Friday, April 11, 2014
Our day was spent at Bako National Park.
Less than 40 km from the center of Kuching is a dense jungle that is home to thousands of species of animals and every type of vegetation that Borneo has to offer.
The park entrance can only be reached by boat, so we grabbed some life jackets and hopped onboard. The boat glided over the green waters and dodged shrimp nets.
The day was spent wandering through the thick jungle looking for wildlife and hoping to spot the comical proboscis monkey. Our guide Alex was a sweetheart, spoke fine English and was very knowledgeable about the park and all of the animals, plants and pockets we would have otherwise missed on our own. The park itself is gorgeous, so even if you saw nothing but plants and ocean, it would still be an enjoyable day.
Lucky for us, within minutes we found a flying lemur sleeping with both eyes open on a nearby tree.
Next up we found my beloved green viper snake camouflaging himself in a short shrub. He didn’t seem the least bit bothered to have a camera lens in his face.
We walked around the park enjoying the ocean, jungle and wooden pathways weaving us between the two.
Macaques, wild boar, neon green lizards and common monitor lizards all came to say hello before we trekked further into the jungle.
As promised, Alex led us down a beautiful walk towards the proboscis monkeys.
Alex knew where to look and at 3 p.m. he knew where the squads of monkeys liked to hang out. So we picked up the pace and headed to where our chances of seeing them would be best. Alex first heard them jumping from the trees and then we spotted a long white tail dangling from the trees above.
You honestly can’t help but laugh when you see these guys. The proboscis monkey is quite the unusual creature.
I think they might actually be an evolutionary mistake that somehow still exist. Just under 300 of them are still bouncing around in the heights of the trees in Sarawak. They have oversized noses that look like they were stolen straight from Pinocchio, bald white butts as if they have never seen the sunshine, and thick chest fur that looks like they are wear a faux fur vest. They seem to forget they have a tail attached because it just limply dangles over the tree branches.
We watched a handful of them before finding a few much younger and smaller ones nearby.
As our free entertainment decided they would take a nap, we decided we would take a lunch stop in the middle of a peaceful Mangrove forest.
All fueled up on peanuts and trail mix, we quickly carried on .
Unfortunately things took a bad turn as Judes’ foot slipped on the slick jungle floor, causing her to take a nasty fall. We didn’t know it at the time, but she had fractured her fibula.
Nobody would’ve guessed anything had happened at all because within seconds she popped back up and was ready to roll. This tough cookie kept pace the rest of the day and didn’t make a peep about the pain.
We decided we would catch a boat to another small beach where we would enjoy the peaceful isolation and take a hike up the rocks to see natures intuitive creation, the pitcher plant.
Jude was forced to sit the hike out, as her ankle was quite swollen and already threatening to display abnormal shades of blues.
John, James and I hiked up the rocks and hill to find pitcher plants and incredible views.
Missing Jude and with dark clouds in the distance, we headed back down to catch a boat. At around 4 p.m. the last boat took us back to the park gate.
A minivan shuttle had us back to the hotel by early evening. With a very swollen and now blue ankle, we all decided to stay in for dinner.
We had a lovely evening on the rooftop of the LimeTree Hotel and were excited about our kayak adventure the following day. Of course, Jude powered through as if the hiccup was just that.