A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: charlieb22

Kuching - Malaysian Borneo

Kuching itself was a really nice city, great food, friendly people and some lovely views over the river at sunset. It did however, have a very strange love of cats, there were tacky cat statues all over the city - meow. Apparently the name Kuching has something to do with cat in Malay, but still, very odd.

On our first night we had an amazing meal at a riverside restaurant and watched the sunset - lush.
Our 2nd day in Kuching was one of my favourite days in the whole of our travels so far! We went to the Semmengogh nature reserve in search of some wild orangutans!
The orangutans all live in the jungle but everyday, the staff at the reserve put fruit in the same place in the hope it attracts them to where we can spot them. At the first feeding area we went to, there was already a mother & baby enjoying some lunch, but we were quickly told to proceed to the main feeding area where the big male (Ritchie) had been spotted!
This got Louie and I very, very excited!
And sure enough, there he was, Ritchie, in all his hairy ginger glory. He was the biggest most beautifullest *moon face* I have ever seen in my life!
I could barely contain my excitement as I watched Ritchie chomp on his bananas and swing through the trees.
Also in the feeding area was a mother with her 4-month old baby, the baby was so small we didn't even notice him at first.
After Ritchie and the mother disappeared into the forest we headed back to the first feeding zone. Another mother-baby duo were there and a couple more orangutans joined them later for a banana feast. AMAZING!!

The next day we headed to Bako National Park, it's basically a big rainforest where you can do lots of jungle trekking and see plenty of wildlife.
The first thing we noticed when we got to Bako was all of the 'beware of crocodile' signs littered everywhere and the huge crocodile skull in the waiting area - made me feel very comfortable!
We then had a 30min boat ride through crocodile infested water to get to the rainforest. When we arrived, we checked into our little dorm room and went on what we thought would be a quick walk through the jungle. The 'path' we chose to follow is supposedly one of the smaller trails, but took forever! Tree-root-ridden, stoney, muddy hills  with a serious gradient - Louie would NOT stop singing the Bear Grylls themetune!
When we finally arrived at the beach, we were greeted by an abandoned crocodile nest and a huge wild pumba!
On the second day at Bako we did a longer trek to a waterfall. The sun was out in full 40' force and the paths were even trickier to negotiate than the previous day's. This led to a very hot & sweaty Louie and Charles, eeewww.
The next day we caught the boat/bus back to Kuching and treated ourselves to a pizza hut - serious yummies.

Charlie's Glossary

  • Moon face - a large male orangutan with a big round face.

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Posted by charlieb22 21:32 Comments (0)

Mantaray Island - Day 5

Rise and shine its shark dive time!

We headed down to breakfast at about 8am, Louie tucked into his nice big brekky, whilst I sat sipping my orange juice with Jaws replaying in my head.

After a slow and shaky walk down to the dive shop, we grabbed our gear and boarded the dive boat.

It was a 40min boat ride to 'brown trousers' dive site and Joe used this time to show us some delightful pictures of the sharks we were likely to encounter. He also decided to tell us the story of when he punched an Oceanic shark a few days before after it swam into him at 40mph.
I was brimming with confidence.....

After a few encouraging words from Louie and Joe, I eventually got in the water and started the descent.
The coral and marine life was absolutely stunning and as soon as my head was beneath the waves, every fear I had of the sharks simply vanished.

We spotted our first shark about 5mins into the dive, it was a 2metre white tip reef shark. We then bumped into a few more white tips (not literally) and then a big chunky grey reef shark.
I was suprisingly calm when I saw the sharks, they weren't that interested in us, the only time they swam toward us was when Joe used his 'high tech shark attracting device' - an empty plastic bottle which you scrunch underwater to resemble the sound of sharks feeding.
There was one 'bum clenching' moment when a big black tip started to circle or group, but as he came closer he soon swam away - we obviously don't look as tasty as the fishies they eat.

Lesson Learnt:
1. Sharks are pussy's. You heard it here first!

Posted by charlieb22 01:04 Archived in Fiji Comments (0)

Mantaray Island - Day 4

Woke up about 8am, but unlike yesterday, we were relatively hangover free. I put this down to the 2 litre jug of water we saw off at the end of last night's Troll Game - a very wise decision!

We did two fantastic dives in the morning, we saw lots of new coral, more lionfish and huge schools of fish!
On the way back, we talked about how sad we were to be finishing our dive course the next day and jokingly mentioned "we could do our advanced course..." Joe overheard us discussing this and offered us our advanced course at a price we couldn't refuse.
Before we knew it, we were booked in for another 3 days of diving and living the life at Mantaray!

Although we had decided to stay, we had to say goodbye to a lot of friends that we'd met over the past few days (the worst bit of travelling).

That afternoon we were lucky enough to be taken out wake-skating by Joe and Justin. I actually just went along for the boat ride, pretty views and to laugh at Louie falling off - my balance on solid ground is ropey to say the least, let alone on water!
As wikipedia puts it "Wake-skate is the same as wake-boarding, minus the foot bindings, which adds it's own unique challenges..."
Joe and Justin were both amazing at it, not a suprise seeing as they were both brought up on the ocean. It was Louie's first time at trying anything like this and I've got to hand it to him, he was pretty good - he even had Joe and Justin impressed.... The well-balanced bastard!

That night, we laid off the alcohol, finished our open water theory and I started to get some serious butterflies about tomorrow's shark dive at the aptly named 'brown-trousers reef'!

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Posted by charlieb22 02:42 Archived in Fiji Comments (0)

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