We relaxed on the deck outside our cabin until we estimated that it was time to head out to the observation blind that we had spied out earlier in the day. We thought that dusk might be a good time to observe wildlife, and we weren’t disappointed as we were just in time to watch an Asian jungle elephant stroll into the clearing and make his placid way to the waterhole.
After a drink and spraying himself with mud and water, he strolled off again, as unconcerned as a British copper on his evening rounds. We also made our way to a very nice restaurant for some local food and the chance to chat about our day. When we returned to our cabins, however, we found that our friend the elephant had paid us a visit. His tracks and his dung were all around our place, and quite unaccountably, he had taken Joan’s wet shorts off the porch railing and trampled them in the mud!
After a 5 am wake up for all of us, an early bedtime seemed in order. I am happy to report that the beds were well above the usual hard spring pallet that seems to be the Asian preference, and Pam and I quickly fell into a deep sleep. Not so Pete and Joan, who were woken by our elephant friend snuffling through the peanut shells we had thrown on the ground beyond the deck. They tried to wake us, to no avail; we were sleeping too soundly. So they took some pictures and went back to bed themselves.
In the morning I woke early and went back to the observation blind again in time to see our elephant friend in the clearing at his mud hole getting a good, gooey bath. Then he strolled to a tree in the clearing for a scratch and a few choice leaves, and ambled off back into the jungle. By the time I got back to the cabin the rest of the crew were up. We shared elephant stories over breakfast and planned out our morning activities.
We decided that the weather being fine we would walk to the canopy bridge, about two kilometers away on a good trail. Evidence of elephant and either wild boar or tapir were everywhere alongside the trail. After about 45 minutes we came to the canopy walkway; at 40 meters high and half a kilometer in length, the longest arboreal walkway in Asia. Entrance fee: 5 ringgit! Even at that height the trees in this ancient forest tower another 40 meters above you. And yes, the walkway does sway, rather alarmingly in fact. But there are rangers at every lookout post making sure that not too many people are on one section of the walkway at a time, and we were fortunate to be there when the traffic was light. It was quite an adventure, but definitely not to everyone’s taste, especially if you experience vertigo.
With time running short we caught a boat back to our resort, 10 ringgit each, showered and checked out. A short ride across the river brought us back to our car, and with a few brief stops along the route, we made our way back into the city just as the sun was setting. If we had rented a car, there would have been plenty of time to return it. As it was, we just had to park ours and unload. Despite its years and relatively small size, the Satria performed admirably on some pretty rough roads. But with the memory of some nasty pothole bumps on this trip I think I might just want to have someone look at the front end before we head out again. We are not done touring through Malaysia and having a servicable car to do so is a real blessing.