The sounds of the jungle is amazing - crickets and cicades clicking and humming. In the distance hooting or screeching of monkeys and hornbills. The stream near by rushing the base and background. So peaceful.
The 7am flight was right on time. It was a tiny prop plane and it took 55 minutes to get across the north of Sabah. We could wave at Mt. Kinabalu one more time. Landing, the airport looked so similar to those on the Carribean side of Guatamala. Low single buildings, exit onto the tarmac and get blasted by the heat and humidity.
The driver met us at the airport. Another couple from Finland is also going to the resort. We make a quick stop at the office and then we were off. It is 83 KM to the lodge in Danum Valley. The first 13 or so is paved. The rest is dirt - long wet muddy yellow dirt. The car is a 4 wheel drive Landcruiser. I ask if he needs the 4wheel drive and he said yes. Boy did we. Most of the way is on a logging road. It is in pretty good shape although a couple of place, the road is starting to slide. This part is kept up frequently. After we turned off and entered the primary (original forest), the road go really bad. It had rained a lot last week and my god, the ruts were up to the floor boards. The driver is wonderful. It takes us about 2 1/2 - 3 hours to go only 83 km.
But it is worth it. The lodge is wonderful. We are greeted with cold washclothes before being taken to our rooms. You walk on raised platforms between the cabins. Our large room has a deck with a out door tub and you can open the door on the shower if you want. It is amazing that you can find this good of accomodating in the middle of the jungle.
We start with lunch and then go on a nature walk. After relaxing a bit, we have dinner and then after dinner a night drive. We didn't have much luck seeing animals but it was amazing being in the jungle.
Today, we got up early for a canopy walk. The jungle was just waking up and it looked just like the picture I posted on Danum Valley. We climbed up and watched the forest come awake before returning for breakfast.
Then our next adventure started. We walked up to the other side of the river to a view down to the lodge. It was very muddy and slippery and lots of roots. Did I mention it was hot. I was sweaty and sticky. But NO LEECHES. Yeah!
But the best was yet to come. We went back down a short distance to see a burial cave. And suddenly on the cliff just a few feet away was an large male orangutan. Amazing to be able to see them in the wild and close by. I had stayed back a bit so they called me to go up and I was able to see but he was moving on so I didn't get too many pictures. But still amazed to see such a large and shy creature.
We returned down the hillside and went for a swim in a large pool fed by a waterfall. Very cool and refreshing. In the middle of the jungle swimming.
We returned for lunch and said good bye to our adventure partners from Finland. They only stayed one night. Later today, we are going for a river walk and a night walk after dinner.
But to be able to see the orangutan in the wild and so close - Amazing.