Thursday, 14 February 2008

Taman Nagara National Park, Malaysia

Taman Nagara is a fantastic place place to spend a few days. I had brought boots and boot socks and even women's tights (as recommended by a website for keeping out the leeches) I covered myself in mosquito repellent which they are not supposed to like and set out for a good long walk in the wilds of a proper forest.

Within a few minutes of setting out wearing a long sleeve shirt, boots and socks and tights over the top of the socks, I found out why no one else was wearing this get up. I was sweating my nuts off! And we hadn't seen a single leech yet... So off the tights came and I would fight the leeches on the beaches... well in the forest.

Leeches are supposed to be found in the less well touristed areas and if you find them it means you are more likely to see wild animals as that is what they are looking to prey upon. So if you see leeches then you are going the right way. And so it proved. As soon as we got off the beaten track the leeches appeared by the million. They sit on brown leaves waiting for your muddy boots to pick them up and work their way towards your feet. After having had a few in your boots you start to realise that you can keep an eye out for them and knock most of them off before they can get in.

So we walked around 10 kilometres the first day (it seemed like 100 kilometres and I was soaked with sweat and totally exhausted by the end of the walk) and found the canopy walkway, and walked that too. As someone who hates heights I found it a little wobbly and some bits I didn't like, but it was very well constructed and not too scary. The views over the forest and seeing the giant squirrel made it well worthwhile and enjoyable. The sounds of the forest were amazing and Fi saw a flying snake and we saw and heard many birds including a woodpecker which wasn't scared of us taking pics at all.

That evening Julian arrived and we did an organised night walk which was fun. We saw kingfisher type birds sleeping in the forest, snakes, tarantulas, other spiders, almost saw scorpions but they escaped down their hole before we got to take a look. We also saw various stick and other insects and were able to see deer when in a hide, but couldn't take any decent pics.

The next day's walk through the forest was even longer but very enjoyable and I even managed to see a macaque, but it quickly disappeared into the forest before I could get my camera out. As we were completing our walk we came to a swimming area with lots of butterflies on the riverbank. The biggest and most beautiful butterfly suddenly decided it liked the look of my blue and yellow t-shirt and landed on it sucking up my sweat. We were able to take pictures and it didn't leave until I started walking again. Most butterflies never come near humans and I have always struggled to take pictures of them, so it was a nice few minutes, to be sucked on by a butterfly, lol.

The food in Kuala Tahan was pretty crap but we tried a restaurant that night which proved the best so far. It was the first one you would see when arriving from KL, cannot remember its name.

The next morning we caught the bus out of there at 7.30am and headed for Tioman Island. Which proved a hell of a journey.

1 comment:

Sara said...

Did you see the size of that spider?? well did you, Gee sus thats enough to make you take up hunting!

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