Monday, July 2, 2012

We both woke up before the alarm, and it was already light outside. Interestingly, unlike many places with "early" walks, breakfast was before the morning walk. We got "leech ready" again, then got our breakfast in. The hike started at 8am, and we were in a group of 7. It was us, the Swedish folks who'd been in our group the day before, plus an Australian family who we'd seen at Sepilok and one evening at Kinabatangan River Lodge. We were doing the walk up to the viewpoint, which, as the crow flies, was just across the river from the main lodge. We started off the same way as the day before, going past the far away rooms (including ours) and going over the hanging bridges. On the way, we saw some macaques jumping through the forest, the resident alpha male macaque, who they call "Drogba" and also a tree that had fallen yesterday shortly after we came back during the rain. Apparently falling trees is why they always rush back to the lodge during heavy rain.

On the walk we saw a number of centipedes and millipedes. It was slow but steady uphill, with our guide Mesius telling us about stuff about plants, much of which went in one ear and out the other, but some of which we remembered. For example, Ironwood trees won't start to break down for decades after falling, and the native people used Ironwood trees to make coffins because of this. We saw a number of birds, including one that was bright crimson on the chest - alas, we don't remember the name. But Mesius seemed excited to see it. We stopped fairly regularly because of the incline, and every time we stopped, everyone looked around to see if they had any leeches. Near the top, we stopped to check out an old burial ground. The viewpoint was very nice, and we could see the hotel, the river, and far into the distance. By this time we were absolutely soaked, and not from rain this time. It had to be in the 90s - both temperature and humidity.


The walk down was on the same path, with a short stop at the "Jacuzzi pool." We didn't go in (we didn't want to walk in our swimsuits and we didn't want to carry them either), but were happy to not be walking any more. We got back to the lodge about 12:30, ate lunch, then took a nap before our 3:00pm start. For the afternoon walk, we started on nature tour trail that Justin walked the day before. We went from that nature trail to the Hornbill trail, then to the Canopy Walk. About halfway across Hornbill trail, it started to rain again, but not as much as last two days. Our jackets made us sweat, but no jackets meant getting rained on, so we were constantly choosing between these two evils, seemingly zipping up and down every minute or so as the rain oscillated.

On the canopy walk, it was still raining, but very lightly, which was nice in terms of comfort but made it really tough to take any photos. Crystal's camera had been damaged by the repeated rainy days - it still took photos okay, but the LCD screen had numerous rows and columns of pixels that were just white. So it was a bit of a guessing game as to what exactly the picture was going to look like - kind of like the good ol' days. On the walk back to the lodge, Mesius got a call about some red leaf monkeys, so we took a detour onto the Danum trail, walked down that for a bit, then found a troup of them. They were just hanging out eating the leaves up in the trees, and didn't seem bothered by us in the least. We all had our cameras aimed up, and whenever they moved, all the rain water that had collected on the leaves came crashing down on us. We finally left when nother group came by, and it wasn't too far to get back to the lodge.

We got back a little after 5:30, checked for leeches (for about the 50th time that day), and then went back to the room. It was good to get cleaned up - we put these clothes in a special bag far away from everything else. Ironically, after all the warnings about leeches, we were somewhat disappointed that there were no bites on either of us. After putting on some nice clean clothes, we got drinks (full bar, nice) and then dinner. Crystal was feeling much better - perhaps she had sweated all the toxins out. There was a night walk, but both of us were tired and not very interested in putting bug spray and boots back on, so instead we just had another drink or two, then went to sleep early.