Saturday, July 08, 2006

A fRoG aNd a PiXiE in bAkO!!!

to enlarge photo montage click on image

On a holiday trip back to Sarawak with pixie…my 21st birthday present to her, she remarked that she wants more adventure, walking halfway around the circumference of Redang barefoot at night wasn’t enough(more on this anthr blog) …so I decided to head out to Bako National Park.

The trip start with first a drive out to Bako village where you jump on a 15minute boat ride…the boat cost RM 40 but it can be shared out by 5-6 people. It’s a very serene boat trip, hardly bumpy and the blue scenery-scape is awesome, Mount Santubong fuzzy on the distant horizon with an endless blue calm sea with a little drama, fishing posts
sticking out of the ocean breaking the silence of the image. Then as we arrive at the mangrove swamp where we jump off onto a jetty…the familiar creaks of the wooden planks lining the jetty and the walkway welcomes you on your holiday. The walkways leads to the park HQ where you have your simple sovernir shop, the administration, the canteen and not forgetting the various accommodation chalets. It’s like a little village and I ran through the trees like a kid to mine…honestly, I was expecting much much more rustic that what I got upon arrival. Though the Holiday Inn regular may complain, those for the adventure will find facilities on Bako more than adequate…luxurious even. An added plus is that you don’t have to pay holiday inn prices…coke is RM 2 lunch is RM 5

“Oh my!” pixie says to me as a wild boar walks pass us. Yes, just outside our quarters, semi detached lodge A, a wild boar happily roams free as if a resident jester while camera click away. Nature is close by…we saw silver leaf monkeys, proboscis monkeys, kingfishers and monitor lizards barely a hundred steps from our quarters too.

A moments rest and then it’s time to go on one of many trails that makes bako…well bako. A map provided upon check in is quickly referred to and off we go. There is no need for a guide as the park ranger did say that Bako is one of the hardest National park to get lost in though one season pro did get lost for four days as he tried to be clever going off trail. So off on our walk…we chose to go to the Tajor waterfalls, starting on the lintang traile we walked up to a point where we connected to the tajor trail. The walk wasn’t through beautiful greenery all the way…to challenge you it consists of rugged terrain, steep climbs and generous patches of ‘padang api’. Literally translated as fire fields, these padang api are literally sandstone walks with little or no plant covering overhead so the sun bakes down directly at you from above, its ray also hitting the white sand and bounces back at you from below. I guess you can say even cooking. Some of the people who joined us for our journey, gave up an hour in. But the ‘Padang Api’ did remind me a lot of my neighbourhood where I was growing up, its white sand that compacted to a sort of clay hold little ditches of water with ‘water boatmen’ and other little critters. The padang api did make you very grateful once you’ve reach the trees again though and serve to teach an important message that trees are much required before our planet turns into a massive toaster. Remember Global Warming people! Do your part!! . However, the relieve is short and the long path still ahead will quickly get your legs complaining.

After an hour and a half walk, we are at the waterfall. It isn’t all that big a dip and initially, I was slightly disappointed. This is it? And the water’s black too so it doesn’t really entices you to jump in. But as I sat at the edge with my biscuit and crumbs fell in the water, fighting fishes appeared. They were much bigger but more plainly coloured than the variety you’d find in fish shops but nonetheless it peaked my curiosity. Soon after cooling off sweat…into the waters I go. The black water is not dirty…it’s more or less nature’s tea as it was probably the result of soaked shedding jungle leaves. Soon, I became more adventurous and began exploring the small crevices between rocks and plants…beauty IS in the details. I was more preoccupied photographing than swimming all in all. But, as I was just getting the pleasures of the dip…it’s time to go as pixie was getting worried. It’s already five fifteen pm, and the one and a half hour walk back means it’ll be dark before we finish the trail as it. Having only about 20 minutes in the water, I reluctantly peeled away from it. Along the trail back, rejuvenated from the dip, we took time out to take a classical trick photo couples of the past often did. “Look I found a pixie!” Back to HQ, I was calm with the satisfaction from a good walk. At night bako offers a night walk and fireflies.

Only that night looking through the picture of the waterfall and other pictures I realize nature’s generous beauty. The walk suddenly seemed worth it and I wondered how I’d get pixie to agree to walk in the morning to the waterfall again; she was reluctant only because she wanted to try another trail and also we started late as the fresh chilly forest air was sooooo good to be asleep in…

Post Note. We do well to conserve nature for ourselves and our future. A note from the park ranger said that while Europeans help keep bako really clean, locals are still often caught littering along the trails…sigh… when will we ever learn.


XMOCHA! said...

Such lovely pics... Bako is always a special place in my heart too.


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smashpOp said...

wow! what a great adventure.. ahah

and the last pic is nice too.. giant linus

Ang Gu Gu said...

nice bako pics =p miss bako

Jaemy said...

i also want to go nice nice nature forest with nice nice rivers and take nice photos!!!!
I start working next week already laaaa!!!!

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Living Life to the full...I hope to live by the principle that success doesn't mean making a tonne of money though I am blessed that i do make a decent sum...but success equates to appreciateing all the God given wonder this world has to offer before my time is up...