Thursday, July 07, 2005

Kuching - Day 2,Bako NatioNal PaRk

setting – Bako National Park
main Characters – Ramon, Rosheen, Usama, Me
side Characters – Wild Bearded Boar, Proboscis Monkey @ big nose monkeys, Silvered Langur, Long-Tailed Macaques


Bako here I come. The ride took ages. I think it was about an hour plus by car. Thank God, I did not take the No 6 bus. I can’t imagine how long that would take. Bako village had a rustic look to it. Step right up and get your day pass at the booth (at the foot of the jetty la)
The boat ride is uneventful, then again it could be because I am not much of a morning person. Our boat driver (?) is call Ismail. Ismail dropped us off and told us that he would be back at later to pick us up

Checklist 1 – Wild bearded boar
The first thing we did was head to main building and pay our entrance fees. Show your ID card if you are a student and tadaa you get half price off. There were some pretty butterflies flitting about a stunted palm tree on the way to the headquarters, I wish I thought of taking a picture.
First sighting of the day.At breakfast, I got excited when this brown hairy thing on four legs stroll around the canteen. It’s a wild bearded boar and it was everything was covered with brown hair except for a pink bit that was sticking at the bottom of its face. I was grossed out with the pink bit. I thought it was the mouth twisted in some grotesque curl. Found out it’s the nose and I was still grossed out but in some weird way found it cute too?

Checklist 2 – Proboscis monkey@ Rastapopoulos
Changed into a bikini and we started heading for the jungle trails. Rosheen spotted some Proboscis monkeys at the mangroves. These monkeys are extremely rare and I felt fortunate to have seen them. The most distinct feature of these monkeys is their huge bulbous noses that reminded me of Rastapopoulos, Roberto; a character in Tintin.These creatures are rather shy and loud noise could scare them away. I noticed that they had a white tail and bottom which really is a stark contrast to their orangy fur. It kind of look like they had a white plunger stuck to their bottoms.
I couldn’t take any pictures so its off to the jungles now. Onwards to the beach.

Phew I am out of shape. Ciggarrette dangling on lips while trekking uphill is not a good idea. Another bad idea is trekking with slippers on. I brought my shoes but it was in Ramon’s bag most of the time. I kind of wish we went a little slower sob.

Not because I couldn’t keep up with the pace (in a defying tone)…

but I would like to take some time to look around.

Eyes glued to the ground looking out for tricky little branches waiting to trip you up. I did noticed that we pass by some moss covered rocks which incidentally reminded me of Japan. They were beautiful. If only I had time to stop and take a shot.

The Barren Lands ANd its Multi-ColoRed Waters
10 to 15 minutes of trekking and instead of lush overhead greenary, we were greeted with dry barren rocks and clayey sands.
Watch out for the wet parts. Lichens are slippery. A couple of us slipped. It is sort of akin to roller skating in a one foot rink. Saw a picther plant and some tongkat ali which got Usama a little excited. The root of the Tongkat Ali plant is reputedly great for the libido. Application open only for males of the homosapiens species please.
People do look out for pools of water found in these areas. Ok to you they may be just pools of water with orangey brown water but to me they are really beautiful. To prove it here is an unphotoshopped photo. Hmmph
I don’t know why the water is orangey brown. Maybe minerals you think?
Wildlife ?Saw a couple of multicolored dragonflies and some weird looking ants. Oh yea and lots of slimy worms slittering about in the mud and pools. Bleh

The Beach
At the cliff the view of the beach was amazing. Getting down to the beach was a little tricky. I some how prefer going uphill as oppose to heading down. I think its this fear of not being in control if I slipped. Well back to the trek. Got down to the beach by slowly treading down some rickety makeshift ladders and steps.
The beach the beach. No one is here except for 2 other people. The beach is all ours Muahahahahha. The water is so blue and inviting.
There is an opening at the side of the cliff where anyone could have a little privacy…no not to make out, I meant as in to change your clothes. (Eyes rolling)
Where is it you say? Well its on the left of the beach (person facing the sea).
No no. what are these boats bring more people in. argh. Well for folks who don’t want to trek you could actually hire a boat from the headquaters for RM30 a trip. We took a boat back, after 4 hours of burning in the sun. I have never seen my skin go so red. Ouch.

Ismail our driver (?) again. It is now 2pm. Lunch is over NO. Still no worries, just get yourself a couple of instant noodle from the canteen and wahla magically a huge bowl of mouth watering instant noodles appears.
(Reality - you pass the noodles to the canteen staff and they cook it for you).

Checklist 3 – Macaques @ KL monkeys
There were some rather cheeky Macaques hanging about the canteen. Usama calls them the KL monkeys. One particularly young Macaque is rather bold. Well I have to say that Ramon started it.
With a strand of Indo Mee noodle dangling of his fingers, the bold little monkey snatch the noodle of Ramon’s hands.
Feeling triumphant from the high jump competition, little bold monkey spotted a Caucasian man with a packet of Oreos.

Yum. Ready! Attack!

Tug of war between tourist and local habitat ensues.

Winner? Tourist.

The crowd goes wild. In the first place, tourist wins a large packet of Oreos. Runner up, crumbs on the floor.
After all that excitement, we needed a nap. Soon the gentle snores of my colleagues could be heard. How do I know you say? Well I stayed awake smoking a couple of Malboros and watch as two squirrels battle it out for a patch of greens.

Checklist 4 – Silver Leaf Monkeys
3:55 pm. Time to go. I was a little disappointed that I didn’t spot any Silver leaf monkeys.
Hey look more monkeys. Thinking they were just KL monkeys I was wallowing in self pity until a glint of silver caught my eye. Lo and behold a group of Silver Leaf monkeys feeding. They are extremely shy and the silver gleam is from the fur. I saw 2 mothers with their child. The baby monkeys are a bright orange as oppose to the graying elders.

Boat ride back all tan and red.
1. Wild Bearded Boar CHECK
2. Proboscis Monkey CHECK
3. Silver Leaf Monkey CHECK

We had dinner at Topspot. Seafood galore. I wanted to try Ambal, which Sarawak is reputed for but it wasn’t in season. I had Jungle fern (Midin) though but it tasted like any normal vegetable. Dinner consist of rice served with Buttered Prawns, Midin, Sweet and sour Crabs, Sea Cucumber soup which taste a little like shark fin soup, Fish… well that is what I remembered eating.

Man I am stuffed.

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