Wednesday, 30 July 2008

BAKO NATIONAL PARK

The BAKO trip was the toughest ever for me. BAKO is Sarawak's oldest national part, covering 2727 hectares with 7 types of vegetation and was declared as a protected area since 1957. An American couple with a 7 year old boy, my friend and I, our guide Stephan and the boatman, we took an open boat to start our trails. It was drizzling the whole day but still very humid. Here's the journey:

Travelling from the jetty to another part of Bako for our first hike, view along the way.


Upon arrival, we saw wild hibiscus and an odd looking plant, never seen it before.


This wild boar greeted us, I was expecting a shorter version charging at us but this guy was big and walked slowly.


I pity the pit viper, there were too many people taking pictures.


I have never done any hiking before, so I expected to move along constructed wooden pathways on flat land. No way! It was up and down hill all the time. Only 10% of the treks had wooden stairs, the rest was just roots on the ground and by the trees to hold on. I had to be very careful as I couln't just hold on to any plant, it could be poisonous or with sharp needles.


















Our excellent guide, Stephan, a native Kelabit. He knows the trails very well and gives clear explanation on every thing. He helped me the most..considering that I am always the last and the slowest. Can't even complain as the 7 year old boy did so well!


The highlight of any Bako trip was to see the Proboscis Monkey. I will have to use a photo from Wiki as the ones I saw were swinging on the trees 5 metres high. Proboscis monkeys are protected by the Sarawak forestry, available only in Borneo with only 280 in Bako. They are well known for their large potruding nose (up to 7 inches long) and large belly. They weigh approximately 20kgs with reddish brown fur and white tail.



After an hour of hiking (felt eternity to me!), we made it out of the jungle!


Again, hopping on the boat to see the rock formation, the Sea Stack, a well known landmark of Bako. Some said it looks like a serpent head and we had many different animal versions of it, what do you think?


















We hopped off our boat again and Stephan shown us the following plateau, saying we are climbing up there. I told him he must be kidding. My knees were still wobbly and I could hardly walk and he expect me to climb up that plateau!? He said I could sit by the beach, and this was where the 7 year old was laughing. So, off I went - again, and it was 3 times more difficult, steeper and tougher. I did ask whether there was a lift somewhere.. I had to.


Argghh...more climbing and on certain parts, crawling up!!



The view was fantastic but the pictures were not so as it was raining all the time, otherwise it would be nice to have the clear blue sky. We were here for 10 minutes and heard the boatman screaming for us, pointing to the sky. Dark clouds hovered above us and a thunderstorm approaching. We had to get down immediately, and super fast! The boat in the header was ours.


There was only one jetty at the beginning of the trip, otherwise, it's hop on-off the boat.



Going home. Poor visibility and foggy, it started to rain heavier and we could see a storm coming our way. 7 to a boat, no roof or cover and crossing the South China seas. Am just glad we arrived safely.


My friend and I were just talking about our next Borneo trip, maybe a trip to the Mulu Caves. We certainly have to train for the next few months to be super fit (that's even tougher) as the hike into Mulu's foothill itself is more than 2 hours.

I came back to receive a wonderful gift all the way from Tasmania. Apart from the beautiful postcards and stickers, everything else was handmade by the wonderful Gina of Gingerbread. Thank you Gina :D


A big thank you to Christine of Sam's Place for this award, she was my very first bunny friend :D Also terima kasih (in Malay) to Elizabeth of About New York and The House in Marrakesh, another super-blogger you don't want to miss :D


Bye :D