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Taman Negara

April 13, 2012

Thursday 12th April Taman Negara

We started with some breakfast where we chatted with John again as well as a couple from Holland. The five of us decided to go for the Canopy Walk. Here is the map of the paths possible to walk alone in Taman Negara. The Durian Chalet on it is where we were staying.

We walked to the river. It had rained quite a lot during the night, so the river was bigger and it was a bit more tricky to cross to go to the floating platform from which to take a boat to the other side.

crossing the river

We started the walk on the other side. It was at first a bit of a joke, considered how convenient they had made it for people to walk in the jungle, putting on the floor a fully built path.

built path

A canopy walk is made of hanging bridges between really high trees and you go from one platform to the other on it. Better not be dizzy!

Canopy Walk

On the way back, we saw a strange flower. Find out the name and win a postcard! 🙂

Strange flower

Back on our hotel side, we had some long lunch in a spot close to the river. The Dutch guy told us more about his job. He was a private detective, criminologist, working currently on understanding and stopping the human trafficking going on in Europe. Really interesting job and we kept asking him lots of questions about murders, suicides etc.

In the evening, Aude and I went on a Night Safari in a 4 wheel car with a dozen of other tourists mostly French while John and the Dutch couple went on the Jungle walk. A guide had a torch and was looking around while the car kept moving, and we stopped each time he spotted something.

We saw 2 leopard cats.  Really beautiful animal.

leopard cat

We also saw 3 snakes, quite similar. Here is one of them.

snake

We saw a bird also sleeping on a branch.

night bird

We also saw a few wild pigs. Luckily it didn’t rain. On the way back, we ran into a cool frog, and a nice night butterfly. We saw also from far a black animal the size of a fox with a long tail, but no idea what it was as it ran away quite quickly.

Friday 13th April Taman Negara

A Friday 13th! Hopefully, a lucky day?
We decided to go on a path trying to reach the Tabing Hide, and prepared some sandwiches, hoping to spend a great day going there and back. The surroundings were nice to get there.

rainforest

There were also really beautiful old trees around like this one.

big tree

Unfortunately, the path was so muddy and full of leeches that we didn’t go until the end and just turned back. Aude and I kept screaming against the leeches each time one was climbing a little too far on our shoes and socks. It was fun. Here is one beautiful leechee. They move on the floor in a really funny way, like an accordion, and put themselves vertically apparently when they feel the ground vibrating and your heat coming.

leeche

The other thing was that as it was the tropical rainforest, we were sweating a lot, our face completely leaking drops to the floor. Not enjoying too much. So we turned back. We ran again into 3 guys from England in their fifties and one guy from Holland in his thirties, the four of them passionate about birds, having 120-400mm to catch pictures and great equipment to observe them. Really interesting!

We had lunch with Marc, the guy in his thirties, who is an ornithologist. He told us about his job, observing at the moment the migratory birds path in the Arctics, and having just a few weeks off to observe the birds here. Fascinating. You can see his pictures of birds and other wildlife here. Really great and interesting website and awsome photos!

http://500px.com/mbulte

After the lunch break, we went to a nearby Hide called Tahan Hide, hoping to see the wild elephant that had come in the plain in front the last 2 days, after 6 month of not showing his tromp. We waited for a few hours but the elephant still didn’t come. With Marc, we got a bit impatient and thirsty and went back to the hotel resort having a stroll there. The monkeys were out, playing one of their trick, this time entering a room whose windows had not been closed.

monkey

Sounds like what they were satisfied with what they found there, chocolate bars!

monkey eating chocolate bar

As there were not enough for everyone, some monkeys had to simply enjoy star fruits instead.

monkey and star fruit

The domestic resort deer was also around, grabbing some food here and there.

deer

We came back and Aude told me the elephant had come and we had missed him! Damn it! We could still hear him move on the left, breaking some branches while moving on. We walked around, trying to see him, but didn’t. We came back to the Hide a last time, thinking it was worth trying another time, and here he was!

wild elephant

It was magic to observe him, even if the light was really low and he didn’t stay long. After that, we came back to the resort, hoping to see the domestic tapir going around. But the hotel staff told us that they were currently feeding him and he would not be back until an hour later.

We were a bit disappointed with Aude, but too tired to wait, so we said good-bye to Marc and crossed the river back to our side, had some diner and went back to our guesthouse, running on the last part in the middle of the night as we had forgotten our torches.

Half-hour later, the heavy tropical rain started falling again, and we were glad to be inside. It was beautiful to fall asleep for our third night there listening to the cicadas and frogs, rain and other noises of the tropical rainforest.

Tomorrow, off to Cameron Highlands, hoping to see the biggest flower of the world, the rafflésia!

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