Welcome to Day 8 of an exciting adventure in Sarawak. It’s been a Borneo trip with so many different experiences, and sadly our last day in Mulu National Park is today.
The sun was shining again after some torrential rain last night, which meant that we were up for some more exciting Borneo experiences before we flew on to Kota Kinabalu in Sabah.
Borneo Trip – Canopy Skywalk
We had a little time to kick our heels and have a leisurely breakfast overlooking the river, followed by a walk around Park HQ to take more photos.
However, we were preparing ourselves for the canopy skywalk.
In Cafe Mulu cups were chinking, and the kitchen was busy. As usual we headed for the filter coffee to replenish our morning souls and ordered a hearty breakfast.
Borneo Eco Tours – at Mulu the accent is on Eco
Japanese tourists with enormous camera lenses took photos of pygmy squirrels which darted and flew amongst the trees. We were told this is the smallest squirrel in the world. Minuscule compared to the size of some of those camera lenses at least!
Alison positioned us in a good spot to watch the tiny squirrels, indicative of her eco tours mantra, which is to guide travellers into the pulsing heart of Borneo, giving them not only a taste of its major attractions but also revealing the tiny elusive treasures.
The Morning Scene
There were the usual morning sounds of boatmen bailing out their boats, and motorcycles chugging over the suspension ridge.
Boatmen were warning people departing on the early morning tours heading off on the blue, green and yellow longboats, to ‘mind their hands’. There was the sound of outboard engines, and cicadas …always the cicadas.
The brown river was swirling not languidly but with purpose after the rain, and was pulled apart by the longboats which cut through the water parting it in silver flumes.
We packed up and sadly said goodbye to our comfortable lodgings, but we were also excited because the Canopy Sky Walk had been re-arranged for today.
Mulu Canopy Skywalk
Water bottles full, sunscreen on.
At 10.30am we were given our safety instructions by Eugene, and set off towards the skyway canopy, heading off on the trail towards Deer Cave.
The Mulu Skywalk is the world’s longest tree based canopy walk at 480 metres long and around 20 metres high.
It winds among the foliage of the tree tops, high above the river and the forest floor. Above it only the limestone cliffs soar.
Eugene our guide was a mine of information pointing out some weird and wonderful insects, as well as explaining some of the botany of the park as we walk amongst giant ferns and vines.
World Heritage Site
Mulu is on the World Heritage List for several explicit reasons, but some of the special values of Mulu include the following.
The concentration of caves are an outstaning resource which allows a greater understanding of earths history.
The park provides outstanding scientific opportunities to study theories on the origins of. Cave faunas.
The rivers, mountains, and forests of the park make it a place of outstanding scenic value and the millions of bats which can be seen flying from the caves provide a superlative wildlife spectacle,
The park provides essential habitat for a wide range of plants and animals.
Along the way
Along the walk to the canopy skyway we saw many stick insects.
Eugene explained that there are around 100 species of stick insect and until a while ago, Mulu held the accolade of being home to the longest stick insect in the world – a title currently held by Sabah.
We saw weird and wonderful creatures such as the lantern bug, a keel pit viper coiled around a branch, parasitic plants, a stinking bug, ghekos, and a curious bug which, at night, makes a sound like a violin.
A giant butterfly landed on my shoulder, and later Eugene pointed out a crested lizard with a long tail which Eugene explained, helps it fly.
We took photos next to a soft wood tree called a Benuang, it was enormous, and completely dwarfed us.
Then it was on to the skywalk reached by a set of stairs and soon we were up in the canopy, 20 metres above the ground and about to walk almost half a kilometre along suspension bridges high in the tree tops.
I thought I might feel more scared, but in reality it was just exhilarating.
The bridges were narrow. They swayed, rocked and bounced as we traversed them two by two, so as not to overload the structure.
We marvelled at the way the skywalk had been constructed, deep in the rainforest, far from civilisation, and listened quietly and keenly to the sounds of the jungle.
Overall it was an incredible experience, in which we really felt at one with nature.
Borneo experiences coming to an end
All too soon our time at Mulu came to an end.
We collected our luggage and jumped in cars to take us the short distance to the airport from where we flew first to Miri, for a very odd ‘get off the plane, go through customs, get back on the plane, diversion, and then onto Kota Kinabalu.
Here we had two nights of luxury at The Marriott Hotel overlooking the waterfront.
We enjoyed sundowner drinks on the 15th floor with a view to die for, and lastly we had a fabulous Thai meal hosted by Alison at an open air restaurant.
We shopped a little, took photos, enjoyed the infinity pool and generally debriefed and discussed the amazing time we’d had in Borneo.
What an absolutely incredible adventure Borneo had been!
Thanks Di and Tonia for the great farewell photo 🙂
If you’re looking for a fabulous tour to Borneo, or for a specific Borneo Eco Tour, do check out the fabulous array of trips in Borneo Alison has to offer.
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