Monday, October 19, 2015

Alboppo: I Went to a Rainforest... In Borneo!

So today was the day I'd be heading off into the rainforest. We were up pretty early, I went in the shower room which consists of a shower (as you'd expect) that isn't working as there hasn't been any rain for quite a few weeks, so a couple of pans of cold water was as good as it was going to get. I opened the door and there was THE BIGGEST cockroach I have ever seen in my life just sat on the wall.

I called Eric to the rescue, he promptly ran off and shouted for Gatzam to sort it! Problem averted, so I went for my shower. Then it was time for breakfast the Malay Village way, fried noodles with really hot spicy chicken, sticky rice cake that was bright green, peanut butter pancakes and coffee. After getting over the idea of eating spicy noodles at 7 in the morning it was actually really good.

After breakfast we chucked some water and swimming gear in a bag and set off. Instead of trekking through the rainforest for 4 hours as planned, to get to the best trail we took a boat up the coast and went into the rainforest from the beach, the area we went into is a national park and there is a sea turtle hatchery there. We registered when we arrived and were literally the only people trekking in there as nobody really goes, I assume it's because it's so far out of the way from anywhere.

I was so hot in my trousers and shirt before we even set off, I started to wonder if I could deal with the heat and humidity... Pretty much as soon as we entered the rainforest we saw a monitor lizard running into the trees and a few minutes later 4 or 5 macaques way up in the trees - the tree coverage was too heavy to get any photos though.

We continued deeper into the trees treading carefully and quietly to try and listen for any gibbons or hornbills that may have been there. A few times we heard breaking branches in the distance and the call of the gibbon and hornbill and waited to see if we could see anything mostly to no avail. We had heard a hornbill in the distance and then it flew right overhead.

I was so surprised just how big it was. For some reason I'd expected them to be quite small... They definitely aren't! We continued walking through, over streams, big rocks, massive tree roots and a few steep inclines we started to head back toward the coast so we could walk back to our start point along the beach and get some much needed air.

Quite frequently throughout our trek we just stood still to listen and the sounds were phenomenal and certainly something I won't be forgetting for a very long time. I found the more we stayed still the louder it all seemed and then suddenly realised that I'm actually in the middle of nowhere, in a rainforest with only one other person, in Borneo!! Just as we were about to set off again, Eric spotted a giant squirrel up in the trees, it then jumped from one tree to another.

A fleeting glance, but happy I saw one. We walked down to the beach after we left the rainforest to see if we could see anything in the trees on the way back and found pig tracks and monitor lizard tracks.

Continue reading (Incl. Pics) at: Alboppo: I Went to a Rainforest... In Borneo!