Caves and jungle

Trip Start Jul 15, 2011
Trip End Aug 16, 2011

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Where I stayed

Flag of Malaysia  , Sarawak,
Friday, August 5, 2011

The next day we have a big program. At 8:45 am we leave camp to make an excursion to the Wind Cave and a local village. The village is nothing exciting but the boat trip is great. The water is so low that we have to get out and push the boat several times, which is actually quite nice to cool off!! The caves are very interesting and and the girls have fun exploring them with their flashlights. The caves are one of the reason Mulu was put on the World Heritage Natural Sites List. Apparently those caves are geologically very important...don't ask me why! We have just one hour to have lunch before our next trek, direction the Deer Cave, the biggest cave in the world! Next to it we'll visit the ??? cave. The Deer Cave is very impressive, the opening is so big that the light goes in way back. It takes a while before getting all dark. Millions of bats live in that cave and I don't know how many cm of guano cover the ground...hence the nice smell!!!! Back at the end of the actual cave (part of the roof collapsed, separating it from another cave) we find little bats on the floor...poor things probably don't know how to fly yet and somehow fell of the ceiling. The girls are of course all...ohhhhhhhh, pooooor thing, but that's the way it is unfortunately, no one is allowed to pick them up, not even the park guides. I can't remember the exact dimensions of the cave but I remember the guide telling you can fit 6 football fields in there! And that's without mentioning the height of at least 150 m!!! The next cave is the most beautiful of all, very low but deep and full of beautiful "decorations", with a river flowing through it. On the way out we all wait for the bats to come out of the deer cave (at about 5:30 pm every night) to look for food. Each bat eats about 10g of insects per night, that multiplied by about 3 million bats....that's a lot of mosquitoes. By the way, no mosquitoes here! At night we can sit outside our little house and enjoy some Sauvignon from New Zealand, yes yes, flown into the jungle for us!!!!  Anyway, once the bats start flying out, the japanese group next to us keeps ooooooohhhhhh, haaaaaaaaahhh , waooooooooowing, becoming more of an attraction than the bats!!! We all start on the journey back...we're hungry! The food here is is a little difficult to keep the kids of the hamburgers and hot dogs but I insist, we didn't fly all the way here to eat junk food!!! But fortunately they do like the food here!!
After two plane rides and about 4 hours transit at Kota Kinabalu airport, we finally arrive at Mulu. This should be one of the highlights of the trip. The park regroups some of the most spectacular caves, including the world's biggest one, the Deer Cave. It was only discovered in 1977!! On our arrival day we have a 2 hour night walk through the jungle. It is always kind of exciting to walk around in the dark, not knowing what you are going to meet...this time we don't meet much, except a few spiders and insects. But no one is disappointed, it's actually more about the fun of being in the jungle in the dark!!!!It is harder to spot wildlife here than where we were before because the forest is much thicker, which makes it of course easier for the animals to hide!
We have a delicious dinner and off to bed, cause we have to be ready tomorrow for the Canopy Walk at 8:30 pm!

The Canopy walk is just great!!! You walk about 30 meters above ground on a kind of hanging wooden bridge, from tree to tree. The idea is to see birds but I guess we are just to noisy on the wobbling thing. It's much fun! The Walk is 250 meters long but it feels like several kilometers. The girls aren't scared at all, Michael and I aren't scared but not too sure either!!!! In the afternoon we are free and the girls and I take a swim in the river. It is great, super refreshing and the water is very clear and clean (actually it is the water we are showering with!). We decide to get another nice bottle of wine and have a real apero at our little house. Tomorrow is the last day with our friends and the kids are disappointed they have to leave. Fortunately we have one last activity all together.

We are back from the river walk! It was much fun. The guides dropped us off somewhere on the river and we just walked up the little stream, deep into the jungle. Said he would pick us up in 2 hours...let's hope he'll remember where he dropped us off!!! We start walking up stream, in the water and the kids are just splashing around having the biggest of fun. They are all swimming with their clothes on, no time to change into their bathing suits!! We walk about 45 minutes upstream and it is just beautiful, so quiet (if you can ignore the noise of 6 excited and screaming kids), just birds...Time goes by very fast and it is already time to be picked up! We are all very hungry and look forward to a great lunch. Our friends go on a last tour but leave the kids with us so they can have fun one last time. SO I am now writing the blog and watching the kids jumping in the river (eventhough it says no jumping!!)! We will all have a nice glass of wine (yes, again!) all together tonight before we leave tomorrow. We leave for Miri and our friends are flying to Kuala Lumpur.

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Jim on

Haha....Jennifer heeft heerlijk zitten griezelen bij alle insectenfoto's gisterenavond.

Veel plezier en tot oktober!!!

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