Bako National Park

Well I went to Bako National Park on Tuesday. With 3 types of monkeys, bearded pigs, monitors and more, it was sure to be a cool experience. I caught the local bus by the waterfront to the boat docks near Bako for 3RM ($1 USD). Had to pay a 10RM entry fee and share a boat with 4 Europeans which we paid a total of 50RM one way and arranged for him to pick us up at 4pm. 

Those damn Europeans, with their fancy cameras and “official guide books” and “park passes”, such snobs. But they didn’t get to experience the real Bako like I did. Such as finding out that while the Proboscis Monkey may have a face that looks like an inside out vagina, he actually doesn’t like you to treat it as such. And that even though the Bearded Pig may sound dangerous and threatening, they actually are not but the pit viper is the opposite and doesn’t live up to its seemingly gentle and sweet exterior, and btw theyre really good at Duck-Duck-Goose. 

Anyone reading this for info on the park, note that most tour packages sell for about 300RM. I have no idea why they think its worth it as you can hire a personal guide for 80RM a day. By my count, with the bus, boat, guide and a meal or two that’s not gunna cost you more than 150RM. Most tours will only take you to the closest beach, Telok Paku, which is only .8km of the over 30km of trails in Bako.

smoke

 

Because Im a professional jungle trekker I opted not to get a guide (read: there were none available and I was sure I was going to die). The boat dropped us on the beach in front of the park HQ where there are chalets and cabins for rent if you want to stay the night. I bought a map for 1.50RM and made my way to the trail head. The following is my log through out the day: 

8:35am Majority of the morning trekkers are more thrilled by the monkeys hanging around the canteen than the prospects of whats in the park. (little did I know this would be the only monkeys I would see all day) 

8:53am Made it to the top of the first 200 meters, took about 30 minutes. This trail would give Indian Jones and Laura Croft a heart attack. 45 degree muddy incline and rocks covered with moss and vines that Im fairly certain are alive cause they keep reaching out and tripping me. Love the Smoking Area at the very top. At least they know their audience (no, I didnt, in case you were wondering). 

tidak cukup kecil

 

9:05am First contact. Lots of tree branches rustling and monkey noises. Apparently crashing through the jungle toward the sound doesnt encourage social behavior. 

9:15am Heard a growl and some loud crashing noises about 10-20 meters off to my left. Think its the dick-nose monkey. Throwing rocks in that direction quickly shut him up. Total dick-nose. 

9:48am Officially lost at 1.2km marker. 

10:13am Arrived at Telok Pandan Kecil beach or at least 100 meters above it. No chance in hell Im climbing down there. 

11:02am Really starting to rethink the whole Extreme Jungle Trekker career change at marker 2.7km of the Tajor Trail, although Im getting great tracers off the moss.

Frenchies be damned, this was the best part of the hike

11:15am Amazing, I have cell phone service on top of one of the ridges. Googling what to do when stranded during cardiac arrest. 

11:43am Made it to the Tajor waterfall. The pool above the falls is perfectly ringed by mangroves and palm trees, fairly certain this is where they filmed “Bear Necessities” part of tthe Jungle Book. Water is brown, dick-nose probably uses it as a toilet. Fish bit my nipple, kinda turned me on. Damn French couple showed up and ruined it with their awkward look-Im-in-the-jungle-photo-shoot-but-Im-too-European-to-show-any-signs-that-I-might-be-having-fun.   

12:24pm Think I just hallucinated Baloo singing a refrain of “The Bear Necessities”.   

12:35pm Finally made it to Telok Paku trail. This is obviously the tour package trail, just had to wait for 20 Germans coughing and wheezing to come down a ladder.

Telok Paku, Bako National Park

12:42pm You have no idea how long .8km can be. Why am I going up and away from the ocean when Im trying to get to the beach!?   

12:53pm Ahhh Paradise ….. ok, its not Puerto Chino, but after 5 hours of brutal terrain its my dream come true.   

2:30pm Swam, slept, ate corn-lemon crackers (the only nourishment a true professional jungle explorer needs), swam, now back to the lodge.   

3:13pm Ahhh, Tiger beer. Something about buying beer from a 9 year old girl that speaks 3 languages really makes you feel like a genuinely bad person.   

3:35pm Nothing more satisfying than watching a macaques monkey (bastard monkeys of the jungle) jumping on a table and steel an entire box of cookies from a Dutch girl. Theres a metaphor there Im just not quite catching it.

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