Our last rainforest (for a while)

Trip Start Mar 27, 2012
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Trip End Oct 18, 2012


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What I did
Beautiful rain forests, bays, boars, monkeys

Flag of Malaysia  , Sarawak,
Sunday, October 14, 2012

Our trip to Bako involved taking the local bus from the bus station near the Kuching Mosque  and travelling to Bako Bazaar and chartering a boat to the park.  As we arrived with another three girls who were going to the park for the day, we were able to share a riverboat taxi for the 20 minute ride to the National Park.
When we arrived the tide was out (way out) and we had to hop over the side of the boat and wade knee-deep to the shore.  We were amazed at how far up the banks the water travelled when the tide came in - it would have been about 300 metres.   Liz and Arian, think your local beach!
Bako National Park is Sarawak's oldest national park and is a jagged peninsula between the mouths of the Sarawak and Bako Rivers, jutting out into the South China Sea.  It is a very beautiful area, with lovely bays and beaches, and mangrove swamps.  The interior is mainly rainforest with huge sandstone cliffs. 
We had a semi-detached room, in one of the wooden lodges that dot the headquarters area.  The room was very large, with its own bathroom but, unfortunately, like Niah National Park, only cold water available.   Even though it is stinking hot, I still don't really like cold showers.
There is a large canteen with a fairly limited Asian buffet menu, but for a couple of days it's okay.  We were quite excited to see the menu boasted cereal.  Alas, it was not available. 
The park is looking a little run down and could do with some maintenance, but it is a really lovely area.  There was some walkways part of the way on some of the trails, but once the trails led up, it was a hard hike over tree roots and rocks.  
We climbed one of the trails up to the top of the cliff and then down into Kecil Bay and beach.  The trail was only 2.8ks but they gave a suggested 1-1/2 hours to do the walk.  We took twice that time but we did make it, although we were well and truly knackered by the time we did the trip in reverse (even though we were a little quicker on the way down).   Some lovely views made it worthwhile, including a view of the famous Sea Stack, whih is an odd shaped weathered rock that stands close to the peninsula.   We met a young German couple on the trail, who were amazed that we had made the climb, which they both considered quite difficult.  We usually can do the climbs, we just take about twice the time to do it!  Lots of rests on rocks of the right size until natural breathing is restored! LOL
The forest was quite lovely, although stifling hot and we were both wringing wet with sweat by the time we got back.  It started raining but we scarcely noticed any difference - wet is wet! 
There are lots of long-tailed macaques here and I have included some pictures for Carol, who I know likes the monkeys.  They are a bit of a nuisance though and one jumped on our table and ran off with Arthur's half-eaten banana, before we had time to react in any way.   There are signs everywhere to keep your doors and windows locked, because of the monkeys and we did see one trying to run off with a backpack.  They can be a bit aggressive too, one bared its teeth to Arthur, who was trying to shoo it from jumping on our table.   He ended up getting a chair and doing a lion taming act before the monkey backed off.
I was lucky enough to spy a wild  proboscis monkey too, although Arthur saw only a glimpse of it as it quickly disappeared at our approach.   Lots of wild boar (with baby piglets),  which weren't too wild, as they strutted around the park completely oblivious to anyone walking nearby.   We saw a lovely green viper snake in the tree (see if you an find him, he is a really bright green), and a few birds.
We had a really lovely time and it is sad to realise that this is probably our last trail walk for a while (Arthur hopes, forever!).
Back to Kuching in the morning.

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