A fresh new start, my second day in Mulu. I had a really early start. I was going on the sky canopy walk. Well, I had been ‘trampling’ through the rainforest and now, I would be getting a chance to view it right from above. Pretty excited that I will be getting a fresh new perspective of this amazing place. But guess what, I was once again in a terrible rush. I had to be back within 2 hours so I could be on my way to two other caves.
Jenny was a more serious guide and not as funny as Eugene but she was lots of fun too. The morning tour was group of six of us and I felt bad as Jenny said that we needed to speed up a wee bit for my sake. The really cool part though was that we were the early birds of the day and we would be the first to walk on the trails leading to the canopy walk. I soon realised that meant clearing the morning cobweb too.
Along the way, Jenny pointed out some insects and tiny little creatures. We saw a pigmy squirrel and it was merely my palm size. It was zipping in and out and was so fast I wasn’t able to get a decent shot of it. Then there were the stick insects and some other lovely creatures. We saw lots of monkeys too, or rather we could hear them moving along in the trees. I caught a glimpse of two or three of them. There were the grey ones and the orange ones. Both were equally active and very very shy. Some shots of the animal and plant lives along our way to the canopy walk.
And finally, here we were. The shaky little walkway above us. I had been to the treetop walk back in Singapore so I was expecting this to be pretty much the same. And I got my surprise. Firstly, the bridge was really narrow and flimsy looking. The netting around it reached only waist level. Did I feel safe? Not really but I wasn’t about to back out now. Trust me, it definitely wasn’t very assuring when Jenny told us that there were supposed to be only 3 on a single stretch of bridge at any time.
We saw more ‘warring’ monkeys as we walked along the bridge. It was pretty shaky as we moved along. I stuck close to Jenny and kept track of the time. She pointed out some tiny insects but the bridge was too shaky for me to get a decent shot. The most amazing part was when we saw 3 huge hornbills fly right overhead. The view was magnificent and the three birds were beautiful.
And as Jenny had predicted, I had to run all the way back to headquarters to meet up with my next guided tour. This was important as the next 2 cave viewings formed the first part of my Pinnacles Climb. We were going to Clearwater cave and Cave of the Wind. Both caves were along the way to Camp 5 where we will be staying overnight before the climb the next morning.
And again, I made it. I even managed a quick breakfast at Mulu cafe. I met my climbing group finally. 2 guys and 3 gals. Four of them were from Sabah and they were really experienced at trekking. What sounded almost unbelievable was they had just completed the Summit climb and now they were going on the Pinnacle climb. I was getting worried about keeping up with these guys now. And here’s the group… …
Instead of hiking, we were going via the river this time. The boat ride was refreshing and exceptionally so for me after all the running around. I was going to take a good rest and enjoy my ride. We were told to expect two little problems that might occur. Firstly, if the water level goes too low, we would have to go into the river to push the boat and secondly, there might still be crocodiles in the river. But lucky for us, we were spared from both ordeals.
We started with Cave of wind. Steps yet again. I was really beginning to wonder how many steps I had climbed since I first stepped into Mulu. And i wonder too if I would be sick of caves and even lost track of what I had seen after my second cave but I was so wrong. Every cave had its own unique qualities and formations and as the name suggested, this was a ‘wind’ cave. Certain sections were pretty narrow and this created a tunneling effect that send cold chills into the cave. Strangely enough due to the different formations, the ‘windy’ portion were only at pockets of the cave. One unique point of this cave was the cave collapse. It created a ‘skylight’ that created dramatic lighting effect in the cave. There was also the King’s chamber. Entirely up to your imagination but do see if you can see the majestic face on the cave’s wall. I guessed I got lucky too as we managed to see some bats on our way out.
We took a little break before proceeding to the next cave. And we bumped into Inge, Toliver and Jennifer. It was good to see familiar faces again and we soon started a photo taking session. I felt a little bad for holding back my group but thought it would be really nice to have some photos taken together with my new friends. Next camera whoring session will be with my Pinnacles group, Beng Lee, Wong, Ai Ling, Eil and Annette.
The Clearwater cave was a ‘water’ cave. This was a much bigger cave and here we could see the different markings caused by water. The speed of water and the hardness of the rocks were the variables in the different indentation on the walls of the caves. The water level had gone down drastically over the years but we see what it had done over million of years. I was particularly intrigued with the needlelike markings and yes, they were sharp.
And like all other caves I had seen, imagination is your best friend. And this is perhaps one of my favourite shot.
I guess that was the end of my cave tours in Mulu for a while. We had lunch before making our way back to our boat. River cruise again and we were heading towards the last part of my trip in Mulu, my Pinnacles climb.
Do stay tune for part 3 of my Mulu adventure.