Day 2 Sun 23/05/05 Miri-Mulu
We spent the night in River Inn-a small hotel in the middle of the Miri city. The tariff RM25 perhead, was located at the junction of Jalan Brooke. I brought along the Rough Guide book Malaysian-Brunei-and Singapore that has been left behind the time. Miri too fast changed. Its location that strategic with Brunei made this city live up with expat oil guys ( they called themselves Mad Miri Man).
In the morning we ready after packing our rucksack. Thomas from Borneo Adventure picked us up on the first floor with his Wira (malaysian car). We contacted Thomas with a mobilephone borrowed from a waitress that served lunch at the previous day.
We left several of our stuff in Miri because for the luggage was restricted only 10kg. We will fly with small aircraft from Malaysian Arlines. From Miri to Mulu needed 1/2 hour flight but could be needed two days by the boat in four stages.
Today our aircraft Fokker 50. Moderate big, while Mulu National Park just opened for flight service 1996. Upon arrival there, Tom an Iban guide pick up and said would be with us for today. Then we were placed at a lodge that has a longhouse style. At 1430 Tom turned up with his mountain sandals accompanied to two show caves.
Not far from the lodge, around 30 minutes boardwalk we reached the caves. The first cave was Lang Cave. Lang name came from the name of the local people that found for first time. Really pretty with ornament that could be as beauty as the caves in Pacitan East Java. Especially the construction curtains very beautiful. Caves in Sarawak system mainly about 5millions years old.
The second cave was Gua Rusa or the Deer Cave. Initially became stopover of deer to take shelter and drink. Deer Cave was very big with entrance as high as 80 meters with boardplank of 3km that was lit light. By chance the previous night in Mulu was heavy rain so we could enjoy the water curtains from the roof in the cave entrance. A formation of the stone that was given by Abraham Lincoln‘s name because from inside you will see silhouette face of the USA President.
Then next we were waiting in a place of observation, not far from the two caves. It was like a small stage with the row of the benches. This was our place watched the following attraction: the bats. When the sun gone this little creature went out looked for prey. Because the nest was really big then imagine the amount would be 2-3 millions of bats.
Around 530pm first appearance went out formed in a long wave. They went out in groups, occasionally would take 10 minutes without being cut off. We made count roughly (thanks for Mark sheep counting ability). Around 30.000 bats in a minute then how about in 1 hour ? According to Tom they went out in time 1-2 hours. We also saw the eagles that took the opportunity by pursuing the bat. Approximately 6 eagles surrounded each one of the band..We could see hornbill that monitored in the distance.
Before dark we reached lodge and slept with very comfortable (forget about “Hotel California” in Miri). His morning we have sat idlely in the Melinau river bank to begin the day. There was a a board contained list of the tariff to transport the river. Several boatmen already standby was waiting for passengers. From today we were accompanied Richard- a small build but lively Iban man. In the boat already packed with logistic that was ready to be brought as far as Camp 5.
To be continued (visited Penan settlement and began trekking to camp 5)
Addition information: in Sarawak and Sabah as well as Kalimantan we only knew Dayaks. Inthe fact plenty of ethnic groups that was mentioned subcategory as : Iban, Penan, Kelabit, Kedayan, Tagal, Bisaya, Lun Bawang and Bidayuh (land Dayak)