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Published: February 14th 2009
This morning I am being picked up and driven by mini bus through the palm oil plantations to a lodge on the Kinabatangan River. This was my first road trip in Borneo and the countryside is not what I expected, the deep jungles and the bumpy little roads of my imagination are no more, instead there where miles and miles of palm oil plantations or scorched land. After a long trip we arrived on the banks of the river and were transported across in long boats, there are about a dozen other people all with companions or partners, hence my paying extra for a room.
After putting our gear in our rooms we returned to the open sided dining room/bar for lunch before embarking on a tour up river. This is the reason why I chose to come here and my expectations were met as I was able to see a range of wildlife including two species of monkey, a number of large water monitors and some beautiful exotic horn bills. How these creatures survive clinging to vegetation along the river amazes me but I am glad I had the opportunity to see them in there native habitat. The Proboscis
Monkey was probably the highlight we were able to get in close under their trees along the waters edge and watch them going through their delay habits, including feeding, grooming and jumping through the trees, I wish I had a decent zoom on my camera as I could have taken some really good shots on this trip. Unfortunately we didn’t sight any elephant, rhino or orangutan although I did see a number of nests in the trees.
The boat arrived back at the camp in the early evening; the people staying at the camp gravitated to the dining area for a few drinks and dinner before being entertained by some of the local workers. I sat drank a few beers talked to an Australian couple from Tasmania and watched the bats flying around the hut snatching insects from the air.
Around 9pm one of the guys at the camp took a group of people out for a jungle walk, unfortunately I had left most of my gear back at the hotel and I was not able to go as I didn’t have any decent boots. So I went back to the hut had one more beer before returning
to my room for a show and an early night as breakfast will be served before dawn and then we are going back out on the river.
The next morning we were off straight after breakfast, I enjoyed this trip immensely although we didn’t see any new animals, but we did get to see more horn bills which were a highlight. On return to the camp we had lunch, packed up our belongings and were returned across the river to where the transport was waiting. Unfortunately there were not enough seats for everyone and being alone I got stuck in the back of a 4WD without a seat and got bounced all over the place on the way back to Sepiloc.
I stayed at the lodge that night settling into watch a few movies after a satisfying dinner, I then arranged a ride from the lodge out to the bus stop on the main highway for the next morning, and I would be traveling by bus through the mountains to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah's capital. The journey was picturesque and fast and I shared the journey with a pleasant French couple who I enjoyed chatting with, finally arriving in
the evening and setting out to find a place to stay, eventually settling on a central Chinese run hotel. I then headed out in search of a restaurant or bar where I watched Australia lose to Japan on penalties in the Asia Cup quarter finals.
The next day I wandered around town looking at the Museum's, mosques and other highlights before taking a cab to the airport for the fight to Kuching the capital of Sarawak.
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