Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Borneo Day Two: More Bako Fun!

We woke in the morning to the sound of ping, ping, ping on the tin roof above us - monkeys were eating in the trees, and dropping their leftovers on our roof! The wildlife greeted us literally as soon as we opened our door - the proboscis monkeys that had slept in the nearby trees the night before were up and about, moving through the branches. Macaques were running around, looking for easy food opportunities. There were even bearded pigs foraging in the yard! It was quite a morning wake-up call!
"Oh, good morning, friends!"
Crazy-Eye came to see if we had any breakfast to share
"Don't mind me, just lookin' for some grub!"

After we'd woken up a bit, we decided to go back to the places we'd seen the snakes the night before, to see if they were still there. To our surprise, both snakes were still in their places!
The male pit viper got a little more comfortable...
...but it seemed that the female hadn't moved at all!

We headed to the cafeteria for some coffee, then got all ready to head out on another hike. We had a 7 km hike planned along the Tajor Trail. It started out from the same trailhead as our hike the day before, so we walked along the rickety boardwalk again. The tide was lower this time, so we saw some different things, including legions of fiddler crabs!
Fiddler crab showdown
Ummm...this doesn't look like a fair fight!

A water monitor was wallowing around in the shallow water, looking pleased as punch!
Happy lizard

Right at the head of the trail, we spotted the silvered leaf monkeys again. This time it was a whole group of about 14, napping, grooming, and foraging in the trees.
Sleepy leaf monkey

There were also birds around - lots of the sandpipers, plus this cute little bird that seemed to be gathering material to build a nest!
All birds I can't ID are referred to as "Cute little bird"

Shortly after the boardwalk, our trail split off in the opposite direction of the trail we'd taken the day before. It was pretty rugged for the first 500 meters or so, but it got much easier after that. And soon we started spotting LOADS of PITCHER PLANTS!!! My favorite!!
Look how big they are!
Watch out, bugs. This plant's hungry!
These skinny ones grew in a big clump
There were so many varieties! It was like a pitcher plant sanctuary!

While admiring the pitcher plants, I saw a little lizard scurry across the trail. It looked a lot like the green crested lizard, but it lacks the blue ear spots, so I'm not sure what it is! Perhaps a juvenile green crested lizard?
He was very shy!

After an hour or so, we came to a shelter where we stopped to rest and appreciate the ocean off in the distance!
A view of the South China Sea

A few hours into our hike, we reached Tajor Waterfall. It wasn't the biggest or most impressive waterfall we've ever seen, but it was clean and cool. It was also far back in the forest, so it felt like a little woodland oasis. After our hot hike, I was happy to tug off my boots and go wading!
Tajor Waterfall
The water felt so good I decided to dunk my head in!

We lounged around by the waterfall for a long time, cooling off and having snacks (including homemade banana bread I brought along!). Eventually it started getting late and we still had a couple hours of hiking ahead of us, so we headed out.
Bryan on our hike back

The trip back went much more quickly than our trip out, especially because the return hike was mostly downhill! When we were almost back to the trailhead, we ran into the silvered leaf monkeys again! In fact, we got to them just in time to watch them cross over the trail one by one. It was like a monkey parade!!
Leaf monkey juvenile. So comfortable in the trees!
Mom and Baby were there too. Baby needs to learn to hang on!!

When we got back from our long hike, I braved the creepy, mosquito-filled showers. It was kinda gross, but I definitely felt much better afterward! We relaxed for a while, reading on the porch, listening to the monkeys and birds all around us, and waiting for the cafeteria to start serving dinner!

A little before dinner, we walked down to the beach to explore the rocks a bit. The whole beach was covered with sand bubbler crabs that skittered into their holes as soon as we got close.
Bubblin' away!

We walked over to the sandstone rock formations we'd seen on the way in. They were even more impressive up close!
Reminds me of the Painted Desert in Arizona
Bryan and some big rocks!
♥ Together on the beach ♥

After exploring the beach, we went to the cafeteria for dinner (more rice, french fries, and pineapple) and a couple of Tsingtao. While we were eating, the macaques came to the cafeteria in the hope of getting food, but the employees have an interesting strategy for chasing them off - they have slingshots! They said they only shoot small stones at them, nothing big enough to hurt them. But the strategy appears highly effective - the whole time we were there, the workers never shot anything at the monkeys. All the workers had to do was show the monkeys the slingshots, and they would run away! Pretty effective, and better than the alternative (dangerous human-macaque encounters).

Also while we were eating, there were wild pigs tromping around next to the cafeteria, including a HUGE, beefy (or should I say "porky"?) male. He left and two piglets wandered over and curled up with each other and went to sleep! It was so cute! I couldn't believe that they were so comfortable so close to people! There were also bats swooping onto the patio to eat the insects congregating around the lights. I've never seen so much wildlife while eating dinner!

Once we were done with dinner, we headed to our little hostel room to go to sleep early - we had a boat to catch first thing in the morning!

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