It was soon after he went to work in East Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo) as a teacher that Mark Heyward made up his mind to do some proper exploring. ''Maybe it was the old books I had grown up with, with their hard covers and line drawings of intrepid explorers.'' Or, he suggests, it may have been because adventuring was in the blood. Even his cousin Rosie talked of travelling in longboats in northern Sarawak. ''Surely,'' he reasons, ''I was destined for a little adventure in my own life.''
His boy's own adventure is structured around a particular 17-day trip he took in August 1994 with six other men. With the dubious aid of a guide who didn't know where he was going, they crossed Borneo from east to west, via the central mountain ranges. Along the way, while describing the daily rigours of the journey - thunderstorms, snakes and rapids - Crazy Little Heaven's narrative strays back and forwards as he relates his experiences of living in Indonesia for the past 20 years.
His digressions include stories about orangutans, spirituality, political upheavals and the tsunami. After his first marriage broke down, Heyward married an Indonesian woman and today lives with his family in Lombok, where he works as an education consultant and a writer. As his richly evocative book indicates, his love affair with Indonesia has evolved into a long-term commitment.