Bako National Park
Got up early – 5am – not a happy time for me (nowadays I’m finding 9am or thereabouts much more civilised), showered, packed, had a cup of tea, made enough egg sandwichs to feed a small country, had another cup of tea and waited for Big J to emerge. Porridge and coffee later, we were off to the bus stop in Kuching for 7am bus. Made it with couple of seconds to spare. Next, on the boat (boat = small craft several inches above the water with 6 passengers squished together, the fact they gave all life jackets – which didn’t fit – was slightly worrying, not because of the small life jackets but because we were cruising up a croc infested river), 45 minutes later we were there. Jungle, monkeys, wild pigs. Oh and did I mention Mozzies, and Mozzies. Lets face it no outing is complete without Mozzies. Clearly this was to be a complete outing. Managed to book 2 beds in 4 bed room (I will come to this later) and off on our first trek. Hard yakka, but fantastic jungle, lots of up and down but 2 hours later we were back at HQ. Time for egg sammies! Sat outside canteen to chow down, half way through saw stealth monkey approaching, we jumped up to put food away, and half a tic later the bloody thing was on the table grabbing for the last sandwich – James beat it by a nanosecond. Yeah take that little thief, don’t mess with Big J’s lunch! Fed and re watered we decide to go for the longer trek to the beach where you can swim – to be fair who was to know the first 100m was a vertical ascent? Obviously not me. Near the top of Mt Everest Big J said he could hear a waterfall, I informed him that was in fact me, sweating from every pore of my entire body, plus my hair, nails & eyeballs were also sweating – I was a self contained moving (slowly) water feature. After slipping, sliding and some actual walking we reached a seat. I love this seat. It is the best seat in the world. We sat on it and had a ciggie and then some very hot & thirsty English men arrived from the other direction. We kindly donated our small water bottle to them, before they died on my seat, and in return they lied about how close we were to our destination, an hour they siad, nah 45 minutes they said – lies I say, lies! So happy in a false sense of security, we continued, for hours. When we reached the cliff above the beach I nearly bailed – because what goes down (me) must then come up, but dammit I had earned a swim (cold beer/wine/anything alcoholic would also have been fine, but, alas, no bars on the top of cliffs in the jungle). So down we scrambled, beautiful beach, water was wet, threw off my clothes, didn’t give a shit who could see and plunged in. It was brown and bath warm, but as mentioned it was wet. Bliss. Crying shame (I wept sweat) we had to get out and go back. Seemed faster and slightly less torturous on the way back but that could have been the delirium or the dehydration (damn giving water away) or a combination of both. Anyway I made it, so onwards to tomorrow! Oh before I forget, the room. Beds were hard, room stunk of mould & mildew, I could go on, but hey, that’s what you get for $6.50 each!