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Similajau National Park

MALAYSIA | Friday, 16 January 2009 | Views [1617]

Stormy day, Similajau National Park

Stormy day, Similajau National Park

We are beginning to feel jinxed by SE Asia’s national parks; the weather never cooperates.  It was pouring as we arrived at Similajau and it has rained off and on ever since.  Our driver was able to deliver us to the doorstep of Chalet B with a kitchen our chalet; living room and bathroom downstairs and two bedrooms and a bath upstairs for only $16.  We also have a nice covered porch facing the ocean.  If we could cook here and had hot water I would consider moving in permanently. 

The staff are busy demolishing older buildings to make way for newer residences giving the place the feel of a war zone.  The walkways to park headquarters and the canteen are flooded and Tevas are the only sensible footwear.  There were only four other people staying last night, a Dutch couple we have seen in Kutching and Baku and two girls, also from Holland.  They left this morning and we have the park to ourselves.

We should have stocked up on supplies in Bintulu.  The food offerings at the canteen are slim and they can’t seem to get the orders right.  "Normal" fried rice, eggs or French fries seem to be safe choices.  We went to bed around ten expecting a quiet night but were awakened by thunder, lightning and the heaviest downpour since Hanoi.  It has been better this morning but it is due to change.

We have been told that this is the worst weather in years.  The beach is covered with logs washed ashore in the recent storms and all manner of plastic flotsam and jetsam.  Birding near park HQ is surprisingly good but once you cross the suspension bridge and the boardwalk through the mangroves the jungle closes in reducing visibility to a few meters.  Still we have been able to identify many new species and get some great photos incuding the fiery minivet, black hornbill and several sunbirds.


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