So it’s been almost a year since my last blog… apologies it’s been a busy year! I’m now officially the proud holder of a PGCE. It was… all consuming but for some crazy reason I’m continuing my study in Sept. But now we travel.. travel for 48 days around SE Asia.
Our first stop in Borneo and our mission is orang-utans. When planning this trip we asked each of the boys what they wanted to do on holiday… boy blue choose the “orange monkeys”, middle man wants to see dragons and Lego boys request was to dive with manta rays?! Spoilt some might say?… definitely very lucky boys!
(compulsorily airport shots)
Our flights to Borneo were much easier than expected, we had to self transfer at KL from Air Asia to Malaysia Air which were in different terminals. I admit I was worried about it, having recently self transferred through Beijing airport I was expecting the worst but there was no need. We had 3.5 hours from landing, imagration took about an hour but everything else, from baggage claim, the metro, to checkin and security went without any ques. In fact i am super impressed with Malaysia Air, ground staff reorganised our seats to be together without us asking, Air hostess gave the boys blankets and served their food first, and all staff were smiling the whole time!
Sandakan airport was small but after our usual first atm withdrawal confusion over currencies we easily managed to get a taxi to our first accommodation. Pagankan dii is certainly rustic verging on basic but the views from the room and the bar are exactly what the doctor ordered! Green, green, green!
Unfortunately many of the tourists around us were grumpy bums… people telling children to be quite at 3 in the afternoon because they want to sleep, people complaining that staff were trying to protect peoples property, people complaining that the free shuttle bus was 2 mins late…. come on people! Ur on an adventure, chill out, go with it! I know travelling can take its toll but you just gotta try n go with the flow… ok rant over. (and yes I’m sure I have and will be the grumpy tourist myself again)
Despite the world of grumpy tourists the boys revelled in being in the jungle, running, climbing, swinging and getting absolutely filfthy. First stop was the organutans, I liked the set up, the humans are contained to walk ways and viewing platforms/buildings, whilst the organutans are free to roam as far as they wish. In fact that is how the rehabilitation centre works… as the organutans learn to become less reliant on their human carers they roam further into the rainforest. My boys particularly enjoyed sitting in the ac’d building near the nursery area watching the young orangutans tumble and restle… my three would have fitted right in! We went to watch the feeding of the older organutans twice, the first time only one appeared, in fact she lead our large group of tourists along the walk way to the feeding platform. According to the guide, she was pregnant and always came for an easy meal 😄. The second time there was more activity, a whole troop of pig tail marquee, one luguar and two adult organutans and best of all one with a baby. We spent a good hour watching 🙂
Just over from the organutans centre is a sun bear sanctuary, and although boy blue was more bothered about the bears food (giant woodlice like bugs) the place was a great way to see these endangered bears.
Continuing the endangered animal thread we also paid a visit to the proboscis monkey sanctuary, which although a lot more expensive was well worth the visit, a little off the tourist trail, in contrast to the busy orang-utan centre we had the place pretty much to ourselves.
For me though the highlight of the area is the Rainforest Discovery Centre, a variety of clearly marked tracks through pure rainforest. The boys loved throwing spinning seeds of the canopy walk way, whereas I was much happier trekking through the undergrowth spotting insects and birds. Ok the leeches weren’t ideal and middle man lost it when he discovered one in his shoe but getting out into nature is exactly what we all needed!
The best part of the RDC is their night walks. I was nervous, would the boys stay quite, would they be scared, would they run off? I really didnt know what to expect but they were super stars and were rewarded with seeing flying squirrels, flying fox bats, scorpions, spiders, sleeping birds, a massive skunk and best of all really rare tarsiers . Our day in the RDC we walked over 18km which meant the boys slept amazingly!
Next stop Poring and I think it will be pouring whilst we are there.