Monday, April 3, 2017

Borneo Day 9 - Deramakot to Sepilok

We actually planned to sleep in until at least 6AM today since there was no morning activity due to our departure but some sort of bug went nutso around 5:30 AM and woke us up.   This "alarm" bug let out a high pitch whine that would have woken the dead.  That was perfect since we were in a zombie like state after multiple nights of little sleep so we decided to get up to finish packing.

After breakfast we had a little bit of time to bird watch.  That enabled us to cross another broadbill off the list.  This is a Dusky Broadbill:
Dusky Broadbill

With that, our time at Deramakot was over.  Even the Crested Serpent Eagle was surprised it ended so quickly:


Despite the rain, we really enjoyed Deramakot.  Mike was awesome as were our driver and chef.  The night drives were the best we have ever been on and I know it wasn't a fluke because I read many trip reports that saw as much or more than we did.   We did fill out the Forestry Service comment sheets that Mike pointed out were in our common area.  The biggest improvement they could make in my mind was to get a refrigerator and ice for cold drinks.  We might have drilled that into Mike's head because since we left he told me that they indeed do have a full sized refrigerator there now.  That is probably enough to guarantee our return some day.  Hopefully soon.

After breakfast we drove the 2+ hours back to Telupid.  It was here that we were supposed to be picked up and taken to Sepilok.  However, there was a problem.  No driver showed up.   John tried many options to get a vehicle to take us to Sepilok but all of them fell through.  Eventually, we just waited for our original driver to show up who was running really late.

After standing around for a couple hours he finally did show up and we were off to Sepilok for two nights. We were staying at the Sepilok Forest Edge Resort.  We arrived after 3 PM, dumped our bags in our very nice rooms and headed for a needed late lunch.

Resort Sign

Room At Sepilok Forest Edge Resort

The resort was really nice. Our room was great and had a big balcony with a forest view. Bill and Peggy had a balcony overlooking a pond.  Interestingly enough, our chalet was boarded up like Fort Knox.  The door had a big padlock you had to unlock that freed a piece of wood you had to then pull out just to open the doors.  All the windows had wood shutters with boards across them as well.  We found out later that Orangutans can and will go in rooms so this was for our protection and as well as theirs.

The grounds were large with multiple paths, multiple ponds, and lots of birds.  Unfortunately, it didn't take long for the rain to find us again.  It poured most of that afternoon and evening.  But, I did manage a few photos.

Yellow-vented Flowerpecker:
Yellow-vented Flowerpecker

Oriental Magpie Robin:
Oriental Magpie Robin

Orange-bellied Flowerpecker:
Orange-bellied Flowerpecker

Little Green Pigeon:
Little Green Pigeon

One thing about the resort that bugged me was that they had lanterns strung up around the walkways that hung at about 6 feet high.  Well, being 6 foot 4, the math was not in my favor.  So, I had to remember to duck all the time while walking around.  This is impossible when carrying an umbrella by the way.   In fact, we had a low hanging light right inside the doorway to our room that I bonked EVERY freaking time I walked in or out. I was not built for Asia!

One thing I really liked about the resort is that they had ice.  You don't know how much you miss ice until you're deep into the Borneo rain forest for 4 nights without it.  I mean, just blinking makes you sweat in the rainforest.  The Sepilok Forest Edge Resort knew how to use ice well.  They served bottled beer in a bucket of ice to be sure it was ice cold with every pour.  Ahhh, that's the stuff.  They also had really good Dry Noodles which had become my favorite local dish.

The rain cancelled any thoughts of doing a night walk unfortunately so we just met to discuss the plans for the next day and then went to bed.

On the way back to our room, we did stop to photograph this Common Rice Field Frog:
Common Rice Field Frog

Travel Tip:
One of the joys of traveling is learning about new cultures and the differences with our own.  In Borneo, it is customary to remove your shoes before you go inside a building.  That's reasonable in my mind. But, they also require this when walking on decks in outdoor restaurants.  So, with all the rain, these decks were naturally moist in places.  Plus, most bathrooms at restaurants were "wet" bathrooms. This became a bit of a nuisance for two reasons.  First, we didn't have slip on shoes so taking off shoes and putting them back on with gear while trying not to get pelted by rain falling was a pain.  Second, our socks were constantly getting wet walking around.  Now, to be fair, our socks probably weren't that dry to begin with.  But, it just seemed like taking off shoes for outdoor areas makes little sense.  Anyway, the tip is bring slip on shoes and either walk around barefoot and watch out for insects or bring extra socks because they will get wet and dirty constantly.

No comments: