End of a busy day....
Tuesday 14th March
Early start this morning - up at 6.30. We have to get to Bako National Park which entails a boat trip and as it is tidal, timing is crucial. We are travelling with a young French couple, Kenny and Mathilde. Very good travel companions - very chatty and interesting. Mathilda is a video editor and Kenny ( can't remember) It is about half an hour's drive to the river where we meet our guide, Ismadi. He is a large, jovial guy with a scarcity of teeth and instantly likeable.
This is his village & he knows the area well.
As soon as we arrive we see this fine chap - a Bornean Bearded Pig. He is totally unconcerned with our presence and we get very close to him.
The rangers communicate with each other to let us know where there are sightings of animals, so straight away we are whisked off to see a group of silver-leaf monkeys AND a baby which causes much excitement. The babies are a bright orange colour until they are six months old when they become silvery-grey like the adults.
Then more excitement as word reaches us of a sighting of proboscis monkeys. Sad that I didn't get any good pictures of them. They were very high up in the trees and not easy to spot apart from their white tails.
Baku is home to 37 species of mammal & has seven distinct ecosystems. We were lucky to see a variety of plants and animals on our trek with Ismadi
Then back on the ferry ......
Torrential, continuous rain this evening meant we ate in and read our books.
Brilliant day though!
Wednesday 15th March
We are off to Gunung Gading National Park which is 85 km NW of Kuching and an hour and a half's drive. Kenny & Mathilde are joining us with Brandon & Tanty, our guides.
Gunung Gading is the best place in Sarawak to see the world's largest flower - the Rafflesia. The rainforest covers the slopes of four mountains and contains trees that are particularly valuable for timber so they have some protection here.
The Rafflesia can grow up to 75cm but are unpredictable and something that happens here only 25 times a year and it only lasts for about five days!
Brandon of course had phoned the park and established that there was a flower. He discovered roughly where it was and we followed.
Then we trekked to one of the three waterfalls for a much needed swim...
On the trek back, nearly walked into this fella ....
You don't get too close to these!
Ate in a Malaysian equivalent of fast food on the way home; really good! More heavy rain on the drive back.
Thursday 16th March
Today we fly to Miri but the flight isn't until 7.50 pm so we have the day in Kuching. After packing & leaving our bags in reception, we head into town. First, a walk along the waterfront ....
They have contributed a huge amount to the Malaysian culture and have at least 6 distinct dialects within their own descendants.