Rock bottom at Pinnacles, GMNP

Trip Start Jul 10, 2006
Trip End May 31, 2007

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Flag of Malaysia  ,
Friday, September 8, 2006

Our last stop in Sarawak before heading to Sabah province, was Gunung Mulu National Park - one of Malaysia's World Heritage Sites. GMNP is also home of Southeast Asia's largest cave system - currently only 300km of the cave system is mapped! Deer Cave has the largest cave entrance chamber in the world and is big enough for a Boeing 747 to fly through. (But not to turn around in before hitting the other end, hence the reason you've never heard of this actually happening)

In brief we did lots of cool things like, a guided night walk through jungle walkways, with the most pathetic torches in the world - not ideal for the number of reptiles and 8-legged thingies we were dealing with.

We also visited some of their massive cave system. The most impressive cave (Deer Cave) had a sunset ritual of 3 Million (MILLION) bats streaming out of the cave in 25 snake-like formations, to defend themselves against hungry bathawks! Incredible. Thanks to Sanyo's lithium battery life (refer to Hong Kong Nathan Road incident), we have the following pictures:

In preparation for our planned walk up Mount Kinabalu, and ultimately for trekking in Nepal, we decided to attempt what is innocently know as "the Pinnacles" in Gunung Mulu. If I had read the following website extract, don't think we would have climbed it!

"The trail to view the Pinnacles is only 2.4 km long but rises 1.2km (yes, A ONE:TWO GRADIENT!!!!) and the last section is near vertical with ropes and ladders to climb. Slow down, take time to enjoy the limestone forest, glimpse the tree shrews running past and as you reach the higher altitudes see some spectacular pitcher plants and rare orchids.(YEAH RIGHT!!!) Fit, experienced trekkers may reach the top in 2-3 hours, the not so fit around 4-5 hours. For many, the descent is more difficult and can take 5 hours or more."

8 HOURS later, we were back at Camp 5 & totally legless - or at least they didn't work very well. The view at the top was good, but after scaling vines & moss-covered limestone at 45degrees for 5 hours, who CARES what the view is like... oh, and it rained all the way on the descent. Yay.

The park itself was great and well worth visiting. They even have a tree named after Rob.
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