The primary jungle to the northeast of Telupid played host to today’s 15km of trekking. With rain a plenty, the team took the Death March track through the flowing river beds, on clay paths and up and above the 1000ft threshold of the Bauto Hills in order to reach the Gambaron ‘escape route’. The long sleeve Rohan shirts were a must as we had to battle through many indigenous trees, plants, prickles, hooks, lice and leeches. The realisation of the horrific demands placed on the 2,434 allied prisoners during the WWII marches has certainly hit home.
After two glorious days cycling, many of us looked forward to stretching our legs with today’s walk. A short stint of road walking was followed by a challenging trek up the side of the Bauto Hills. People battled with the current whilst in the water and when on dry land the fight turned to the both plants and rocks as both tried on many occasion to send someone down the steep track on their ‘derriere’!
After a fulfilling lunch we once again took to the mountain, this time up a route that was far more difficult than the morning adventure. Upon reaching the summit all of the team definitely felt the challenge that we have all traveled here for; even the locals were surprised at the speed we made it up in. We concluded the day with the walk downhill stopping briefly for a photo opportunity with our Malaysian colleagues who have joined us for the march.
After a day looking first hand at the horrific conditions and route on which the prisoners were forced to march, the understanding and meaning of Sabah Salute has only reinforced the marching contingents desire to complete the route.
Follow the Intrepid Trekkers
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