June 09, 2011

the monkeys are loose... Bako National Park

Just a few k‘s outside of Kuching is a quite nice National Park. It is home to hundreds of differents wildlife species, the more famous are the macaques monkeys and the other monkeys, which name I forget, but they are more refered to as „Dutchmen“ monkeys, due to their huge noses. So, we ventured out there for a three day two night trip. The only way to get to Bako is, to catch the public bus and then you have to ferry up river by small boats. They boat just drops you off on the beach and you make your way up to Park HQ where you have your room key and the lot. The park‘s accomodation is not a lot either, I‘d say it can house more or less 40 people overnight either in chalets, lodges or hostel dorm rooms, all with shared facilities. It‘s quite remote and they have a all day cafeteria there to cater the food. 
On our arrival day, we did some hiking to see some monkeys. And yes, we sure did see the. First you can hear them, up in the trees swining along from one to the other. It took us a while to spot them, but you always have this „I think I‘m being watched feeling“ along the trail. And fair enough, some were watching us from above it seemed. The „Dutchmen“ indeed have huge noses, which wobble up and down when the loudly munch on their leaves. The are orangy in color and seem to wear grey-whitish nappies and the same colored long tail. Funny guys. 

The Dutchmen monkeys

After a quick break we headed towrads the boat jetty as some kiwi guy told me on the bus a few days earlier, that that is the spot to few the macaques monkeys. We just started to walk up the path when a huge crowd came walking or strolling or whatever you call the monkey-walk down towards us. It seemed like a boatload of monkeys were just dropped off at the park. Heaps of them. And not scared of people at all, but not really cheeky either. Thankyouverymuch. Heaps of photos later they all trotted out to the beach to feed on the crabs. Ha. 

During our stay at the park we did some trekking to viewpoints and beaches, saw heaps of monkeys up close along the way. Even a green viper with its baby on a leaf next to the walkway. Another little black snake just „snaked“ ??!? across the pathway behind the canteen. On our second morning, I woke up to Ellen shutting the windo really loudly. All I saw was a grey furball retreating outside on the windowsill. What happened was, the monkey crew ventured to our hostel and one cheeky little fella thought, oh a window open might as well try to clib in. He didn‘t think of the mozzie net in front of it though. Otherwise we would have had a little monkey sitting on our beds that morning. 
More photos here

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