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Published: June 14th 2017
Geo: 5.01965, 117.746
Breakfast was at 7am so we could make a good start on our trek up to the lookout point before it got too hot. Breakfast was extensive, fruits, cereal, toast, omelettes and cooked both western and Malaysian. There were pancakes with bacon and syrup.... I/we could not resist.
The trek took us up, very up. We saw a mock viper snake on the path. Abt a foot long and actually spotted by Emily, not our guide!! Our guide actually nearly stood on it!! And yes it was poisonous!!! Oh good!! We followed a termite colony moving house, a steady stream of them, all in a line for around 400m. Up trees, backdown trees, across roots and leaves and branches!!! It was incredible for bugs and so many millions of them.
The first bit we stopped at was the coffin cliff, where an ancient tribe used to 'bury' their dead in the holes of the limestone cliffs. Away from any predators and higher than the ground, closer to their gods. You could still see the top of the skull, some teeth and a forearm.
It was then very uphill to the lookout point. Maybe only was maybe as much as up
to the gazebo in Sheringham park, but in 30 degrees and ridiculously high humidity it was rank!! I looked like I was going to pass out when I got up there, some of the photos of me are horrific and hopefully will never see the light of day again!! It was worth the climb though as you could see for miles over the valley. We were supposed to go back down a different route, but apparently due to a tree falling over, we could not continue with the plan, so we back tracked, passed he termites, all the way back down to the valley below.
We stopped at a waterfall, where if you went in the water, the fish would come and eat the dead skin off your feet, a little like you would pay a fortune for at some of the spas back home. I did not go in as the thought of it has freaked me out since it became a spa treatment. James went in first and screamed like a girl!! It was hilarious. A little like having pins and needles in your feet.... this did not add to my little desire to go in!!
back to the lodge for some much needed lunch. I had been ill that morning, so with no food in me, every ounce of energy had been used to get me up that blooming hill and back again. Lunch stayed down and there was a rhino hornbill flying around whilst we were eating, which was much more colourful than I expected.
We had planned to meet our guide at 4pm to go trekking up the hornbill path, as this is where orangutans had been spotted in the morning. We turned up in all our walking gear and there was syafiq in his wetsuit and shorts. Matt and Cecil had decided that they wanted to go tubing as they do not like trekking and that meant we were expected to do the same without being told. Ourselves and James/Emily did not want to go tubing as we were yet to see any orangutans and that was the main purpose of being there, to see them in the wild. The other james got quite angry as we were going to be palmed off on another guide with their own group as well as us for the afternoon. Wildlife trekking in groups of
10 is not optimal conditions!! Syafiq kept asking him to settle down which did not help the situation. So off we were sent to find our new guide who was lovely but doing the introduction walk we did yesterday, with the same favourite trees and deadly plants as the day before. We were not impressed so headed back to the lodge to find a different guide. The lady at reception was so lovely and found us a new guide for the afternoon. His name was Paul and had much more of a presence about him than Syafiq. We headed off on a lower level trek as we had wasted so much time, we now did not have time to do the original route. We climbed through a fallen down tree, saw some more pill millipedes and termites, but that was abt it as the heavens opened. Like putting your electric power shower as high as it will go, heavens opened. This lasted about 15mins and you can imagine the state of drowned rats that we were. We embraced the soggy though and carried on the path, that was more stream like than path like all the same. We cut back
up to the road and Paul had sent for the truck to take us back as he had to be somewhere else (it was his afternoon off!) but he did not know us, so we sent him back in the truck and walked the km back to the lodge along the road by ourselves.
We returned about 6.00 to the lodge and were supposed to head out on a night walk at 6.30. We were so drenched we decided not to go as all we wanted was a cool shower and dry clothes. On the way back to the room, we heard they had seen 3 orangutans on the hornbill trAil that afternoon. Angry much!! I made a makeshift clothesline in an attempt to dry out some clothes, however with just a ceiling fan and a million percent humidity, you can imagine how well that went!! We had a cocktail with dinner again, for which I ate my weight in satay beef again and attempted to back what we could that want soggy ready for our pick up the next day!
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