Wild Sabah – Sabah Trip#7

January 9, 2016 at 12:39 am | Posted in itchy backside | Leave a comment
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Every night and early morning, just outside our resort room, we could find numerous interesting and pretty moths…

A pity we do not know much about moth species…

Some were so small that you could only appreciate their beauties under a magnifying glass or with the help of a macro lens…. 

This one was so well camouflaged!

After an eventful day at Poring Hot Spring, we came to the last day of our stay at Mount Kinabalu Park. Decided to take it easy and explore around our resort…

New batch of climbers waiting to register at the office…. 

No more sighting of the languars but we saw this instead…

A male Bornean Whistling Thrush at the car park

Saw the juvenile thrush too! He was chirping loudly at his parents for food…

The female was nearby too….

A Yellow Breasted Warbler….fast bird to shoot…

Went back to the Park HQ to explore the trails….

Silau Silau Trail…

Saw this big-headed caterpillar back in Singapore too!

Mini fungi on a tree trunk. They looked like tiny dwellings for forest fairies…hahah

Beautiful fern

Kinabalu Park is definitely rich in its flora and fauna….

But maybe you can also find some not-so-wild lives here….

Besides being popular among the leisure hikers, there is also the annual race to see who is the fastest to reach the summit!

My goodness! Are these people human? So fast!

We had to leave the park after lunch to catch a domestic flight to Sandakan. On our way down, we tried to locate the Rafflesia Conservatory to see if any flowers were in bloom. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find it even the help of the GPS and the map on the printed paper we saw at the eatery few days back! So in the end, we didn’t manage to see the Rafflesia, as well as Nepenthes Rajah! What a pity!

On our plane, we could see the Mount Kinabalu range….

Wonder where is the highest point….

Less than an hour’s flight later, Itchyfingers landed at Sandakan, ready for the next leg of our adventure in wild Sabah!

Also see related posts:
> The Lost Gardens – Sabah Trip#6
A Close Shave – Sabah Trip#5
Boring Hot Spring – Sabah Trip#4
A Slow Slow Cllimb – Sabah Trip#3
A Different Garden – Sabah Trip#2
So Near Yet So Far – Sabah Trip#1

The Lost Gardens – Sabah Trip #6

January 1, 2016 at 11:14 pm | Posted in itchy backside | Leave a comment
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After our expensive lunch, we continued to explore around Poring Nature Reserves since I seemed to be feeling ok after a close shave

According to the map, there were supposed to be an Orchid Garden and Tropical Garden

This was where the clumsy Tisu Girl nearly fell to her doom…

Apparently we took the wrong direction and walked the wrong way…

Look what we found….another gigantic leaf!

Tisu Girl fooling around, pretending to be the Iron Fan Princess from Journey to the West….hahah…Can you believe just a while ago she was hanging onto dear life on a skinny tree at a slope?

The Orchid Garden was quite a disappointment. It was supposed to have 1,200 species of orchids found within Kinabalu Park, boosting the largest collection of Sabah’s endemic orchids. But we didn’t find that many orchids species there actually. There were no staff or gardeners around, you wonder if it was under any care or not…There was not even anyone at the ticketing booth near the entrance, except one that was deeply asleep! The only thing in abundance were the big mosquitoes!!!!

Some of the orchids we saw there

Most of them had no tag on them, so we couldn’t find out their names…

Another nameless species…

These were very tiny orchids!

Another tiny ones! Could have easily missed it!

Even with my long pants, long-sleeved shirt and mosquito patch, I still ended up donating blood to the many blood suckers…So hurriedly, we decided to leave and check out the Tropical Gardens instead…

Well, if the Orchid Garden was bad, the Tropical Garden was even worse! All the enclosures that were once occupied with animals or birds were now empty and the whole place looked deserted and badly maintained, if any….

Found this interesting looking little seedling…

Fungi on a fallen log

Nice pattern

On our way out we saw this fig tree…

This should be the same Ficus tarennifolia that we saw at the Botanical Garden earlier

At first glance, we thought this was a giant yam tree…and there were so many of them….

But then we realised it has fruits that look like corn! We found out later this should be Alocasia macrorrhizos, common names include Giant Taro and Elephant Ear Taro

Looked like those colored corns that I have never tried before! Haha….

With that, we left Poring Nature Reserves feeling disappointed at the gardens that have lost their charm but also feeling lucky and relieved that all I got were lots of bruises from my fall…hahah

On our way back, we couldn’t help but stopped the car and hopped over to the opposite side to look at the mountain range….

Could see the few peaks without obstruction….

Actually I was still limping while crossing the road…but nevermind, take photo first! LOL!

Back in the car, I took a look at my crudely bandaged leg to check for swelling…Seemed to be ok now though still painful…

Stopped by these rows of stalls for some shopping…

The mountain range was their backdrop…Most of these stalls sold the same stuff like fruits and dry food…

There were stalls selling flowers and plants…

So many pots of pitcher plants! Too bad cannot buy back….

I really love these Fuchsia! Such vibrant colors but somehow the camera failed to capture it accurately. These won’t survive in our climate even if we could buy them back….

Agapanthus flower

Back at the HQ, we had super early dinner at the nearby eatery so that we could go back to the resort and rest my bruised body.

We could vaguely see the radio tower and the rest house from the carpark why the sky cleared! 

At that time, I was wondering if a clumsy person like me should consider climbing Mount Kinabalu? But I guess maybe not…I may have the fitness, but I am just not agile enough and too clumsy….

Also see related posts:
> A Close Shave – Sabah Trip#5
Boring Hot Spring – Sabah Trip#4
A Slow Slow Cllimb – Sabah Trip#3
A Different Garden – Sabah Trip#2
So Near Yet So Far – Sabah Trip#1

A Close Shave – Sabah Trip#5

December 6, 2015 at 10:16 pm | Posted in itchy backside | Leave a comment
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After walking the Canopy Walk, Itchyfingers decided to explore the other trails at Poring Nature Reserves. For those keen to explore, you can trek through the lowland forest to the two waterfalls.

Kipungit Waterfall is the nearer and smaller one and can be reached in about 20 minutes, while the bigger Langganan Waterfall takes more than an hour’s hike to get to

Spotted this big snail near the sign. Gotta move it to one side in case the slow coach got crashed by trekkers… :p

Itchyfingers decided to check out Kipungit Waterfall first. Some people have seen the Rafflesia around the area. We hoped to see some interesting birds too!

Huge leaf 

The bottom

Not sure it was from any of these trees….hahah

Big fig tree with lotsa fruits…but no birds!

The way to the waterfall was quite flat and soon we could see the waterfall….Quite a disappointing small one and there were already a lot of people playing with water and taking photos. Too crowded! There was a sign at the opposite bank pointing to the Bat Cave as well as the other bigger waterfall, the Langanan Waterfall. (For those interested to see more photos of the waterfall, you can check out here.)

To get there, we had to first cross over….Tisu Boy just hopped, hopped, hopped over….Easy! 

The water was very shallow and looked easy to cross. I tried stepping on some rock but it was quite slippery leh! Can still get your feet wet if you stepped on the wrong rock or slipped cos most of them were wet. Tisu Boy was shocked to see me still freezing at the same spot….So he came back midway, and tried to guide me on which rocks to step on….But this clumsy person simply has got some hand leg coordination problems….Instead of using the straight-forward easy way, she actually preferred to choose the tougher way!

“But I think this way is easier leh!”. The “easier way” required her to take a longer way and legs to be stretched out far to reach the big dry rock….she was just pleased that her feet were not wet at all… :o

The locals sitting around must have had a good laugh….Which planet did she come from?! :D

To the Langanan Waterfall would be a 90 minutes 3km trek. It was getting hot since it was close to noon, and my thighs were feeling a bit soar and ache from yesterday’s climb. So we decided to just check out the Bat Cave for fun, since it was nearer.

The route to the bat cave and waterfall was zig-zag up a hill…

The trail was not so tough actually, considered quite flat and the zig-zag inclined slope was not too steep either. But I was getting a bit tired so walked slowly behind Tisu Boy. Maybe it was the heat that caused exhaustion, plus the exertion on the already aching muscles. Anyway I was looking at the ground most of the time while walking, checking for leeches…The next moment when I raised my head up, suddenly the back of my head hit on some branch above me, and the next thing I knew was that I was tumbling down the edge of the hill!!!!

Everything happened so fast and sudden! I was not sure if I fell straight or rolled down but I remembered seeing a tree from the corner of my eye and immediately grabbed hold of it! By now Tisu Boy had heard my scream and ran back to check.

I think this was roughly what happened…those who can read Chinese or Singlish, you will probably appreciate this comic more…hahah

1. Tisu Girl was looking for gold bars on the forest floor.
2. She was wearing her fisherman hat so she could not see the evil branch hanging low across the path when she suddenly raised her head up. It hit her hard on the back of the head. She saw stars and lost balance, slipped and fell down the hill…
3. Not too sure how she fell…did she fall backwards and somersault or did she just roll down? Cos her vision was blurred like Blairwitch Project…
4. Amazingly, she saw a thin tree and for once, her reflexes were fast enough to grab the skinny trunk tight. Funnily, all this while, she was still holding the bottled mineral water!

After Tisu Boy heard me shouting, he said he looked back and saw me gone…It happened too sudden that he could not recall whether he witnessed me fell or not….This was what he saw after he threw everything down and ran over….

Being a right-hander, I thought I would be holding the bottle on my left hand, cos I always needed my dominant hand for extra support while trekking. So I was surprised when he insisted I was grabbing the life-saving tree with my left…I dun think it would be strong enough really…

Tisu Boy shouted to ask if I was okay. My head hurt and there was a sharp pain on the left shin too…It could have knocked onto some rocks when I did my somersault stunt…The first thing came to my mind was that I didn’t get travel insurance!!!! Luckily, besides my life-saving tree, my legs were able to find some footing on the slope, otherwise it would be scary to be hanging in the air! I looked down and could see those people at the foot of the waterfall…They were looking up at me and wondering what happened to this clown…I think they might be wondering if I was fooling around cos no one shouted at us to check if I was ok and if we needed help…

Then Tisu Boy started to slowly climb down to me. I think he was scared stiff too, cos he kept asking if I was ok, if there was anywhere bleeding or fracture… I think I slipped down about 5 meters – I was hanging between the third and second tier of the zig-zap path. If I did not grab on to the tree, I might plunge all the way down about 30meters to the bottom where it was full of rocks. I could have either suffer a serious fracture and break my arms or legs, or worse, die from the fall if I hit my head on the big rocks below….By now I had calm down a bit, knowing that I was safe, and I felt my injury was not that serious. We had the option of either descend down to the second tier of the path or climb up back to the third. Tisu Boy assessed the situation and thought going down would be easier. But my left shin hurt badly when I tried to bend it, and being so clumsy, I wasn’t confident of going downward. Gotta throw down my bottle and tried to climb upwards slowly…all this while, nobody came up to help us….

After much struggle, finally we made it back to the third tier….

Now that we were back on flat ground, I could even laugh at myself for being clumsy…

I even waved at the ‘spectators’ below to let them know I was ok…as if they cared?

Being Itchyfingers, I had to record what happened….hahah….so despite still feeling pain all over, I asked Tisu Boy to start taking photos….

…of a still traumatized Tisu Girl! Bruises on arms, dirt all over!

Checked the head….no bleeding….

So we were at the 500meter mark from where we started climbing. Then I started to describe what happened…Tisu Boy was supposed to take photo of that evil branch, which I pointed but obviously he didn’t aim properly….

I pointed to my saviour tree below and again Tisu Boy wasn’t in the mood and so didn’t aim properly!!! Arrrgh!!!

Wanted to turn back but Tisu Boy said better check the shin first…

So I removed the leech sock and rolled up my pants to check on my left shin….Oh my goodness! Looked like it had grown a tennis ball!!! I have never seen such a big swollen shin!!!! And there was an abrasion on it too! 

I wanted to take a photo but looking at the tennis ball bulge, Tisu Boy wasn’t so amused and said better go down immediately to get some medical help. So with the tripod leg as aid, we started walking down slowly. On the way down, we bumped into some people walking up. Not sure if they were the same people down there who didn’t bother to lend a helping hand… :( Oh, we did pick up my discarded bottle….Leave no litter!

Saw this crashed beetle on the way to the park office….Still in the mood to take photo! Wow…it could be me that looked like that if not for my saviour tree…!

When we finally reached the office, we were really surprised to see the swell had miraculously subsided to a little bum! Should have taken a photo of it!

Leg back to normal size, except for the abrasions and cuts…I have always complain that my legs are thick, a bit disproportionate to my upper slimmer body. But come to think about it, if it were any thinner, the damage might have been worse….!

Food is one of the best ways to calm down the nerves. But at Poring Hot Spring, we could only find this restaurant….

Food wasn’t too impressive…but definitely not so cheap

Luckily I had this shirt tied on my waist to change into….

Back to the resort, was really shocked to see a lot of big bruises all over, including the lower back, the arm, hip, leg and feet….

Huge patch on the hip, extending lower down (the lighter area). If I were to rub it, I think it would be even bigger….

Took more than a month for all the bruises to disappear without any rubbing. The abrasion took maybe two months to heal and the swollen part took even longer to subside…11 days later after we came back from Sabah, I went for the Jurong Lake Run with my bruises and swollen leg. Had never felt so blissful to be able to run!

Until this day I still bear the scar of the fall on my leg…But just have to count myself very lucky! Maybe I should go back again and look at my saviour tree!

Also see related posts:
> Boring Hot Spring – Sabah Trip#4
A Slow Slow Cllimb – Sabah Trip#3
A Different Garden – Sabah Trip#2
So Near Yet So Far – Sabah Trip#1

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