Borneo is filled with unbelievable natural beauty and wildlife and I only saw a small part of it. Upon our arrival in Kuching we knew instantly we should have stayed longer. Our second night on Borneo we had the opportunity to stay on Pualu Satang Besar (a small island off the coast of Kuching) to watch the sea turtles come in to lay their eggs. During the months of August and September the turtles return to the beach where they hatched 25 years earlier, how they are able to remember the location no one knows. The entire process (coming to land to returning to sea) lasts an estimated 2 hours, laying anywhere from 80-140+ eggs. We were fortunate enough to see four turtles...a sighting isn't guaranteed. The first turtle laid 143 eggs and measured 101 cm. I was blown away by the size of these things! Once the turtle had covered the nest and returned to the sea we assisted the ranger in digging up the eggs for incubation. Borneo had two different species of sea turtles, both of which are endangered, so the the rangers are trained in conversation and incubation of the eggs in hopes of returning as many baby turtles to the sea as possible. Andrew even assisted a ranger in removing barnacles on the shells before too much damage was done. The whole night was such a rush as each turtle came to shore...it was incredible.
The main reason for our trip to Borneo was to see the Orangutan in its natural habitat before it is lost to deforestation. Semenggoh Nature Reserve is home to 26 semi-wild, rescued orangutan that are being rehabilitated for independent survival in the jungle. They have two feeding sessions where the orangutans are free to come and go as they please, so once again a sighting isn't always guaranteed. Since we were there during the dry season the chances of seeing one were a little higher. At the first feeding session we saw 5 orangutan, one of which was a baby. It was fascinating to watch them climb the ropes and swing through the trees. I am happy to have had the opportunity to see these amazing animals.
My favorite National Park of Kuching was Bako. It was filled with twisting tree and vines, roots that were more like stairs than trees, and rock formation that were beyond anything I have ever seen. It was so great we visited it twice. Our first visit we hiked thru the jungle to a waterfall in the rain...it takes it to a whole new level: the colors are vibrant, the sound of the rain is rhythmic and meditative, and...it keeps you cool. The second visit we explored the cliffside along the ocean seeing several monkeys along the way. We hopped rocks along the water exploring anything we could. The erosion of the sandstone was absolutely mind-blowing and the cliffs and crevices dwarfed us. Lines and color created shapes and patterns that I have never seen, even my imagination couldn't create something so beautiful. Nothing I could write would do it justice.
As always, check out Projects for more photos!