to meet one of the state's most iconic residents.
and here he is — the orangutan. there's so much soul in their eyes. 97% of their dna is shared with humans, and that's where they get their name. orangutan means "man of the forest." orangutans are native to only two islands in southeast asia. some live on sumatra but the vast majority live here, in borneo. i've come to the semenggoh nature reserve, where the rangers are preparing for the morning feed. it looks like they eat quite well because there's a whole buffet here and it seems like every day there is a different meal plan. yes, today is saturday so they will have 21 kilos of bananas and then sweet potatoes, chicken eggs and pineapple. oh, it's heavy! maybe 15 kilos.
ooh, okay! where are we at? almost 20. we are already 21 kg. so tell me what's special about semenggoh nature reserve? ok, so semenggoh wildlife centre is actually started off as a rehabilitation centre, so we were established back in 1975, so it's more than a0 years ago. the reserve took orangutans that had been rescued from captivity or suffered from habitat loss and taught them how to live wild in the surrounding forest. since then the rehabilitation programme has been moved elsewhere but the forest is still home to 33 orangutans and tourists have a chance to glimpse those tempted back by a free meal. it's very different than a zoo, then? there's no orangutans in cages. yeah, it's totally different than a zoo.
our ranger, he will... no problem, enjoy. we will bring the fruits to the feeding area. when the tourists arrive, a ranger heads to the feeding platform to call the apes. welcome to our centre. coming here, it is not guaranteed that you will see an orangutan. you happen to see one, you consider yourself very lucky already. in the rainy season between november and march there is an abundance of fruit in the forest so the orangutans often don't need this extra food. but lucky for us, we don't have to wait long for a sighting. this is edwin, one of the biggest males in the park. like the ranger said, this is not a zoo.
the orangutans can come from any direction at any time so you have to be a little bit careful, especially around the big males like edwin here. while these orangutans are used to people, they are still unpredictable, so tourists are kept at a safe distance. edwin, he's 23 years old, born in 1996 and he was the first male austrian born in semenggoh. now fully grown, edwin is competing to become the reserve's sole dominant male. only one orangutan dares to approach him on the platform — rescued from captivity in the 1970s and one of the first orangutans to be rehabilitated here. are they a thing? yeah, in a way. we call her the grand old lady
because she is the oldest female, aged 48 years old. wow! and she is doing still very well. she's a8, he's 23? that's quite a big age difference there, right? yes, but love doesn't see age as a problem, no? feeding time's over. there is no more, and here's edwin. oh, i'm a bit nervous to see him so close. he's massive! so much hair. if you saw that from behind you wouldn't know what it was. sadly, despite conservation efforts, orangutans face an uncertain future. over a 16 year period, the numbers in borneo fell by more than 100,000, a decline blamed on hunting and deforestation. it's now estimated that there are nowjust over 100,000
orangutans on the island. and so, the facility here, how does it help? by having a centre like semenggoh, people still get a sense of seeing the wild orangutan, and not disturb the orangutan in their nature habitat. and i guess the more people come here, the more they learn and that also helps as well. yeah, definitely. the feel of excitement of seeing wild orangutans bring you closer to conservation efforts, and to be able to share it with people up there, it really means something. next up, i'm crossing the state to reach sarawak‘s largest piece of protected rainforest.
this place is teeming with wildlife, over 4,000 species of plants, 20,000 species of invertebrates, that means hundreds of different kinds of spiders, beetles, and butterflies. but no orangutans, though. not here. mulu is also home to one of the largest hunter gatherer tribes in southeast asia. a lot of their traditional tribal lands have been lost to deforestation. the vast majority now stay in settlements like this one. i didn't expect you to do that! with the nose! laughter so these are flutes, right? blowpipe. blowpipe!
you make these? can you show me? oh, isee. so you drill it by hand? so many times! that would be countless hours. ah, yes. you see, there we go. blowpipes are the traditional hunting weapon. they are loaded with darts, tipped with a strong poison extracted from the bark of a local tree. and you would use one of these big ones?
well, i'm about six feet tall, maybe 1.8 metres. ok, so we are here like this, ammo goes in the back. armed and dangerous. you first. safety off. sharpshooter! i guarantee i will not... like this? this? and then... 0k. here we go, hopefully there will be some beginners luck. 0h... i hit the target! further inside the park, there is a truly unique landscape.
below ground, there are some of the world's largest caves, formed from limestone and shaped by millions of years of ground and rainwater. this process also created a bizarre collection of stone spires above the ground. they are called the pinnacles and i have come all the way up river to base camp five to see them. at almost 50 metres tall, the pinnacles are an imposing spectacles. but to get there, sightseers face a 3—day round—trip and a long, brutal trek through the rainforest. so the guys have some rules in place to make sure tourists are up to it. now first 60 minutes, so this is considered as a check—in point. if you make it more than 60 minutes, you are considered a slow climber and we have to say
you are not qualified. so if i don't make the first checkpoint in 60 minutes, you turn around and say "sorry, you are going back home?" yes, this is the rule here. 0k. we're just about to head to bed before the big hike tomorrow and this is bed tonight actually, underneath this mosquito net — that is a bee, by the way. this is coming with me tomorrow. shh! there are some people sleeping and i just got shushed! i am nervous for the hike tomorrow. it is supposed to be quite hard. a lot of very, very steep inclines. so i'm going to get a full eight hours tonight and i will see you in the morning and we will see if we can make it to the top. caution!
a high degree of physical fitness is required past this point. eight hours round—trip. return. lead the way. let's go! i havejust 60 minutes to make it to the mini pinnacles, the first check—point. you weren'tjoking. how is it? steep! the checkpoint is less than a kilometre up the slope, but the humidity makes it feel a lot further. we've onlyjust started and i'm already pretty exhausted. and we're here! the pinnacles! not quite, right? mini pinnacles. that is — that is not a joke!
having reached the check—point within the time limit, it's another kilometre before i reach the most treacherous stage. this is the first ladder, mike. 0k. woo hoo! right, larry, helmets on, right? all right. who is first? after you. after me? 0k! one down, 17 more to go. the beautiful limestone cliffs are sharp but at least there are lots of places to grab onto. it looks like it is raining down there. you think it is going to rain? yeah, it is going to be heavy rain.
500 metres to go. 100 metres to go. i hope we get there before the rain. what ladder is this? the last ladder. the last ladder? this looks like the summit. is it? yeah, the summit is here. we are here, guys. oh, wow! yeah! and there are so many of them! 0h! this is beautiful! yep! just daggersjutting out of the forest canopy.
i am quite an adventurous eater and i try everything once — at least once. if it is not so good, then only once. but often, you come to the faraway places and you will find some pretty far—out food and i'm hoping we will find some very interesting stuff! bumped around and a little bruised from the journey, i get there to find the festival in full swing. actually, we are catching the eye of a lot of the locals because there is not that many foreigners — surprise, surprise — in this part of the world. i don't know half of the food that's here today and that is quite exciting for me. a local farmer called dayang offers to show me around. would you like to try our dure? i do not know what this is. it is an exotic vegetable found here. it is a plant that lives in the jungle?
yes. i could eat that all day. it is delicious. but it is kind of like — i was thinking it will taste like spinach, but it does not at all. 0k. it tastes much heartier than spinach would. would you like to try the akep? yes, it looks to be like boiled snails. it smells like boiled snails too. this is how we do it. so this lives in the jungle as well? you suck it out? there you are. just like that. so you bite — you bit it first? yeah, just a bit, not too much. a little bit is stuck on my teeth. ok, and then you suck it? just suck it right out? there we go. how do you find it?
the taste must be fantastic? i would not use that word but it is not bad, very chewy! this is classic, traditional food sourced from the surrounding area. welcome to bario. dayang takes me to her farm where she grows one very important ingredient. each plant has one pineapple? yes. so it will take about one year to ripen. this one looks ripe. yes! a golden yellow. so how do we — can we pick one? how do we pick one? sure, you can just pluck it. i will have puncture wounds after this, but it is ok. hey, that was easy. and twist? because it is golden, ripe pineapple.
it is very sweet. look at this, my very first pineapple. 0h. back at the festival, locally grown pineapples have been made into jams, juices and even pineapple cider. down the hatch. a little chunky. how many of these do i have to drink to have a really good day? i'm not sure. shall we find out? i'm joking, i'm joking. since it started in 2006, the festival has celebrated both the cuisine and the culture of the highlands. up top there are some bags with soda pop, cookies. the point is the climb to the top and grab your prize and come back down.
emcee over loudspeaker: excuse me, sir. sir, you want to try? apparently it is my turn. ok, you can go. give him a big clap! so... start slowly from the bottom. yeah. freestyle. freestyle! ok, here we go. come on. good try, come on! as the games continue, my form does not really improve. yeah! come on! it was by a feather that we lost. yeah. cheering and applause. a game that i am not bad at. i think it is my height advantage. everyone gets a shot, or...? hold on, let's watch. cheering and applause. that's way farther than mine! i guess you might think that coming so far away,
you wouldn't be able to make friends or it might be a strange tourist experience. but i always find it some of the best ones when you come to these remote places. there's not many foreign tourists, so people arejust so accepting and grateful that you are here and will share everything with you. hello. august isn't going out on a warm note. in fact, you may be tempted to put the heating on if you haven't already, but it is going out on a mainly dry note.
this can be one of the wettest places in the uk, but it's enjoying some sun sunshine today. and the reason for that, a gap between weather systems are allowing high pressure to slide in and briefly settle our weather down. it's not clear blue sky everywhere. in fact, across western parts where you started plenty of sunshine, there's a bit more cloud around through the rest of the day where you've seen a lot of cloud to the east. there'll be some sunny spells around one or two showers dotted about through northern scotland and into northern ireland. the vast majority looking dry. but clearly not particularly warm. but at least that northerly wind is easing, though it's still quite noticeable. the further east you are in england, but it continues to die down overnight. left overnight with some cloud around, some clear spells and temperatures dipping down once again. well down. it's single figures for some of us, maybe not quite as chilly as it was for some last night with the temperature, for example, got close to freezing in northern ireland. let's take a look then into bank holiday monday, except in scotland where it isn't, and that high pressure still in control. there'll be quite a bit of cloud
around some bright or sunny spells. it'll be a dry day out there with temperatures again in the mid to just a few spots into the upper teens. there is a weather system approaching from the atlantic and it looks as if any rain from that will be very late in the day in northern ireland, but more especially overnight and into tuesday morning as it slowly slips in. it is not a strong weather system at all. it willjust bring a few outbreaks of rain across northern ireland into western scotland, where it mayjust store on tuesday. so keep some cloud here and some patchy rain, whereas elsewhere, it may start with some sunshine, some clouds going to bill, but it will stay dry as we lose that feed of air coming down from the north and introduce more of a southerly. the temperatures are creeping up a couple of degrees. but there is a more vigorous weather system heading our way from the atlantic going into wednesday. the deeper area of low pressure, the winds pick up particularly towards the north west of the u.k., where we see some rain moving into some heavier rain with this system through northern ireland, into scotland and then through the rest of wednesday into thursday will slip south across
this is bbc news. i'm tim willcox with the latest headlines at 2. university lecturers warn that plans to reopen universities in september will be too dangerous without a coronavirus testing programme. we are really worried that we could see universities becoming the care home of any second wave of coronavirus in the uk. we need to make sure our campus is covid safe. we have taken a lot of measures to protect with hand sanitisers and so on. deep cleaning of our residences when we need to.