15. August 2000 10:40
by Rene Pallesen

Silam and Jungle Ops . . .

15. August 2000 10:40 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

silam and jungle ops
Ecochallenge ( Sabah 2000 )

Magellan HotelMoving into SilamRepeater StationInjured CompetitorTransporting a Repeater StationBeetleKids in Village
ArrivalSilam / Jungle OpsRepeater StationsThe CompetitorsHelicopterJungle Around UsThe Village

Silam and Jungle Ops . . .
It is so bloody hot in Silam! It must have been at least 40 degrees and 100% humidity!

Silam was the overall headquarters, and Danum Valley Field Centre (DVFC) was referred to as Jungle Ops. Jungle Ops controlled all radio communications and conducted the race through the the jungle.

From Kota Kinabalu, we flew to Lahad Datu and drove the rest of the way to Silam. Silam was the site of one of the repeater stations. We had to set up a HQ a few kilometres from this station... heaps of opportunities for a few walks in the jungle.

The operation at Silam was huge!... I had never seen such a busy place before. The place was crawling with energy. It was bigger than any military operation I had ever seen! You would be amazed to see the logistics involved in this project ! At the time I did not have the time to take a lot of photos.

We had many army trucks transporting the competitors' equipment - very good cooperation from the military. They helped out with the preparation and set-up of HQ, and with the transportation of fuel.

Arrival of army trucks at SilamArrival of army trucks at Silam

Office at HQ

This is the headquarters on the left.

The whole Ecochallenge race is governed from this office.

The map in the background contains the position of all the checkpoints at which the competitors have to go through.

View from helipcopter

Aerial view of headquarters
Both of the above photos are aerial shots of HQ and were taken from a helicopter.

I managed to get a nice aerial shot of Silam HQ. The big white patch in the middle is where the competitors stored all their equipment. Just to the left are the containers from where the race is controlled. The 4 'finger-like' white pads on the right are the heli-pads. The long rectangle to the left is the eating area, and just above it is the hospital.

Aerial view of Jungle Ops HQ

Approaching DVFC in helicopter.

This is actually a research centre in the middle of the jungle - commonly known as DVFC (Danum Valley Field Centre).

DVFC is not normally accessible the tourists and the general public, only to researchers.

DVFC is concerned about contamination into the jungle.

Jungle Ops HQ

Outside Jungle Ops HQ.

The green boxes contain bottled drinking water.

By the time the race was over, most of this had been consumed - quite amazing really, considering there were really only 10 people at Jungle Ops.

During the competitors were not allowed any help from us, and that included the provision of drinking water.

Paul at HQ

Paul with some of the radio equipment at Silam.

He is standing next to the HQ matrix, which contained all the communications equipment for headquarters.

Paul is also standing next to the only 2 beds in the HQ building. These were used by the radio operators to nap in between shifts.

Below, you see me sitting in the catering tent at Silam.

I think it must have been a good day, to have been sitting there, smiling... I am just guessing here, because obviously I did not take the photo, and I cannot remerber the place.

Me relaxing at Silam

Bad hair day

Bad hair day?

I did not have a shower for a very long time, and to hold my hair in place, I adopted various techniques, such as the sunglasses-hairband...

This place is a breathing ground for tropical diseases!

As you can see, my right eye is really red. I somehow managed to get conjunctivitis and did not know it was contagious. I did not want to trouble the medics as they were pretty tied up with the competitors. When my vision on the left eye was getting blurry and I had problems seeing what was in front of me, I was ordered to get it checked. Just as well I did!

In Kota Kinabalu, I had the same problem on the other eye... at one point both my eyes were infected. It started on my left eye on the way to Kota Kinabalu in the plane ! It then spread to my right eye. The nurse at Silam told me that I should be careful because it could re-infect to my left eye. It started to look and feel a lot better after using the eyedrops that they gave me.

Back to Top

Return to Borneo Homepage

Created: 7 Dec 2001
Comments are closed