Shipwrecked by Sea Stacks

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
Trip End Aug 21, 2011

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Flag of Malaysia  , Sarawak,
Monday, May 2, 2011

Kuching is a very cool city with lots of excellent day trips and today's outing to Bako National Park was fantastic. After only a 45 minute bus journey and 20 minute boat ride, you find yourself back in the deep jungle. We'd planned to spend most of our time on a spectacular beach but as it was raining decided to head out on one of the trails instead and hunt out some more proboscis monkeys. The beach plan meant that we’d dressed in flipflops and after about 200m it became clear this wasn’t the most sensible of footwear choices! Unlike at Mulu where the trails were mostly on flat boardwalks, at Bako we found ourselves negotiating huge rocks and climbing up and down root covered inclines. Never mind, it was brilliant fun and although we didn’t see any rare proboscis monkeys we did see some naughty Macaques hanging around on the lookout for tourist’s food and some very weird looking crabs which had one enormous claw as big as their bodies. (Charlotte was scared off them, crabs are her nemeses.)

The path brought us onto a beach where an entrepreneurial man was waiting with his boat keen to overcharge us to take us the 5 minutes by water to the most popular beach in the park. His son was very cute so we gave him the 6 and tried to look impressed when he gave us a tour of the famous 'Sea Stacks’. They really weren’t particularly spectacular, but the beach was and the sun had even come out for us. A swim washed off all of the jungle sweat and having munched down a couple of bags of Cheesos (our fav Malaysian crisps) we were up for heading back into the rainforest for the 1hr trek back to Park Headquarters.

 We still didn’t see any proboscis monkeys, but more enormous ants, pitcher plants and the threat of leeches kept us amused on the fairly strenuous trail back. Unfortunately though, having successfully  managed to negotiate vines and rock faces in flip-flops all day, Char tripped on a paving stone and badly stubbed her toe right outside the cafeteria! Unexpectedly, our wrinkly boat driver returned and picked us up on time despite the fact that he had seemed very intoxicated when we made the arrangement at 10am. At the drop off, we decided against waiting for the bus and hopped in a van owned by  a dedicated Chelsea supporter instead who as well as wearing the entire kit had plastered his rickety vehicle with it. He gave us a very cheap rate which was good, but the van sounded like it was going to clap out at any moment and he could barely keep his eyes open, yawning profusely the entire way home.

Back at Singghasana we spent more time in the lovely rooftop bar before heading out to find somewhere different to eat. (We’ve eaten at Junk twice now, and been for drinks, but it was SO good there.) We first headed up to food court on the roof of a multi-storey car park which was recommended in the Lonely Planet. It was certainly popular with the locals and contained a dazzling array of seafood and strange meats to throw in a hotpot. We decided it wasn’t for us however when, Char and I were having a look at some fish and the electric heater at the top of the stall caught fire. A big group of people gathered and unsuccessfully tried to get the fire extinguisher to work, before chucking water at it! Unimpressed, we headed back into town and found a cute little place where they served us our 'fusion’ food one at a time, but at a 1 a dish, we couldn’t complain.

Our last night on bonkers, brilliant, Borneo ended with yet more card-playing in the hostel bar, munching cornettos and toblerones, and drinking Tiger beer. Its been a fantastic trip, and one last look at the orang-utans in the morning should top it off nicely!

Miles Cycled: 0, backpackers at the moment
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