2010-06-27

National Parks near Kuching, part I

And finally some text in here too.
At the moment I feel lazy and even if I did wake up early enough to get myself to the famous Sunday Market of Kuching, I decided to sleep long (and maybe start to get used to the rhythm back in Finland). I still have the time for Sunday market when I get back from my last visit to National Parks.

My first stop was Gunung Gading National Park. A one and a half hours ride by bus to Lundu town and then a walk for half an hour. I was lucky to get there by nightfall and did a short walk around the forest before settling down to my hostel room. I was the only guest and facilities were good. I don´t mind bringing my own food and preparing it in a good kitchen and afterwards enjoying it on the porch, accompanied by writing a letter to Wajska. The next morning it was raining and there was no guides around, but the park personnel told me directions how to see the Rafflesia and I took my change to discover the world outside the plank walk. It paid off, as you can see in the pictures, and I did not even step on the buds!

I got a ride back to Lundu town with some workers going to the town office, got back to Kuching, and there had to negotiate a ride with a taxi to Kubah National Park.

All public transportation is very poor to that direction and the information just is not given to foreigners! The normal price for a one way trip is 40Rm and one old guy asked a taxi for me to take me there for 35Rm. That taxi guy was nice enough to give me his number to get myself back, but I found my own way, as you´ll read from the following chapters. Ok, all good when I reached the Park, only it was raining heavily, but what the heck, I got a real RAIN FOREST experience. The night was pretty much as I expected; alone in the hostel (which was even nicer than the previous one) but not as alone as I thought in the beginning...

I went to bed after inspecting the wounded grass hopper on the wall. I spotted a HUGE bug on ceiling over my bed, but I thought to leave it alone, because it might never bite me. I was too easy on that one...I woke up after some hours and the THING had made it´s way to my head end of the bed and was about to take the few steps and tangle in my hair. With the help of the kitchen tools I managed to get the bug (after a 20min fight, boy it was strong!!) out to the porch! Then I slept the rest of the night without interruptions. Hah, and the French guys in Kuching were talking about small bed bugs...

The next day started with less rain and I thought to get myself through the most popular Watefall trail. It was humid,and it was also scary to walk though the jungle on my own, thinking about all the animals that were probably lurking behind every tree, I just could not see them. The first encounter the previous day had been a red tailed squirrel, today it was a wild cat or a skunk on the road. I also saw a few smaller than small squirrels around the trees, big and colorful butterflies, a lot of insects and the flora was amazing. It took me more than 2 hours to reach the waterfalls as I was so intensely taking photos of everything.

On my way back I run into 2 other humans! I was surprised, and those people were staying in the hostel with me. They were from France, apparently, but they never told me that...It was a very awkward feeling to sleep under same roof with people who totally ignored you. It is a common, unwritten law among travelers that you at least say something to the people in the common area. You do not have to be the best friend in any way, but show some respect to the others, just say hello and tell/ask where you´re from and maybe change a few words about the trail or something, or leave the others think that at least they can ask something if there is a need to. That was a very strange encountering indeed and it did leave me with a lot of thoughts.

After the 2 nights I started my trip back to town. I thought to try my luck with hitchhiking back. At first I took a ride with a man who took me to the main road intersection and from there I got a ride with beautiful lady Sallyanna. I bought us drinks on our way back and we had a good conversation! She promised to take me shopping some local Sarawak layer cake next weekend before I start my trip back home!

Now, to the shower. Which actually reminds me about the toiletries I brought with me and wanted to test on my trip. Here we go; a topic for a new blog entry.

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