Day 8/12: On the search for the Proboscis Monkey

— 01 Jan 2013 —

The first day of the new year and we had a family free day!! An actual family free day, not a fake one. Well, by day I mean morning, which was good enough for me. I just wanted to lie in, enjoy a leisurely breakfast and take the shuttle bus around the resort, checking out all the other areas of interest. At breakfast, I found my little brother also wanted to do that too. So much for family free day huh?

We pottered around at our own pace, dressing in resort style clothing to make it look like we were meant to be there, like we belong to the elite.

First stop, the golf course located at the country club building. We weren’t allowed off the shuttle bus as we didn’t have the proper golfing attire. It’s okay because I didn’t want to walk around the championship golf course anyways.

Second stop, the Pacific Hotel. This is the not-as-luxury business-like version of the Magellan Resort. You won’t find a ton of screaming kids here, instead, more suits, if that’s what you’re into.

We walked through the hotel, checking out all the restaurants and facilities, and then chilled in the lobby lounge listening to some smooth jazz.

I suggested we take the shuttle back, but my brother gave me a look that said “What the hell dude, it’s only down the road” so we walked. And I wish I didn’t listen to him. Not that it was a long walk, but he led us down the wrong track. Instead of following the white pebble road, he led us over a couple of meter deep roadside drains, across the main road into the resort and then through some bushes. All the while, 2 shuttle buses had passed us. And yes, that’s the last time I let me lead.

We had to get back to meet the rest of the family around 4pm where we were signed up to go on the Proboscis Monkey and Fireflies twilight cruise. Hoping to catch sight of a few of these creatures, that only exist on the island of Borneo.

By the time we had filed onto our coach, the clouds had settled and they were spitting at us. Hard. And it got worse as we made our way east to the river. On the way, we passed so many luscious green pastures and small villages. It was a big contrast to the city.

As we rolled up to the site, there were another 20 or so coaches parked alongside the road. IT WAS MADNESS. I could have literally stepped off one onto another. That’s how close they were parked next to each other.

We sprayed ourselves with insect repellent, dressed ourselves in a dodgy ripped life jacket (which probably wouldn’t save you if there was an accident) and stepped onto the rain drenched boat, ready to spot some monkeys.

We started off with a pita pata of the rain on the cover and the water. It was really nice just to chill on the water, listening to the rhythm of the rain and smelling the freshness of the rain on the surrounding bush.

There were a few sightings but the monkeys were too far and I could only make out the silhouette. I swear the guide has supercharged eyes that allowed me to see REALLY far. He would be detecting monkeys a good 100m away. In addition to the overcast sky and rain. Then you’ll get a boat load of Asians squinting their (already very small) eyes in the direction he’s pointing to, with no luck of seeing whatever he saw. Or claimed to see.

Finally, we had  some luck! The guide had to troll quietly up to the banks as to not alarm them. Without a huge-arse lens like some other people, you’ll have to click on the photos and zoom in, A LOT.

We started to head back down the river as the sun was setting.

The overcast sky was making me sleepy but I had to keep awake to catch some fireflies. Something I haven’t seen since I was last in Zambia. And they put on quite a show. They lit up the path for our boat and they sparkled like subtle fairy lights.

It was divine.

Probably the best way to spend New Years Day (sober and on an adventure!).


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