Saturday, December 27, 2008

Mulu National Park- Day Two

Our second day in Mulu, started with us having breakfast in the morning after packing our things to move to the fan room situated near the cafeteria. We left our backpacks at the store located near the reception area and headed towards the place where we were supposed to gather for our next visit to another show cave called, the Wind Cave.

In our midst of getting breakfast and packing our bags, we found out that the group had started the hike earlier. Apparently, we have gotten the time wrongly. We thought we could save cost and hike as well. However, not wanting to miss any single piece of action and for the interest of time, we decided to take the boat to the cave.
The jetty was near the reception area.

Having learned how to swim (well, I always tell people, I could only save myself, should anything untoward happens) did not calm my nerves every time I have to go near the water. I took the time to secure my life jacket properly (please be sure you insist on one every time you have to be somewhere near the water).
With a few prayers, I got into the boat and found out that I was seated in the front seat. All the more reason for me to enjoy the ride as it will give me the opportunity to witness first hand anything extraordinary during our journey to the cave.
I was seated in front of this boy, who had the agility of a mouse deer. He would automatically jumped out of the boat to make sure it stays on course every time it starts to veer off course.

There were two people, manning the boat. One seated at the back, while the other in front. The guy in front (or rather a boy, no older than 16), jumped out of the boat, every now and then, to push boat off the shallow waters.

He's using a long bamboo stick to navigate the boat away from the shallow riverbed.

Despite the increase heart rate, I've always feel at peace when I am surrounded by lush green trees and water. My relaxed feet says it all.

We've arrived to our first destination after a good 15-20 minutes boat ride.
  • Wind Cave
As the name suggested, if you stand at a certain point in the cave you can feel the soft cool breeze blowing on your skin.

A long way down: A good 20 metres or more (there's no way telling due to the darkness) drop.

The path in the cave is safe as there are railings that you could hold on to as you walked pass each section of the cave. Most parts are well-lit but please do keep a torch light handy.

The section of the cave dubbed as the Kings Chamber.

  • Clear water Cave

The Rajah Brooke butterfly

In order for us to head towards Clear water cave, we would just need to follow the elevated wooden bridge built against the walls of the cave.

After seeing the many steps I have to climb to get to the cave entrance,I have have opted to sit in for this part of the visit. While my friends attempted the many steps, I amused myself with a few subjects while waiting for them to get back .

The very nice Thai lady who now resides in Australia came by and sat with me, while waiting for my friends to return from the cave.

While I was seated at the park bench, a Thai lady came over and we started talking. She was on a holiday with her husband to escape the cold winter in Australia. We later met the husband, who turned out to be as friendly as she. We all ended up sharing a table during lunch.

Interestingly, they have been travelling all over Malaysia, with Sabah being their next destination. She kept pointing out that Malaysia has a lot of interesting places to visit, especially Sarawak.

We were getting ready to go back to the park headquarters for lunch.

I stumbled upon this group of school children playing and taking a bath by the river. The river is so much part of their lives that kids as small as 6 or 7 were seen only with their peers bathing in the river.

  • Mulu National Park Interpretive Centre
The building where our second room is located, also housed an interpretive centre. We made our way there right after dinner that night, to gain more clarity on the cave system. We've learned that the show caves that we've visited was only the tip of the iceberg. It was approximately 20-30% of the overall system. We've managed to bear witness to its massiveness and impressiveness through the diagram below.

The enormity of the system struck me when I saw this diagram. Only then do I fully understand how the national park earned the rights to be called World National Heritage Area by UNESCO.

The visit to the interpretive center marked the end of our second day journey in the national park. We slept soundly that night, with thoughts of the next day's activity on our mind.

Until my next entry, let me take this opportunity to wish all my Muslim friends a great new year on the Islamic calender. May this year bring us more prosperity in terms of worldly and spiritual knowledge. Let's pray we are driven more on the desire to contribute to and help those around us, rather than to strive solely for material gains, Insyallah.

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