A Sunday stroll when the tropical sun is blazing overhead, you are decked out in full length sleeves and trousers to protect against sun and insects, and you are carrying a 20lb baby (giant hot water bottle substitute!) in a carrier. As well as lugging along a rucksack full of drinking water, baby snacks, extra sun cream and mosquito repellent. Not the most appealing suggestion I’ve ever heard for a fun family afternoon.
But we’d been told that a visit to Anduki Lake was worth a trip. Brunei doesn’t have much in the way of social attractions and recreational facilities. Unless you count striking out on your own path and getting into raw, real, wild jungle. I know fearless traveller-explorer type friends who would probably embrace the challenge, but I prefer slightly safer, more predictable options when I’m taking my little girl along. So we were keen to check Anduki out, and we’d been waiting for the right moment to visit for some time.
Yesterday afternoon there was a rare cooling breeze and a cloudy sky. Normally those two things together herald an incoming storm, so we knew we wouldn’t have long. A quick dash about the house getting everything we needed together and we hit the road.
Half an hour later we were there, after a relatively uneventful journey asides from a particularly tuneless rendition of ‘Old MacDonald’, and excitedly yelping ‘Monkeeeys!’ at one point. There was a large troupe of them hovering by the side of the road, plucking up the courage to brave the crossing. As a relatively common sighting round Brunei you’d think we’d be over the excitement about monkeys, but there you go. Some things never change, obviously!
Getting out of the car, the grey skies were looking decidedly ominous in places, so we didn’t explore very far. But even so, Anduki seemed surprisingly promising as a destination for a family day out. A lovely lake to stroll round, a children’s play area, a few brick barbecue cooking stations, seating, and a large elevated viewing platform looking out across the lake.
It did bring a wry smile to my face when we started off on a sturdy looking path in one direction only to find that it suddenly ran out…at quite a crucial point….
Very typically Bruneian. I wonder how long it has been like that? And how long it will stay the same? I’m no tightrope walker, and I didn’t really fancy wobbling my way over planks which didn’t even look like they’d been secured in place. Besides, as we reached the ‘bridge’ drops of rain started to fall, so we quickly headed back to the shelter of the car. And not a moment too soon, as the heavens opened within moments of us pulling out of the car park.
Despite the incomplete circuit round the lake we will definitely make a return visit another day so that we can explore a bit more. There were some beautiful plants even just around the play area, which I’d like to see again. And I could hear the nearby shrill shrieks of a pair of Kingfishers, so hopefully next time I’ll get the chance for some more interesting shots.