Orange Tans

Trip Start May 30, 2005
Trip End Sep 30, 2006

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Flag of Malaysia  ,
Friday, September 16, 2005

After a little rest in KK I got restless again and headed east, back past Mount K, towards Sepilok. There is an Orang-Utan rescue center here, and to be honest it's the only reason to go. I decided to stay for two days in order to give my legs a little longer to recover from Mount K (in the end I wasn't able to walk down stairs properly for 4 days!). I stayed in a place called the Sepilok Jungle Resort, which was beutiful but was run by the most miserable staff that I've ever come across, barely a smile between them (so avoid them if you can).

Due to habital loss and a desire for Orang Utans as pets these animals are in danger of extinction. The center rehabilates orphaned and rescued Orang Utans back to health and teaches them how to climb trees, eat, and other basics like that. Once they're actually released back into the wild the center provides them with a number of feeding stations to help them suppliment the food that they find for themselves. It's a kind of a half way house for them as the goal is for them to become totally wild again. It's possible to visit the first feeding station twice a day to watch the proverbial monkey tea party (The more astute amongst you will know that Orang Utans are actually apes, but who's splitting hairs). I hobbled my way along the boardwalk to the first station, arriving 20 minutes early I found the masses of tourists waiting patiently, and some not so patiently for the Orangs. Just before 10am they showed up, swinging along ropes that lead to the platforms. Two men came out of the Jungle with packs full of bananas and milk and the party began.

Surrouding the platform were a number of Makak monkeys trying to get a piece of the action, and a piece of banana but our man heros kept them away. Despite the fact that Orangs are far bigger and stronger than Makaks they are physically afraid of them and will do their best to keep out of their way. The Orangs looked fantastic as they swung along. They'd stop on one of the nearby trees before continuing their way along to the platform. Of course the baby ones were even cuter and struggled along as they're still learning the ropes, ha ha, another bad pun. The best part for me was after about 30 minutes, many of the other tourists would wander off, apparently bored. As more people left the forest returned to a genuine stillness and you were able to watch them peacefully. I'd recommend this center to anyone that's passing through the area, it's a real treat.

For the second day I just sat around the guest house relaxing and trying to avoid the miserable staff. My main task for the day was to finish 'The Da Vinci Code', which I managed. At this point I'd like to quote Shane that I met in Burma, "People who say it's the best book they've ever read have probably only read one book". I totally agree with him. Don't get me wrong, it's entertaining at times but it's far off other books in terms of quality. I was also annoyed by how he built suspense, he'd withold information about events that had already happened in the book, rather than building suspense on what was about to happen. So, Mr Brown, you get a B- must try harder.
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irax on

Dan Brown
As they say, you've got to try everything at least once, and Dan Brown isn't getting a repeat performance. At least I managed to get rid of it for Stephen King's 'The Green Mile', that really is a superb book.

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