Into the Jungle and Getting Our Groove Back...


Advertisement
Malaysia's flag
Asia » Malaysia » Sarawak » Gunung Mulu National Park
October 21st 2015
Published: November 25th 2015
Edit Blog Post

After one failed attempt to get to Gunung Mulu National Park and an unplanned evening in Kuching (due to the Haze mentioned in a previous post the pilot couldn't see the runway so we were diverted to Kuching), the weather decided to cooperate and we safely touched down in Mulu, the beginning of our jungle adventure in Borneo...

This is one of the stops I couldn't wait to get to, and with a full slate of activities planned over the next 3-4 days it was going to be busy...checked into our hotel, and as the accommodations in the park itself were all booked we decided to rough it at the five star Marriott resort, sweet! Not a big selection of accommodation here, there are some dorm style hostels just outside the park entrance but we figured after long days hiking in the jungle then a/c and a pool might be kinda nice...and it was...haha...

Only one activity planned this day, the night walk...very cool, left the park HQ at about 7pm with a guide and proceeded to follow a boardwalk through the jungle to try and find the critters that come out after dark...managed to spot a small green viper, a really cool double tail moth, some spiders and tiny but very vocal frog using a pipe as an amplifier, awesome...guide was informative, as were all the guides we would discover, and overall a great introduction to the park...

Following day was a full one, starting off with a canopy tour...once again the guide was great, explaining all the flora and fauna of the area as we made our way to the suspended walkways...then we were left to our own devices to slowly make our way through the treetops and explore the jungle from a different vantage point (this is something else I really enjoyed about the tours: as all the trails were well marked the guides would be with us for half the tour and then just point us in the right direction back to HQ and we could return at our own leisure...). Loved it, but the midday heat and humidity were starting to rise and I was already sweating profusely (if you have read any previous adventures of mine you will know that I'm a sweater, and this trip would turn out to be the worst...with 99% humidity every day I didn't stop sweating from the moment I arrived until I got back to Canada...never stood a chance...haha...). Chilled out with some lunch and then it was back for the afternoon activity: Deer Cave!

For all you who have seen those Earth documentaries, Deer Cave was featured in some of them; it's a ginormous cave some 200 meters high and quite deep, but the main thing is the 3-5 million bats that inhabit the place! We started off in a smaller cave next door, Lang cave, which was full of neat stalactites and stalagmites but the main show was definitely Deer Cave, and it did not disappoint...huge, there is no other word to describe it; I have been in other caves on our travels but nothing like this, it felt like we were on another planet...we could see these large black spots on the ceiling, these were the bats relaxing for the afternoon...did manage to find the odd smaller bat in some cracks and crevices closer to the cave floor but most were well out of reach...thankfully I guess...haha...

After exploring the cave it was then onto the observatory for the next part of the show; feeding time! Most evenings around 5:30pm the bats all emerge from the cave to go dining on insects, incredible...a few started coming out, and then it was just a constant stream of bats emerging and flying overhead, absolutely wild...we watched for half an hour as they poured out, it would look like it was ending and then another wave would start...it was starting to get dark so we decided to pack it in and start heading back for the 45 minute hike to HQ, so we left the bats to their dinner and headed home...

Day 3 was an all day tour up the river in a long boat where we visited a Penan longhouse and from there with the aid of a local guide we hiked about an hour into the jungle to our very own private waterfall! It was awesome; we packed a lunch and brought our swim gear, we also had a park guide with us to interpret, what a fantastic day...the one hour boat ride was cool, the hike was sweltering and then to be able to jump into a pool of water at the base of a waterfall was superb...I didn't want to leave! It was also great because it was
Into the abyss....Into the abyss....Into the abyss....

...looking back at the entrance of Deer Cave at about the halfway point?
just K and I, this tour was relatively new and when we signed the guestbook at the longhouse we discovered the last folks to come through was a month previous...shame because this got you off the beaten paths of the park and out into the wilderness...

Our final day was a morning tour to the Wind and Clear caves, which involved hopping into boats and heading up river...stopped first at our guide's village where there were folks selling handicrafts, but more importantly there was a blowpipe demonstration and we all got to try it...cool! Jumped at the opportunity, paid a couple of bucks for the darts and then gave'r, only to see my first dart fall out the end of the pipe...not the best start...next dart hardly hit the board, so couldn't end on that note and bought a couple more darts...fared better, at least the darts hit the board with some authority...but then the Lovely K stepped up and kicked my butt! She was a natural, and I started playing up the excuses with one of the guides there and had a big laugh...It was funny because we actually kept bumping into this guide at different spots on the rest of our trip, and every time he saw us he would just start laughing, great guy...

After the humiliation it was on to the caves; very cool in their own right but after Deer Cave they were a little less impressive...still a good outing and worth it though...

Rest of the day was relaxing around the pool and the hotel, had a great time there...met some fantastic folks, in particular this couple from Europe (she was from Munich, he was from Brighton) and had some good laughs with them...all in all this was amazing, it was the jungle I had imagined before I arrived and it felt like we were finally into the groove of this adventure...next stop Kuching...

(Some photos copyright of Karen C., denoted by (KC)...used with kind permission)


Additional photos below
Photos: 60, Displayed: 26


Advertisement

Spider...Spider...
Spider...

...from the night walk...
Two Tailed Moth...Two Tailed Moth...
Two Tailed Moth...

...not sure if that's the exact name but really cool, caught this one taking off towards me, the eyes glow red in the dark...they're about the size of your hand as well...
Canopy TourCanopy Tour
Canopy Tour

...this was cool going from walkway to walkway in the treetops...
Thank you, thank you very much...Thank you, thank you very much...
Thank you, thank you very much...

...I'll be here all week, try the veal...(KC)


25th November 2015
Viper

Looks like a green tree snake that likes to jump on people as they pass by...
Also be on the look out for spitting cobras which can be fate 4 meters away! Enjoy the jungle!!
26th November 2015
Viper

Fortunately didn't jump but was told they were venomous...
...fortunately didn't see any cobras either!
26th November 2015

That humidity...
I can feel that humidity just looking at your photos! I couldn't agree more about having a nice place to go back to after hiking - it puts me in a much better mood for the next day of hiking ;)
26th November 2015

I'm starting to sweat just thinking of the humidity...haha...
It was awesome heading back to a pool and a/c after slogging through the jungle all day...
27th November 2015
Viper

Viper
Yikes. Sounds like a great trip.
29th November 2015
Viper

Great trip...
...it really was, the food, activities, sites/sights and especially the people really made the trip, too bad it's so far from home as I'd love to go back and hang out in Kuching again...

Tot: 0.107s; Tpl: 0.056s; cc: 11; qc: 36; dbt: 0.0198s; 1; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 2; ; mem: 1.3mb