We were somewhat exhausted after the attack of the green beetles in the night but we still managed to muster for the early morning river cruise. This cruise was one for the ‘twitchers’ amongst us and funnily enough we had one on our boat – so he was as ‘happy as Larry’. Max spotted another Kingfisher one of the more regular sized ones too and from quite far away but I still managed to grab a bit of a photo of it – lovely birds. The Proboscis’ were about again and the ‘alpha male’ was showing off his belly and super big nose – different creatures find different things sexy I suppose and to a Miss or Missus Proboscis these feature really hit the spot! However, we had not really seen anything big and it was time to turn back but as we went past part of the bank homeward, so had already passed before, we saw another big Croc asleep on the bank – a nice send off from a great trip to the Kinabatangan River.
When we returned to the lodge we hurriedly packed and got onto the bus for Sepilok which is not far from Sandakan so a few hours and we were there at our digs and this was to be our first experience of Dorm-life, what I imagined to be a bit like Park Life (Blur) except more grungy and smelly! The place seemed nice enough though and adjoined a Malaysian style park so plenty to do later today, first we were shown to our room and underneath it there were hammocks! To the uninitiated hammocks seem great ways of getting a bit of rest and relaxation but my experience is often different so I avoided eye contact with said bed. The dorm room was huge but very nice and even better unoccupied we would be the only residents for the course of our stay – the Gods who look after older people and spare them contact with younger peoples of the World who often have (loud?) opinions on any and everything (unlike us … lol) had smiled on us – so here we were two responsible adults with a big dormitory to ourselves – oh behave!!
We decided on a bit of a rest first before taking a jaunt round the park, only one thing for it – Hammock-time! We both picks our ‘beds’ and whilst Liz seemed to get in and relax quite easily I had far more trouble. I am not really sure whether it is the shape of my body or not but after a nervous entry I was stuck in the hammock with my shoulders up higher than my ears – this was not comfy at all. After a few minutes it was like being stuck in an instrument of torture and as every movement is exaggerated in the things I merely shifted tiny muscles until I could no longer take the pain and decided a dismount was the best action to take. A dismount is quite an apt description as I descended with the same grace I would have if I had actually jumped from a horse.
So after our ‘restful’ time in the hammocks off to the park we went. The place look well kept and had some very nice lakes some were simply for relaxing round whilst others looked like they were used for recreational purposes as there were a few boats on them and some rings for people to try and cross the lake – Wipeout style.
The place was empty besides a young Malay couple so it was all very peaceful. The deer enclosure looked a bit ragged and as there was very little grass in their paddock so Liz picked handfuls from our side of the fence and fed the deer, much to the gardener’s consternation as he was trimming the grass close by. The day was hot so we stopped for an Orange juice and saw a sign for the Crocodiles – we had seen a free specimen this morning, what would its captive cousin look like?
Well if size were an indication of health then these were doing well but the conditions they were being kept in did not look great with respect to the amount of space they had – so it was a bit upsetting really and quite a stark contrast. That said, the park must have been something back in its day and it would have been interesting to see it when the locals had time off and it would be filled so it was a good spot for a stroll.
Back at our lodge the food was, once again, very good – Malaysian food has many influences and most of them good. Here Liz and I were entertained by a small Gecko who would poke its head through the slats in the table to see if any food was on offer. This is the country folks and with no internet to speak of and no telly – this counts as entertainment ….. lol.