Water is life
Water and life are indivisible. All living things including us must have water to survive. Our body needs to maintain about 70 % of water. Without water, our body would stop functioning appropriately. Hence, we cannot survive for more than a few days without it. Water is all around of us- in the sky, on the ground and on the air. It takes many different forms such as water vapour and sky in the sky, flowing water in a river or a water droplet from a sink tap pipe.
We were staying in a Dewan Makan (Function Hall) for the whole five days in Kampong Tamu Darat. It is a big hall with four toilets, a big stage and two badminton courts. However, the hall is not connected with water supply. The Pengerusi (manager) of Kampong Tamu Darat had a heavy heart to let Freddie, Patrick and I staying in the hall. He was worried that we would have a problem to find water and plus the kampong was affected with Chikungunya disease. The viral disease is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected mosquitoes. After hearing the bad news from the Pengerusi, I was worried and discussed with my two helpers. After a short discussion, we decided to stay at the hall and asked whether there is a river near to the hall. The Pengerusi mentioned about the Kadamaian River that is located 100 m from the hall. Freddie and Patrick were so delighted to know that the location of the river is quite near to the hall. Both of them assured the Pengerusi that we could carry water from the river to the hall. Even, we explained to him that we would sleep in our tents and wearing long sleeves while doing our works. Those two explanations had made the Pengerusi felt so relief and let us stayed in the big hall.
Kadamaian River or in English, Peaceful River is the main water line in Ranau-Kota Belud area. The river begins its life on the side of the Mount Kinabalu where the tall Kadamaian Waterfall feeds it. From the mountain, the river flows along the Kiau Valley, cut across many Dusun villages and becoming the Tempasuk River when reaching the plains of Kota Belud. The Kadamaian River with its granite riverbed stones and clear crystal blue water has becoming a major attraction to any tourists who are interested to join water-rafting activities. Similar to Kimbabangan River in Penampang, the Kadamaian River is protected from any fishing activities by practising Bombom (or Tagal in Penampang area) system. This traditional system is established to make sure that the ecosystem in the river will stay in balance. It imposes a fine of a buffalo on those who are caught stealing fishes from this river.
We depended on the Kadamaian River to clean ourselves, collect water for our consumption and wash our clothes for the whole five days we stay at Kampong Tamu Darat. Every morning before lunch time we would go to the bathing area under the bridge that is connected to the orchards belong to villagers of Kampong Tamu Darat. Piles of granite in varying colors of grey, black and white decorate the bathing area. As the rays of sunlight hit each tiny speck of golden bronze which is carried down from Mount Kinabalu, the bathing area became a beautiful radiant area. It sparkled as it has many tiny gold dusts hiding among the granite stones.
We were excited about the moment as the crystal water splashed on us. The chilly water invigorated three of us after spending the whole morning with all laborious works. We swam to the middle of the river and let our bodies floated on slow current water. A group of fries tickled our bodies and fed on the thickened dead skin cells on the surface of our skin. We believed that the little treatment from the small fishes may help improve our skin. As usual, I never missed any opportunities to take many beautiful landscape pictures of the majestic Kadamaian River with Mount Kinabalu as its background. I believed one picture is worth a thousand words and should be shared with others who want to know more about Sabah, the land below of the wind as proclaimed by Agnes Newton Keith in her first novel book. Sincerely from my heart, Kadamaian River gave me the feel of calm and serenity. I have promised to myself that I will go back again to the Sabah Peaceful River.