In the jungle, the mighty jungle...
Trip Start Feb 01, 2009
25Trip End Jun 12, 2009
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This National Park is only accessible by boat and not by the mainland and is fairly basic but at the same time well-established and fantastically maintained.
We had a small 4-bed room in a wooden shack alongside about 2 million mosquitoes. They were there first I suppose though.
A good 9 or 10 tracks around the park all in different strengths i.e. some could take all day, overnight camps etc so our first afternoon was spent hot-footing through the jungle to a completely deserted idyllic beach. It was only just accessible however.
A wee bit of cliff-face scaling was in order but totally worth it. Cath remained with dry feet reluctant on the final approach. The heat and humidity were very intense so we all looked like we'd been swimming anyway.
Warned by a French couple that were ringed in by some vicious monkeys on the way back bearing their teeth, Richie and I took up arms. Fondly named monkey sticks. Now, at this point I remind myself I've signed a nice piece of paper confirming I come with no danger posed to any beautiful flora & fauna. I also remind myself if a monkey fancies a go it may bite me. As I file the first reminder and sharpen the stick I decide yes - I will play monkey baseball if they go for me. Now, before the monkey lovers start whinging to me, these little shites were fired up and snarling. So I was too.
Thankfully as our walk reached them, they crowded us a little from above but noticed the stick and thought better of it. Good job. I didn't want to send one into orbit really.
The worst part came towards the end when I had to dispose of my stick. Like a dog I think men do grow attached to their new found caveman instinct friend. As I tossed it away I did mutter 'bye'.
That evening, one of the local researchers was stood outside our room (all in the bush) staring up a tree. I got my first glimpse of a flying lemur! And boy did it fly. Well, kind of glide really. Pretty cool though. I popped in for a shower and Rich told me I missed the best bet when 'the bloke starting picking at it's shit'. I think Cath wanted one for her bag. I wanted one as a bag.
Due to the hard trekking during the day, most of this place shuts down early doors, so a couple of beers and giant bowl of fried rice later and I'm coma-tosed.
Apart from the obvious animals, loads of snakes, monkeys and so on - they have these macaques. Said monkeys tend to hang around the restaurant and you seriously cannot put anything down. We saw them fly at people and tear food off their plate. Again, the monkey stick could have been handy, but seriously, touch my food, feel my wrath. They didn't come near us.
Highlight of our first day trekking was me checking in. I hear a scream and turn to see Cath in a tug of war battle to the death with a monkey. It has grabbed the one arm of my daybag, Cath grabs the other, they scream at each other, Cath triumphs. Piss funny.
The following day was much of the same. Wildlife, ludicrous heat, humidity, a few snakes, one stopping Richie dead on his feet as he thought it was a stick and some awesome views.
Our boatman collects us for our return trip to dry land and we gradually get slower and slower and slooooowerrr until finally I enquire if we are about to drown or swim and he explains in broken English the engine is kaned. I knew that bit. As the smoke clears the horizon our rescue boat appears manned by two 7-year-olds who, I am sure are laughing at our driver. A quick tow to the jetty and we're safe and sound and on our way back to Kuching.
Night time as we were knackered, was spent leisurely: by hitting town and staying up with the lads at our dorm getting hammered. Well, me and Richie did. Cath crashed out. During our late night chat with Jabbir we start watching the Liv Chel game. Ha ha and unlucky to all. You know who you are. I explain to him I'm not keen on either team. So I mention the Chel-scum abbreviation. Sadly now, everything ends in scum. I said Ciao the next day, he said ha-ha, scum. How I laughed. Me & Rich were in a quiant bar nearby until early doors and were offered some python from the BBQ. I mentioned I'd eaten but thanks, maybe next time. Now, normally, as you are aware, I would always try, however, it wasn't the best place and it was pointed out not to encourage it by a local. Earlier that day, the three of us popped in to the same bar.
'Two beers please and whatever Cath wants'
'Wot u wann?'
'Erm, I'll have an Orange Juice pls'
'No Olinge Juice'
'Okay, just a water. Actually any soft drink pls.'
'No soft dlink. Beer only.'
Winner. That's my bar if I ever open it.
Where I stayed
Bako National Park