We flew from Sandakan to Mulu after our lovely adventures with the "rangy tangs". The flight was propeller so we had a nice view all the way. We flew over Kota Kinabalu and could see from the air our first stop at Gayana. It looked incredible from the air.
Some more aerial shots:
As you can see, very dense jungle here in Mulu
Our room is at the Marriot, just a short shuttle ride to the park headquarters but because we had to change our flights we couldn't rebook as it was full. I'm glad we ended up at the Marriott as the bed was so comfy and boy was that a godsend after our adventures. The hotel is really beautiful but the food sucks! The food was really good at the cafe inside the park though, actually the only really good food we've had so far on this trip.
Our flight was late so we missed our canopy tour the first day. Luckily there was a cancellation for april 2 at 7 am so we were able to get that one So we spent the remainder of the day around the pool and enjoyed the very pretty lounge here.
The next day was a long day two tours and four caves. You have to register and have a guide to visit the caves here. The first cave we visited was Wind Cave, named for the sometimes cool refreshing wind it receives. Not so on our walk! It was hotter inside than out as the air was completely still. First we took a 25 minute ride by sampan on the river followed by a 3 kilometre walk to the cave but that involved a LOT of steps and many of them very steep. I have knee issues and I paid for it big time. But the cave was very beautiful.
After sweating buckets it felt good to get back on the water on our way to Clearwater cave.
Back on the sampan and back to park headquarters where we enjoyed a delicious lunch at the cafe there. Then we began the walk to Deer Cave. The walk to the cave was less brutal than the first walk but my knees were protesting anyway! The entrance to the cave was similar to the other ones but once inside it opens up into a vast cavern, the largest in the world. Truly spectacular. Over three million bats live here and the evidence is everywhere in the form of guana. You would think it would smell awful but it really wasn't bad. Because it had just rained the night before all night long, there were beautiful streams of water coming down from the ceiling. It was quite magical and beautiful. Very "Jurassic Park".
After leaving the cave we proceeded to a viewing platform to watch the exodus of three million bats on their nightly mission to hunt mosquitos. They consume 15 tonnes every night which is why we never saw a single one during our stay. They left the cave in waves, hundreds or thousands at a time. Wave after wave in snake-like formations. Then a large wave of what seemed millions of bats left, it just kept coming and coming for about fifteen minutes straight. Absolutely jaw dropping. We have never witnessed anything like it and sure we never will again.
The next morning we were up bright and early to explore the canopy. Again, we had to have a guide. Having done a canopy tour in Monteverde, Costa Rica, I was expecting this one to be similar, with wide, sturdy metal walkways. Not so! This was very "Indiana Jones". Suspension bridges with Two six inch boards size by side, bouncing, swaying and creaking as you walked along. Only two people allowed on the bridges at a time, 4 people on a platform. By the second bridge I almost had a panic attack. I knew I had to get my act together as there were about fifteen of these things! Looking back I know that it was completely safe but my body didn't want to believe my brain! We zip lined over the canopy in Costa Rica much higher and I wasn't scared at all, go figure! I am still very happy I did it though. An amazing experience.