18 + only
Trip Start Mar 17, 2007
450Trip End Ongoing
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booking company: www.stawdventure.com
proboscis sanctuary: www.proboscis.cc
silver moneys: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silvery_Lutung
orang utan rehabilitation center: http://www.sabahtravelguide.com/mapguide/default.asp?page=sepilok
We are downstairs at 09h28 and picked up 2 minutes later by our own private jeep! The guy explains that we go to the proboscis moneys first: their feeding time is 11h30. Although the drive is only 60 kilometers, it is 1,5 hours, of which half on bad dirt roads! Our driver explained that only 4 WD can get through, if it rained. It did not rain lately but I still think a 2 WD would struggle!
At 11, upon arrival, we are asked to take of our shoes en offered a cup of coffee. First the Silvery Lutung are fed. Cute little things with pointy heads. We THINK it is their hair, which is pointy. Does that remind you of someone? The babies are bright orange: they really look like stuffed toys!
Then it is feeding time for the proboscis. This is the only place on earth where you can find them. They ARE amazing. That nose!!!!! They have big bellies because of their specific diet. They are fed on 4 different platforms: 4 groups. The tourists are standing in the middle. It is difficult to see them up close on a jungle walk, they are shy. Those groups, showing up here, are not in captivity, they are just used to the feeding (of pancakes and cucumber) and the tourists. After all: we are 45 minutes deep in the jungle! IF they remind you of someone you know, tell me (but not her or him).
We leave at 12h30 to have our lunch in 'their' resort. The resort of the travel agency, that is. It looks fabulous on their brochure but the reality is much less. We did not see the bungalows from the inside, so we do not know whether they are nice. The meal was almost cr.ppy.
14h: orang utan rehabilitation center. Movie first. This time, it is even useful! This is an oran outang rehabilitation center. Orphans and sick animals are adopted and released back in nature. There are only 20.000 left in the world. They are much like humans: 94,6% like us, in fact. For a babies, it is a long and work intensive procedure to give them enough affection and still make them ready for the wild. It takes about 4 years.
The feeding at 15h has a view on 'platform 1', the last spot before releasing them into the wild. Some come back to the feeding place every day, some rarely, some are never seen again.
Our 'guide', who is in fact only the driver, hands us over to another guy, who ask us to wait for his other costumers before going to the viewpoint. Which resulted in us being late, with no added value. That 'guide' did not say one word and by waiting for him, all front row places were taken. Half an hour later, the apes return to the jungle and we are driving home.
I loved our monkey day. But, be warned: you have to like monkeys OR really want to see those noses with your own eyes, otherwise it is a long journey for a couple of apes!
Tomcat did not like his food in the hotel yesterday evening, so he wants to go out for a meal. I did not see anything when we were shopping. I do not want something dodgy: we have to spend 1,5 hours on a boat tomorrow! Dr T insists. We walk around for an hour, seeing 2 possible candidate restaurants for dinner, both full. We go back to the first on, find a table and realize: people come here to drink! Grandpa fell asleep over his Carlsberg. Oranjeboom is the cheapest beer! I am reluctant to eat here but order a Tom Yam anyway, which turns out to be delicious! A pity we forgot our camera: the 'couleur locale' is unique.
One hour more on internet in the hotel. This is goodbye to our friends for a while. We go to an island, in the middle of nowhere tomorrow: Lankayan. The website is vague about internet. I predict: no wireless, maybe a PC you can rent (IF it works) and possibly no mobile reach either!
We walk back home. Pack and go to bed.