Travelling rough

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The road to Long Pasia
The road to Long Pasia

The start of the journey towards Long Pasia, from Sipitang, a township south of the State,  is somewhat exciting. The road meanders through the countryside where quaint little houses stand among larger more opulent abode. The greenery around are picturesque, lending a tranquil atmosphere along the road.

One can enjoy the view indefinitely but this nicely asphalted road comes to an end an hour or so drive afterwards, and then it starts on gravel. Most people understand and have experienced how uncomfortable driving on or travelling on a four-wheel drive vehicle can be over gravelly road.  It’s like being trundled and shaken in a tin can.

Bumping one’s head is a periodic occurrence where one definitely acquires a blazing headache after wards. To boot it all one bump up and down which is not very good for the back.

It helps if the vehicle slows down a little, but it is still quite bumpy nevertheless.

Passing the muddy road

The gravelled road comes to an end too, but we are not there yet. The road ends into dirt road; no gravels anymore. It’s just a dirt road that turns into slippery red clay when it rains.

The driver of the vehicle has to apply his driving skills here and it must be mentioned that it’s not a matter of just having passed a driving test by the licensing department. It needs skills and nerve.

Two feet of sloshy mud, with rocks and pieces of woods in it are main concerns. Getting stuck in the muddy sludge is another.

Slipping down a slope with a vehicle horizontal on the road is a sight that’s almost mundane. Getting thrown every which way is another. The breath-stopping occasion is when the vehicle buck on the road with a deep ravine on one side.

After going through that for four hours, Long Pasia Village comes into view.  The breath taking view of the village is worth it, although back in one’s mind is the niggling thought that a day or so afterwards, the four hours’ drive will be repeated when one leaves to go home.

Long Pasia is a village in Sipitang Sabah which is synonymous with nature and as home to the Lundayeh people. They are mostly paddy planters and hunters. In their plantations they usually plant catch crops like yams, tapioca and sweet potatoes.

The village

The village is nestled in the valley, with houses built on the gentle slopes. At the flat land on the valley where the schools, clinic and shops are, runs a river.

The village is participating in the homestay programme and many houses are earmarked as such. This is especially for houses that have good clean modern toilets, a compulsory requirement.

Tour Guide, Maxson Balang who resides in that village says the village can attract a lot of tourists who want to experience life there but the road condition is a major deterrent.

The Villagers are also finding it difficult to go to town to sell their wares or buy essentials.

“We have been facing difficulties through the years because of the lack of good road. We hope that the Government through our State Assemblyman will be informed about this problem and rectify this as soon as possible.”

It boggles the mind that the road has been allowed to stay in that condition for so long, but if one really want to go to Long Pasia and if children of the villagers who work in the city have to go home; there is not help for it but brave the road.-CE/BNN