I woke up to the alarm at 8am, having had one of the best night’s sleep in months. I remember turning over in the night a few times and only half hearing the sounds of the animals. We’re at the NP HQ for another night and it’s good to not be repacking this morning.
We had a lazy breakfast in the cafeteria of fried eggs, stage and toast. We met at around 10.30 for a canopy walk. We walked around 30 minutes to the start of the walk, all along boardwalks. It felt particularly warm as we walked along with our local guide stopping every so often to show us various plants that the locals use as medicine.
We eventually arrived at the start of the canopy trail and climbed the steps to the start. It’s the longest tree based canopy trail in the world and covers around 450m 25-30m in the air. The bird were great but it read quite rickety in places.
We walked back to the centre and had a look and a really good exhibition about the area and the floors, fauna and geology. By now it was almost 1pm and time for food! Another delicious offering for me of an Asian salad and a noodle based dish.
We met everyone again at 2pm for a visit to the caves. We have a new local guide called Chris. We walked the 3km along the boardwalk to the caves a in styflingly warm conditions. On the way, we saw a pygmy squirrels and loads of different caterpillars we arrived at the caves and after a few minutes rest walked up to the caves.
There are two main caves; Lang’s cave and Deer cave. The first cave that went in was Lang’s cave. This cave was pretty impressive in size, but nothing compared with what was to come! In there we saw the odd bat, and a few swift nests. There were also some great stalactites and stalagmites. After completing the circuit in the cave we walked out and towards the deer cave.
The deer cave is simply huge. as we walked in, the smell of ammonia from the guano was strong. Just before we entered the cave properly, we came across an English style post box where you can have postcards sent from with a special stamp!
The cave entrance, from where the bats emerged last night, was over 100m high and very wide. As we walked on in, our guide pointed out huge areas of sleeping bats, only visible way above because they were clustered together.
Further in, we could look back and see the entrance with the rainforest framed in the opening.
At one point there was a silouette that looked like Abraham Lincoln.
We walked on into the cave and saw more bat colonies and also a small wrinkled mouth bat that had taken into the path. The were also areas of guano that seemed to be teeming in insects feeding off it.
Eventually, about 800m into the cave, we arrived at a second large entrance. We followed the path and eventually returned to the main entrance. After a few minutes rest we walked back the 3km to our lodge.
When we got back, me and Ed walked straight to the shop just outside the park to pick up a couple of Tiger beers and as I write this we’re sat on the veranda to our room cooking down while we wait for the keys which are with Peter who decided to walk the long way home!
We had our briefing from Nizam and then ask headed straight to the cafe for food, washed down with a few cans of Tiger, purchased from the off site shop. By 9pm we were in desperate need of a shower and some sleep. No electricity at the next pace so no idea what the washing facilities will be like after a days activities including carrying our bags!