Thursday, December 28, 2017

Kinabatangan River

We stayed in Bilit, a village in the rainforest. It was so in the rainforest that pygmy elephants came foraging at some houses (not our lodge, for better or for worse) and left some droppings to remember them by.

We were very lucky to see pygmy elephants--they don't always come out of the forest. We saw three sets, including the foragers above.

We saw a bunch of proboscis monkeys, making their nests for the night and jumping from tree to tree. The Malay name for proboscis monkeys (orang belanda) translates to 'Dutch man,' purportedly because of the big belly and protruding nose.

This may actually be a langur, I can't remember. And here are some less rare but almost as cute macaques.

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A couple of crocodiles, including a baby.

Lots of birds: egrets, herons, eagles, hornbills, and--during the brief night cruise that was cut off when it started pouring--two different kinds of kingfishers and an owl.


This bitch of an invasive flower--the water hyacinth--is choking off the river.

But the native flora are stunning.

We had a blast cruising down the Kinabatangan River, even though it rained during one of our afternoon cruises as well.

It was so beautiful.

There wasn't a whole lot to do between cruises. We went for a little walk in the village, until we stumbled upon a hornet's nest and turned back. There were porn noises coming out of one of the houses we walked by; the residents weren't particularly bothered about what could be heard outside.

We met some cats, butterflies, and flowers/plants along the way.

Apart from the walk, we played ping pong inside the common area at the lodge and lounged on our hammocks. I got started on the book I would finish on the flight to KL.

Jungle Juice sure does make your legs shine
I might have liked another day to look out for the super-rare sightings: cloud leopards, which our guide has only seen twice in the 15 years on the job, and orangutans in the wild. But even ping-pong and lounging gets old, so we were at peace with moving on.

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