Travel Journal

All you need is now! (Malaysia)

(Monday 30 January 2012) by Lynda
Kuching, the entrance to southern Sarawak, is a charming old colonial town, great for slow walks along the river and cold drinks on the veranda of the old Court House.

You don't have to venture far out of town to reach the jungle. I've made a daytrip to Kubah National park and hiked to the waterfall accompanied by a dutch and german girl....real girls in the jungle! After this appetizer it was time for some serious hiking. I met two Basks in the hostel and we hopped on a bus and chartered a boat to take us to Bako National Park.

"Going up that river was like traveling back to the earliest beginnings of the world, when vegetation rioted on the earth and big trees were king. An empty stream, a great silence, an impenetrable forest. The air was warm, thick, heavy, sluggish. There was no joy in the brilliance of the sunshine. The long stretches of the waterway ran on, deserted, into the gloom of overshadowed distances." - Heart of Darkness.

Proboscis monkey with sweet
Proboscis monkey with sweet
For me the jungle and Heart of Darkness are somehow connected, the description of the jungle so in line with my own experience although it's an entire different continent...but still. We hiked the Lintang trail, only 5,8 km, but in the jungle, with slippery stones, roots, mud, climbing up and stumbling down, it took us 3 hours to complete the loop. But it was so worth it, the changing scenery, the sounds, the wildlife, truly amazing. And in the afternoon, the monkeys came out to play, eat and play a bit more. So amazing to see the Proboscis monkeys; they are nicknamed Orang Belanda (Dutch monkeys - because of the big red nose and round belly). But also the grey monkeys, sooo cute!! And the night walk was great, a guide accompanied our group and pointed out many weird, creepy but also sweet animals along the trail, spiders, frogs, walking sticks, a scorpion and the most amazing of all: a yellow kingfisher sleeping on a branch just over our heads. The nightwalk was amazing, the sound of the jungle stronger and more mysterious than during the day.

On the last day of my visit to Bako I hiked alone in the jungle, where treeroots so do resemble snakes and a russle in the undergrowth could be a forebode of danger ahead. But I did it, I crossed the jungle and the mangrove swamp to reach Tanjung Pandan Kecil, a secluded little white beach. So beautiful and serene, a hidden treasure in the jungle. Being alone on that little beach, the sand beneath my feet, the sun on my back, the heavy smell of the jungle mixed with the salty smell of the sea and the sounds of the jungle wrapped around me like a blanket, I finally realised .....I'm living the dream!
Almost at Kecil beach...
Almost at Kecil beach...

So my song for today is Duran Duran - All you need is now.

I have bottled this moment and will keep it for future use.

Borneo is magic.


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