Published: March 3rd 2007March 1st 2007
Sorry it's been so long since our last blog entry, but unfortunately we've been without internet for some time, so we've got a lot to catch up on.
We left Kuala Lumpur on the 20th and travelled up to Taman Negara Ntional Park by a very swanky bus with A/C and fully reclining seats! The journey took about 4 hour, followed by a 3 hour boat ride up stream to our accomodation at Nusa Camp, right in the heart of the jungle. The boat ride was really pleasant and relaxing, with loads to take in. There was jungle as far as the eye could see and many different birds, boar, water buffalo and even a monitor lizard.
At Nusa Camp we stayed in a small chalet, with fan, bathroom and our own personal giant spider who lived in our toilet cistern and only seemed to emerge when Dan wasn't around!
That evening we went on a Night Safari, which basically entailed driving through the jungle shining a spotlight up into the canopy to try and pick out animal eyes. This worked suprisingly well and we saw quite a lot that night including Slow Loris (our
favourtie), Flying Foxes, a Common Palm Civet, a Binturong and a Leopard Cat. Once the eyes of the animal were spotted, on most occasions we were able to get a good look at the whole animal in the light. The safari lasted 3 hours and we didn't get to bed until 1am.
The following morning (21st) we headed out on our first proper trek. Even though we left about 9.30am it was still rather hot and humid which didn't make the one hour up-hill (and I mean seriously up-hill, almost vertical in places!) walk to Warisan Hill particularly easy! The trail was hard going in itself, tree roots were everywhere and on occasions we had to climb on our hands and knees, though thankfully there weren't any leeches!! We had a very good guide who pointed out many of the different bird calls as well as the call of the Gibbons, however we were unable to see them because of the thick canopy. Despite arriving very hot and sweaty, the view from the top was AMAZING. We both felt a real sense of achievement. You couldn't see anything but jungle in every direction. We were also really lucky and
got to see a Rhinosorus Hornbill, which is an absolutly awesome looking bird. It's basically like a larger more impressive version of the Toucan and makes a hell of a racket when it flies.
That afternoon we headed down stream to the Canopy Walkway, which is 25m above the ground and 400m in length. It was really cool being up in the canopy but was rather scary as the walkway rocked around quite a lot (even Dan admitted to being a little 'concerned'!). After the walkway it was on to the rapids (though not quite in the white-water rafting sense!). We basically just went through some of the faster water in quite a small wooden boat and got absolutly soaked! That evening we went on a walking night safari for a couple of hours. We saw so many bugs and many of them were HUGE! The biggest bugs either of us have ever seen. We saw large hunting spiders, fishing spiders, a tarantula, 3 gigantic scorpions, fire flies, a massive and very colourful centipede, a stick insect over a foot long as well as various other creepy crawlies.
On the morning of our third day, 22nd, we embarked
on another trek, this time to a waterfall, about 2 hours away. This walk wasn't as strenuous as the last as with didn't have to climb so much, nevertheless we were still drenched with sweat by the time we got there and were very ready for a dip. The water was freezing but couldn't have been more refreshing and the waterfall gave a very nice back massage! That afternoon, after we everntually made it back from the waterfall, we headed over to Telinga (Ear) Cave. Nobody had warned us quite what we had let ourselves in for, but I'm glad they didn't as I wouldn't have gone otherwise. Even when we arrived there and our guide warned us that we might have to crawl for a bit, I still thought that it couldn't be that bad! However, it turned out to be more like Pot Holeing than caving! We had to crawl along on our hands and knees for most of it through all the bat poo and the water. We even had to take our backpacks off to squeeze through some of the gaps, and it really was a squeeze! But it was a brilliant experience and we get
to see loads of really cute little bats, literally a foot away from us. That evening we had hoped to go on another night safari but unfortunately none of the other guests wanted to. However, the evening wasn't a complete loss as a porcupine turned up at the camp. The guys at the camp had hand reared it a few years back and then released it into the wild, but it still returns every now and
then for a free feed. It was unbelievably tame and Dan actually got to stroke it!
Between the scheduled activities we used to go for a wander by ourselves around the camp and surrounding jungle and on one occassion came across a wicked looking spider. We took a few photos and later showed our guide who said that he'd never seen one like it before and thought that it may even be a new species! We had to then show him where it was and he took some photos himself to send to a collegue who's an expert in this field. However, since then we have checked this spider out on the net and unfortunately it's not a new species...the Sweet-Free Spider will
have to wait for another day!
As you'll probably see from the ridiculous number of bug photos, Dan's worked out how to use the Macro function on his camera!
The following day it was time to move on, and we headed up to the Perhentian Islands, by a very hot 5 hour mini-van ride followed by a 20min speed boat ride out to the islands (10 miles off the main land).
There are more photos below