2010-07-25

National Parks near Kuching, Part II

Arriving Bako was a small challenge of course. First to find the bus (and arguing with some taxi drivers about the price) and then the 1 hours ride to the Park Headquarters and then the exhilarating boat ride (47Rm)to the park itself. I was lucky to get Andy as a companion from the Headquarters and share the boat with me. I was feeling miserable when I arrived and Andy did his best to cheer me up.

The arrival at the Park was hot and the reception where we got our keys was kinda messy. Felt more like the personnel were not really coping with the amount of visitors there was during the days. This was also seen in the hostels. It was incredibly hot on our room (there were 2 fans, but still) and the windows need to be closed because of the nasty monkeys. Also, the room of four beds was filthy. I don´t know when it was cleaned the last time, the floor was black and the previous guests had left a huge amount of trash (empty water bottles, tissues, paper) under the beds. The toilets were malfunctioning and the showers were gross. During my trip, this had been the only time I had been upset about the filth. The 2 Canadian French girls I shared the room with were making my mood better, as well as Andy, Anna, Greg and Dounglas and others later on. I owe them big time!

Anna told us later that on arrival she did not get any information about the monkeys, or anything else for that matter. The macaques were the worse. they knew when there was just the right amount of people at the canteen, and then they stroke. Even if Andy was starting to be very qualified with the slingshot the canteen personnel used to scare the monkeys off. The problem with the monkeys was simply the ignorance- the day visitors thought monkeys were cute, started taking pictures and became easy targets with their snacks and water bottles in plastic bags in their hands.

Also, some people would have appreciated the info about really needing GOOD TREKKING SHOES around the park. We saw far too many day trippers wearing only flip flops, and that was just not healthy. Water was also needed more than average, because the heat was almost unbearable at some points. 1 liter per one hour, at least.

So, the overall view of the Park facilities and information was not too impressing. But the walks were! A massive amount of plants, wild flowers, various landscapes from mangrove forest to "moon scene" was present. The walks were well marked and one had to write down the track where one went indicating both leaving time and arrival to the facilities. The night walk was also a nice thing, but the groups tend to be a bit too big. The walk that I took part was a bit uninteresting because it was too hot, and the animals were deep in the forest. Andy told that the previous night walk had been more than excellent. I was not complaining because I had a nice chat with our guide.

When the temperature dropped, the proboscis monkeys arrived to the facilities and made it a joy for everyone.

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