Sunday, April 22, 2018

Deramakot to Sukau - Day10

We had a 7:30AM departure from Deramakot so we got up around 5AM to pack, have breakfast, and say our goodbyes.

One thing I failed to mention were my shower adventures in Deramakot.  Because I couldn't get my bandage wet, I had to figure out how to take a shower.  The solution was in the form of a plastic chair to keep my left leg up and a large plastic bag to wrap around my knee.  This actually worked really well because the shower head was removable and I could use it to locate the spray accurately.

Although, I ended up having to hop around on my other leg the whole time to get the soap and water in certain "strategic" locations.  but, not once did I get my knee wet in the shower.  The same can't be said for just standing out in the humidity though.  Everything gets wet within 5 minutes of doing that in Borneo.  But, I digress...

The drive to Telupid and then all the way to Sukau was uneventful except for Eric briefly getting lost trying to find the Sukau Rainforest Lodge dock at the river.  But, that did give us a chance to pass a school where all the kids were getting out for lunch.  They all wore uniforms and outside the school were tables set up where people were selling sweets.  Of course, the kids rushed over to the tables to get their sugar rushes.  Kids are the same everywhere...

Once we found the right dock and called the lodge, they sent a boat to pick us up and we were whisked away to Sukau Rainforest Lodge.  This was the only new lodge for us this trip.  We didn't particularly care for the Kinabatangan Jungle Camp where we stayed last year but this place looked great online so we had AA Borneo book it.

We arrived at about 1PM for lunch and a quick orientation.

The Sukau Rainforest Lodge (SRL) is very nice.  Much more upscale than we thought.  The restaurant was on the river with a great view:

It was pretty unique...


SRL Full Dining Area

SRL Outdoor Dining Area

They have a lounge (where people hung out because of the WiFi) called the 'Gecko Lounge'.  And, it did live up to its name since geckos were plentiful there at night:

Sukau Rainforest Lodge Lounge

They had raised boardwalks all around the grounds which we walked frequently:
Uncovered Walkway

The walkways back in the jungle were even covered:
Covered Walkway

It was here at the covered walkways that we found our first flying lizard.  We even got an opportunity to see it fly briefly.  This is a black-bearded Gliding Lizard:
Black-bearded Gliding Lizard

Right after that, a walking stick with what appeared to be pink wings flew past and landed on a nearby branch.  We never would have seen it had it not flown past us:

Stick Insect

We met our guide Stephen at 4PM for the afternoon boat trip.  He seemed a nice enough fellow but I just wasn't getting a good initial vibe.  His enthusiasm was just about non-existent.

The boats at SRL are nice.  They have individual seats with backs as opposed to benches.  But, like all things in Borneo, there wasn't a huge amount of legroom between seats.  Luckily, the boats are pretty sturdy so we were never in danger of Karen's "club foot" tipping us over.

Also, the boats are equipped with electric engines but for some reason Stephen just used the gas one all the time.

We had just turned off the main river and into a small offshoot when the word came that some Borneo Pygmy Elephants had been sighted.  We thought they were close by but it turned out to be almost a 1/2 hour ride to see them.  When we got there we could tell there were elephants in the jungle but they were not revealing themselves.  This was about the best look we were getting:

First Elephant Look

But, after a while of watching and waiting, they finally came out and just like last year the light was really nice.  So, we got some great views despite Stephen's attempts to strain our necks by always facing the boat in the wrong direction:

Bornean Pygmy Elephant

There was even a mother and baby:

Bornean Pygmy Elephants

Drink Time

Move along!

It was great to watch and especially listen to the elephants.

Plus, we saw some familiar faces.  In another boat also watching the elephants was Addie who was one of our guides at Deramakot.  She had left a few days back to guide another group and we just happened to cross paths on the river.

We also saw another couple on the river who was also at Deramakot.  Borneo is truly a "small world".

A bit later we had an Orangutan sighting but it had already built a nest and climbed into it for the night so all you can see are some hairy appendages.  Orangutan in Nest

Our final sighting was of a shy troop of Proboscis Monkeys.  The photo ops were tough because they didn't stick around long so I only managed one decent shot:
Proboscis Monkeys

Every night after dinner, we had arranged for a night boat cruise.  The night cruises were given by different boatman who specializes in them I guess.  Unfortunately, it seemed like they cater to the cell phone tourist crowd because we spent way too much time looking at roosting birds and our boatman got way too close to them and even caused a few to fly off which isn't good.

The lodge did look nice all lit up though:
Sukau Rainforest Lodge

The best sighting of the night was only about 50 yards from the lodge where there was a fruiting tree.  We saw 3 different Striped Palm Civets in that tree:

Striped Palm Civet

Striped Palm Civet Eyeing Dinner

The cruise is only an hour (8PM to 9PM) so we decided to walk the boardwalk to see what might be out and about.  However, all we saw was a roosting bird and some insects.

So, that's another day under our belt and a pretty good one at that.  The weather was still really good since we only had one brief rain shower in the afternoon.  Let's hope that continues.  Of course, the Elephants were the highlight today but it was cool seeing all the civets in the fruiting tree as well.

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