Day 1 – Person of The Forest
Hello everyone and welcome to our second chapter of Last Chance to Paint, “Person of The Forest”! We have been looking forward to this chapter and are delighted to say that we are LIVE NOW!
After a very long day with some hair-raising near missed connections, travel time added to a total of 20hrs, meaning we were overjoyed and a little relieved to have arrived in Mulu.
We are staying in Mulu National Park, home to Deer cave along with many more caves, and many acres of glorious protected rainforest. Upon arrival we were warmly greeted by the staff and shown to our wonderful accommodation for our stay. Those who followed our last project “Spirit of The Rainforest” will remember that our accommodation in the Amazon was basic with us having to sleep in hammocks and no toilet facilities! This couldn’t be more of a contrast! Here we have a bungalow to share with a double bed each. It even contains a wonderfully working shower and bathroom!
Once unpacked, and after we’d freshened up slightly, we made a quick trip to our local café in the park ‘Mulu Cafe’ to grab a quick snack and drink before setting off on, what turned out to be, a real Borneo adventure!
Using Robin Hanbury-Tenison as our ‘local’ guide, we set off into the jungle along 3km of boarded walkways towards Deer Cave. Along the way we heard some truly amazing jungle sounds, and even had a glimpse of a couple of hornbills high up in the canopy! It was magical walking through this amazing jungle and listening to Robin’s stories of how he and his team of scientists originally found their way through rough and ready terrain to explore unfounded places in Mulu.
Deer Cave was our destination for the evening as it’s home to over 3million bats. Most evenings, just before dusk, the bats leave their dark habitat in a huge mass, creating an awe inspiring sight. By the thousands they emerged from the dark, twisting and turning in spirals and circles to serve as protection from the Bat Hawks narrowing in. Occasionally a bat would stray from the pack and the preying birds would swoop and gleefully leave, dinner sorted.
As the last bats left the cave we started to head home, however this time we took a more rustic route taking us right over the forest floor. As night closed in, the jungle came to life with noise and it felt like a real nighttime jungle walk, even if it was pitch black! After our detour we rejoined the manmade path and along the way, with the help of torches, discovered many weird and wonderful creepy crawlies, including a giant stick insect (the size of a man’s hand), a caterpillar which looked like an eyebrow and we even spotted the infamous “What Frog”! (Check out our daily video to find out more when it goes live)
We are now safely back in our cafe ready for a bite to eat after what turned out to be a 5mile walk, which in the humidity felt much longer!
Tomorrow our real time in Mulu begins when we go and spend time with the Penan people.
See you then,