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Published: July 24th 2014
Small Monitor Lizard
There were at least two pythons, too, but I could not make them out.
KINABATANGAN RIVER TRIP
As a child I was wild about jungles, and Tarzan and Sheena. I grew up and twenty years ago I had a chance to motor in a small Philippine banka or pump boat (powered by a washing machine pump) up the Busuanga River until you could almost touch both banks. It was truly amazing. The foliage met overhead and the jungle sounds were right out of a movie. To get to the Busuanga River you aimed the boat directly at the beach and gunned the engine. At the last minute a hard left turn swung the small craft right up the, until then, invisible river.
The Kinabatangan River Trip in Borneo was much tamer, but still quite enjoyable. The Nature Lodge was just across the river from where the bus dropped us off and just a two hour trip from the Jungle Lodge in Sepilok. I stayed at the Nature Lodge for two nights and slept in a very nice dorm with three young women. There was a bathhouse with four private showers and toilets for the women, the same on the other side for the men. The
They look like they have clothes on; a rust colored vest and grey slacks.
food was good, and plentiful and served in a nice elevated dining hall. Meals and activities were announced by someone repeatedly hitting a large, melodious gong.
There were two river cruises each day; one before breakfast, and one in the late afternoon just before dinner. This was a rather passive experience, just sitting in a boat with a life jacket looking at the trees but it was enjoyable and the breeze from the moving boat provided relief from the incredible heat and mugginess of the jungle.
Invariably the skies released a deluge of water as we searched the trees and hoped to see something. There were numerous cranes, or white egrets, an eagle, many monkeys, a couple of alligators, beautiful kingfishers, two snakes, and on the last cruise we saw two Borneo pygmy elephants with their baby. In the evening the trees were so full of monkeys that they looked like trees full of fruit. We saw many proboscis monkeys with their red vests and grey slacks and tails and their swollen noses. My camera was inadequate to capture photos of the creatures due to how far away they were. Also in abundance were
And the Rain Came Down
Too many boats; waiting for the pygmy elephants. I felt sorry for the animals.
both the long and short tailed macaques leaping with abandon from tree to tree. There were even a few orangutans. A Swedish lady explained the large numbers of monkeys around the river. The rain forests are rapidly being depleted for their lumber, and replaced by huge plantations of palm trees for the palm oil industry. The loss of their regular habitat forces the monkeys to seek refuge from predators in the tall trees near the river.
In addition to the river cruises, each day there were two scheduled jungle walks; a three hour excursion in the morning before lunch and another at night. But we saw the largest reptile from the dining hall. Right after our lunch we saw an impressive five foot long specimen sunning himself, and probably hoping for a tidbit from the wait staff.
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