Bidding the support team farewell, the trekkers set off this morning for Kinabalu National Park on a leisurely trek in the foothills, learning more about the unique ecosystem of the area.
This afternoon they’ll enjoy a river cruise in search of the long nosed Proboscis monkey and other wildlife, before returning to the lodge in Kinabatangan for dinner and a well earned rest!
We packed our trek boots away last night as we were heading (by bus) on our six hour drive to our next stop. At the start of our mini bus a new guide, Saal, joined Tika. He was friendly and asked straight away who had any phobias- as the GHHC trek team were hard and seasoned people now we all puffed out our chests and remained silent.
He asked who is scared of spiders and snakes- it appeared we all were! We were thrilled when he then said our rooms for the night were likely to have snakes and spiders as we will be in the jungle!
We arrived at the stunning botanical gardens, full of every plant you can imagine. We all “awwwwed” at the Father Christmas orchid which had a white bloom just like Santa’s face. We marvelled at Tika, our guides, vast plant knowledge he showed us orchids, various trees including ‘the sexy tree’ which was a bark stripped pale tree, the bark being used for sore throats.
Then we saw it.... a snake! Unfortunately, it was deceased but it was stretched out by our pathway. We all looked at him out of curiosity and marvelled at his perfect skin. We left the gardens and continued our journey to the lodge.
We arrived just in time for our river boat cruise - we were expecting a slow steam boat with a canapy, as we had an afternoon session and it always rained after 12. But no as per usual nothing was as we expected...! It was a very fast looking narrow speed boat, with no roof. We all put life jackets on and off we went. We powered over to a group of boats and there we saw our very first monkey in the wild! But not just any monkey we saw an Orangutan. He was huge and stunning - the boats courteously all jostled to take photos.
For two whole hours we saw four species of monkey in the wild, we were starstruck at the Probiscious Monkey with his huge nose. We saw a good thirty of these. We saw baby monkeys and learnt fascinating facts about them all. Some VERY amusing!
We saw a kingfisher diving for fish and not forgetting the king of our river, the crocodile out in the wild. We shared binoculars and all marvelled at this spectacular nature before us, usually only seen on tv.
We came back as night started to arrive and checked out our rooms for the night... squealing at the luxurious rooms in the wooden lodge right in the middle of the jungle.
To date no one reported snakes or spiders and this was the first time we had warm water to wash in all week. We dined together on good food, a few of the trek team then went off for a night walk the rest remained for a quiet beer. The quiet beer turned into a dancing and singing session quite quickly, we even had a dance off with some Australians!
Jane, Tracey, Anna, Angie and Liz threw some moves on the dance floor, they then encouraged (forced and bullied in Borneo lingo) Des and Keiron to join them. Lisa was busy getting GHHC shout outs from the DJ. Tim and Murray said no way they would join in... after an hour it was great to see Murray and Tim dancing.
This was our latest night ever as we had been going to bed from 5pm most nights due to exhaustion. We went to bed at 11pm, having to be up at 5am for our early start to tomorrow’s adventures.
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Are you looking for a new challenge for 2019?
We are VERY excited to announce our 2019 overseas challenge…Journey Through the Sahara. The challenge will be running 26th October - 2nd November 2019, including a 3 day trek stopping overnight to camp under the stars of the Sahara, the third largest and hottest desert in the world, as well as assisting a local community project in Marrakech. For for more information please call the Fundraising Team on 01462 679540