Today was spent at Bako National Park, which is about an hour's bus ride from Kuching.
My day started early when the alarm went off at 6:30 am. Groggily continued to drift in and out of sleep till 7:00 am since I slept late the night before. Got up and got ready, walked to the bus stand to take the 8:00 am No. 6 Petra Jaya bus to Bako.
The bus ride was memorable indeed - a klickety-klank, rickety, bone-rattling experience. It is an old bus, surprisingly with a print-out ticket.
Reached Bako around 9:00 am, then shared a boat to the park which took about 25 minutes. The guest jetty is in a mangrove swamp area, so there are boardwalks till 'mainland' where you had to proceed to the registration office.
Cruising with a view. What's that mountain called?
On the boat.
Approaching the guest jetty.
At the counter, you can get a trail map from which you can choose the trail(s) you wish to cover. There's 16 altogether, ranging from 30 mins to a full 8.5 hours full day trek to the other end of the park.
My encounters with nature in pictures:
I saw a family of 6 proboscis monkeys, jumping from tree to tree.
Quite up close, about 15-2o feet. I was startled at first when I heard the trees rustling. I swear one of them was looking at me in the eye.
A silver leaf monkey ('langur') feeding its baby.
The beginning of Teluk Paku trail.
Another welcome signboard.
It was a hot humid day, I was happy I decided not to trek since I was not wearing proper footwear - only flip flops :).
Had lunch at the Kerangas Cafe around noon and later walked around some more while waiting for our boat to pick us up at 3 pm. Twice I was mistaken as a guide and park staff, probably because I was wearing a Bako Park wide brimmed hat I bought at the park shop. Haha. I should stop wearing clothes in khaki and grey.
I noticed there was this family wearing colour coordinated clothes - very fashionable yet tasteful - white, and green khaki pants for the mum, jungle fatigues for the son, white and khaki cargos for the dad, each person complete with designer looking bags, hats and shades. Wow, I was impressed. And somehow they didn't look out of place.
While walking and feeling excited about seeing the proboscis monkeys up close, I was daydreaming about how nice it is to be around beautiful nature all the time like this and to share your knowledge; the best thing was to become a tour guide. Can't be that difficult, no?
Then, suddenly, I saw something moving in the grass - a small brown, stripey snake slithered in front of me. I suppressed a shriek (came out like a squeak) and literally jumped back a few steps.
My daydream of becoming a tour guide vapourised instantly along with all the feel-good feeling of being in one with nature.
Alas, maybe I am not meant to be.