Having moved from Sabah into neighbouring Sarawak (also part of Malaysian Borneo), we have realised that Sarawak has retained much more of its virgin jungle, rather than giving in to palm oil production. Nevertheless, before we left Sabah we had a great trip on the Kinabatangan river where we spotted lots of monkeys - macaques, silver langurs and proboscis - hanging out and feeding in the trees. The proboscis have long droopy noses and jump amazing distances between trees. There were quite a few birds too, including hornbills, eagles and kingfishers. We didn't climb Mt Kinabalu (4,000+m) because advance booking was needed; but also because it was quite expensive as the national park have hiked up the prices massively over the last couple of years.
Together with Emma & Jay, we've just returned from a 4-day jungle trek in the Gunung Mulu national park in NW Sarawak. The karst scenery was stunning. The park has the most amazing caves which were only discovered in the late 70s; we went to four of them, including the largest cave in the world which has 4 million bats in residence. Seeing all the bats stream out of the cave in search of food at dusk was remarkable.
For Andy the highlight was climbing 'the pinnacles'. It was a 9-hour 1,000m ascent/descent involving slippery tree roots and boulders, series of ladders, ropes and some free-climbing. The view was superb, but the descent was mostly done in an incessant downpour which made everything even more treacherous. Fran didn't climb because her ribs were still painful (although healing) from falling down a 1.5m hole in the pavement on a dark night four weeks ago!
Since being in Borneo we've seen lots of bugs and insects, so we've decided to put a photo album of them on the blog. The leeches on our 4-day trek weren't too bad, but we've both got bite scars.