rain, rain, go away!
Kinabatangan Travel Blog› entry 4 of 8 › view all entries
This was the only morning we got to sleep in. The bus left for the jungle at noon so we slept and looked at our pictures and ate and relaxed because we were warned it would be a bumpy trip.
Hell yeah- bumpy is an understatement. Rollercoaster is more accurate. The wildlife viewing is along the Kinabatangan River, 4 hours away from Sandakan. For an hour the road was normal and paved...and then we turned off into no man's land. Well, not technically. The land belongs to a palm oil plantation- I guess they don't put thier profits into road mantinence. Not that it matters, for all the vehicles were four wheel drive. Not comfy but plenty safe and did the job just fine.
We arrived at the boat jetty at 330pm- with a hell of a rain cloud coming around the corner. It was a race to get everyone's (8 people that day) belongings into the boat and to the lodge. Ryan and I were the last out of the van and therefore the ones that had to wait for the second boat trip. Yeah, we have raincoats and waterproof bags but that rainclound was seriously menacing. Thankfully the boat came back in time and we ruched onto it.
Upon disembarking on the other side of the river I jumped at a huge crash of thunder. "Rain is coming!" the guides shouted. And then we all ran to for cover. I didn't make it. Rain came and it came in buckets. Seriously as if someone turned on all the faucets in heaven. No worries, nothing got wet that didn't dry and we all sat for tea and coffe and waited for it to stop.
After the rain ended (fierce but thankfully shortlived) we got into these small boats to go up the river and see some wildlife. The guides said that we might see pygmy elephants. So exciting! Two groups in two boats- so peaceful. Since the sun was setting my camera didn't get very many good pictures but my eyes were working just fine.
Probiscus monkeys- very rare... and very ugly.
Long tailed macaques- playful and "cheeky"
Crocodiles- young and old
Rhino hornbills- elegant flyers
owls, eagles, kites, and hawks- lots of good feeding near the river
Unfortunantely no elephants. We did see thier tracks, though.
We floated back to the lodge around 7pm. The generators had burned out but there were candles on the tables and beer in the icebox. Chatted with some people then ate a lovely dinner cooked by the guides: veggies, fish curry, chicken curry, and rice.