And so it was, that we find ourselves being woken at 4am in time to get up and out. At 4.50am we met our fellow sleepy looking travellers in the hotel lobby and boarded the minibuses for the airport.
We dropped out big bags of at the cargo depot on the way to the airport and checked in. Security was a relaxed affair and we left Kuching on time for the 50 minute flight to Miri. Here we had a couple of hours wait before we got a much smaller plane for the 30 minute flight to Mulu NP.
We were picked up in a couple of pick ups to be taken to the national park. It was only a 3 minute drive and we were soon checking in. The temperature is again very warm with 30 degrees and 84% humidity!
We’re staying in a copy of a long house with 4 rooms each sleeping 4. They’re actually pretty comfortable and have electricity and air conditioning! Our room want ready when arrived though so we left our bags and went to the dining area. Whereas the Bako NP was basic and canteen style, three food here is on a menu and cooked to order. I had a really nice satay dish with an Asian salad with a cold can of beer.
Went back to use one of the rooms to get ready for an afternoon walk. It wasn’t more some 1.45 and very very warm but as we walked along there was a nice breeze. The first part of the walk was on a boardwalk and after about 1.5km we turned off along a jungle track.
The noise of the insects was amazingly loud. We walked along for about another 1.5km and arrived at a few waterfalls with pools where we could swim. It was really refreshing, although I’d have preferred to be able to see the bottom!
After drying off, we retraced our steps to the boardwalk and continued along for another couple of km where we entered a clearing with a big cliff to the left which had a massive cave entrance. Here we sat to wait for bats to leave the cave.
We waited on the seating area for around 2 hours before the sun started to set and the bats began leaving the caves. Up until then we didn’t the time chatting and taking the pi** out of done of the hard core photographers with their massive camouflaged lenses!
When the bats eventually did show up thru out on a spectacular display. They left the cave enmasse and gradually spiralled up wards until they could be seen silouetted against the sky in a mass formation. It was almost like there was some leader marshalling then at the entrance to the cave and letting a group of thousands go at a time. If you were quite you could hear the rhythmic bearing of their wings as they flew overhead.
After about 15 minutes watching we began the 40 minute walk back to the cabins. By now it was dark and the noises in the jungle seemed even louder. When we eventually got back to the cabin, there was a very noisy frog sitting on the path!
Nazim told us that it was far busier than usual at the park and so rather than shower, we went straight to tea. It’s just as well we did as we ordered the last spring rolls and had to share the last two beers between three of us!
After eating, our guide face is the briefing for the next day and then a few of us walked back across the suspension bridge at the entrance to the park where there was a shop at which we could buy a couple of beers. We took them back to the cafe area and Peter, Ed and I sat chatting with Nazim until about 9.30 when we went back to the lodge for much needed shower. The air conditioning in the lodge made it a much more pleasant experience! It had been a long day and so all agreed it was time for an early night!