9.15.2006

Taming the Kinabatangan

Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my! Welcome to the Jungle! Actually, there are no lions, tigers or bears, but...there are: wild boars, elephants, snakes, monkeys, orangutangs, crocodiles and birds (oh my!).

After leaving Mt. Kinabalu, S and I took a detour on our way to Sipidan Island, where we are planning to go diving. We stopped at the Kinabatangan River, which is nicknamed "the Amazon of Malaysia". Well, I have never been to the Amazon, but this was pretty cool.

The first day we arrived, we got settled and then jumped right into a boat to explore the river. We saw tons of Probiscus Monkeys, which have huge fat bellies and big bulbous noses (hence the name). They can leap...(small buildings with a single bound) from tree to tree, clearing about 20 feet or so easily. We also saw a couple other types of monkeys, but the money shot was the elephants. There must have been easily 20-30 elephants all together eating, playing and swimming. We sat and watched them for a long time before it finally got dark and we went home for dinner. The place where we stayed was very secluded; to get to it you had to take a boat from the "town"; there were only 4 other people staying there when we were there.

The next day we were up early for another river boat ride... we saw 2 orangutangs! That night we saw about 4 crocodiles, which apparently you are not supposed to be afraid of, because they only eat small fish and...it takes them a month to digest that! Hmph.

We left the Kinabatangan with a newfound respect for the animals. Now I think that I not only want to take home a monkey, but also a Pygmie Elephant. Do you think it will fit in my suitcase? I may be a little over the weight limit!

Next stop: Sipidan Island for some very fine diving....

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