Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Jungle epilogue and head to the south-east

After we've moved into our new accomodation, the frist trips in the jungle were scheduled already. We were invited to hop into a boat and discover the environment in a more easier way, sitting either sun- or mosquito-protected, holiding tight to our camera and waiting for the guide to spot on something for us.

In the first night, we've been pretty lucky in watching a gigantic phyton approaching a bird we've found sleeping. Seems we interrupted the reptile on it's hunt, so we've just catched it disappearing under water. Several frogs and spiders later, waiting to get hold on some pictures of the proboscis monkey, even though it's another endangered creature, it was pretty common around our camp at uncle tan. But we haven't been lucky for this night - can't say this for our way to sleep. We haven't had much what you can call walls. Our hutts were basically only a fence with a wodden roof with a wodden floor, build on sticks to get rid of most of the insects, snakes etc. The mosquito-net protected our matrasse, and cause of the pretty exhausting and warm days, it took us not more then 4 minutes to sleep in. The sounds around not really bother you at all. And even the 6am wake-up shout by the camp-crew is not bad at all, as it's going to bed pretty early and after six, it's getting to hot to keep sleeping anyway.

On the night trekking thru the jungle, I was a bit scared. Ksenia decided to go for another boat-trip instead, and as prepared as we've been, I stepped thru the bushes - following our 5 head-group without a torch, just my shorts, shirt and some rubber boots. But it was such a fantastic adventure, we' ve seen a huge tarantula, sitting in her trees hole with hundreds of juveniles around her. Obviously again sleeping birds, a damn poisonous centipede chilling in the trees. What we missed have been snakes and scorpions - both been to fast to get caught by our very expirienced guide. But however, it was creepy enough without these already.

On the next day, some trekking trips have been scheduled. On the one hand, we've been desperatly waiting for some rain to cool the day off. But on the other, this trek by feed hasn't been so muddy as for our previous visitors. However, we've seen our fabolous orangutan family again right near to our camp. It was pretty interesting to walk thru the jungle, even with some marks on the trees it was a very natural expirience.

We also got more and more into our group, which I mentioned earlier. The mixture of different countries and cultures usually disappears pretty obvious on backpacking trips, and we had a lot in common anyway. Unfortunatly we've only managed to get contact-details from our australian-couple Lance & Gale (*wink*), best greets to the other guys, wherevery you are right now. On the last day, there hasn't been any trip anymore. We had some pretty cool soccer game with the local staff, interesting with 35°C and 95% humidity. Afterwards it has been the first time I used the shower - putting the muddy water into the pot and wash away the shampoo. What to say, I really enjoyed it. Just check yourself for leeches, one caught me on my leg, but I was able to kick it away before it got stuck to much to my skin - 1:0 for Daniel vs. Jungle.

Then it was time to say good bye - the overall perfectly organised crew got the boat engines starting and we grabbed our stuff for boarding. After the hour on the boat, two minibuses awaited our group to be transported further. Lance, Gale, Ksenia and me needed to go to the south - the rest back to sepilok, and this was all perfectly communicated to the staff by Uncle Tan. Really good coordination here. The bus brought us down to Lahad Datu, a three hour trip without A/C, but more good conversations with the aussis. We really had good fun here, and we convinced them to come down with us to Semporna to check out this small fisher island, primarily used for the travellers to hop down to Sipadan. But before we're there, let me put this down in the next post. Resume for our jungle trip: Really tough, but if you like the real wildlife and not afraid to get dirty, there is no way around Uncle Tan's Wildlife Camp.

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