Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Justin got up early for the morning walk, Crystal did not. At the Lodge, meeting up with the rest of the group, Justin found out that all we missed the night before were some bugs. The morning walk was not a set trek, but was instead walking in search of primates. Alas, most of them were asleep or hiding from us, because we didn't see anything. We did pass the Jacuzzi pool again, and it was much more full than the day before - it had rained hard overnight. While we were walking around, one of the rangers found an orangutan nest, so we headed over towards the ranger, but the orangutans were still asleep. So Mesius told us to grab breakfast, and we'd head back in an hour. Because of this, Crystal got to eat breakfast and then head out for the real sighting, while Justin just got some...exercise.
When we got back to where the orangutan nest was, we were told that they just woken up - it was now about 9am. But they were waaaaaaay up in a tree, and hard to see. Mesius and the ranger made some noises to get them riled up, and it worked, but not quite as planned. One orangutan started breaking branches off the tree and having them fall - one big branch fell about 15 feet from Justin. So we kept maneuvering around, on less than ideal soil, trying to view them without being right underneath them. Whenever we got to a seemingly good spot, they'd start moving again, and the whole process started over. Finally we got a couple decent to good vantage points, and then we moved on, not wanting to tempt fate any more.
On the way back, we stopped to see the red leaf monkeys, but they were far away and well up in a tree, not like the day before. Back at the room, we got cleaned up and then packed our bags. We had some long surveys to fill out, so we did that in the lobby with some drinks in hand. Everyone was trying to get the internet to work, but it was super slow. The nerve of the lodge - slow internet in the middle of the rainforest in Borneo. We left around 1:30, with a different driver this time, Riswan. We told him we didn't want any new speed records driving back, and that we had hoped to see elephants, and pretty much the whole drive back he was looking for them, which was nice. We saw lots of elephant poop, but no elephants. But, on the positive side, there was no sign of the monitor lizard from the other day, so that was good to see. Hopefully it lives a long and happy life. We did see a different monitor lizard, and this one was fine as well. Overall, a much better drive than two days prior.
We got to the airport well ahead of time, and killed time using the internet for the first time in several days. We'd like to think we checked it out of boredom at the airport, not withdrawal symptoms. The flight took off a little late, but the ride was smooth. The clouds and sunset were nice, which we had read was commonplace in Kota Kinabalu. But, for some unknown reason, Celine Dion was blaring through the speakers. She was truly, literally, blaring, to the point we heard it over the music on our iPhones, even with the volume cranked up. We can't fathom why anyone would play anything that loud on an airplane, let alone Celine Dion. We chuckled several times at the absurdity of the whole thing.
We landed just after sunset in Kota Kinabalu, meaning despite being here twice, we never did see any of its famous sunsets. Maybe next time. At the hotel, we got the same room as the other night, but 2 floors below. We could tell from looking out the window that the market was going full bore, so we went over there to get some street food. It tasted very good, and was very inexpensive, basically 50 cents for a big chicken wing and $1.50 for 5 chicken skewers. We just hope our stomachs would agree everything was fine. We walked around a bit more and then headed to Starbucks, so Crystal could add to her collection, this time a Sabah mug. We asked for a couple additional boxes, for the Jakarta and Bali mugs she'd already picked up. We got back to the hotel room a bit before 9, and tried to get some sleep.