Sunday, May 12, 2013

Amazing Borneo Adventures!!!

What wonderful adventures we had this week!  We went with Kathy and John to the beautiful Tabin Valley Resort.  It is a wildlife sanctuary in the state of Sabah and is a protected area for all kinds of wild life.  We were hoping we would be able to see an elephant, but the elephant must not have known it was time for him to make an appearance because he never showed.  But, the whole area was so amazing that we were totally awestruck by everything around us.

Arriving at the resort with John and Kathy.

And we made it too.  They tried to ditch us but even though we may be old, we were too fast for them.

 Ben and I had River Lodge Cabin #3 and John and Kathy had two.  The cabins are right out on the river.
This is the inside of our cabin.  You could sit out on the deck and watch the river go by and at night you could see the fireflies lighting up and blinking.  It was so cool.
This was our mode of transportation around the resort.  A pick up with three padded benches across.  It actually wasn't too bad.  Sometimes you had to hold on really tight to your teeth and your bladder and the bench to keep everything from falling out as you went down bumpy roads, but it was a nice way to travel through the jungle.
 Our first jungle trek was to the mud volcano.  Notice our stylish hiking rubber boots.  Sometimes you really were in mud up to your knees.  At one point I took a step and when I took the next step the first foot jumped out of my boot and landed in the mud.  Now I had a sock full of mud as well as a boot full of mud.  YUCK!

If you look really close you can see a little mouse deer in the picture.  I am proud to say that I was the first to spy this little guy.  He was right close to the trail for quite a while.  They are very very small deer.
This is the mud volcano looking towards the jungle.  The mud contains a lot of salt and the animals like to come to the volcano to lick the salt.  You can see many tracks of animals who visit the volcano.  There is also a four story observation tower where you can sit and hope to see animals coming for a salt visit.  While we were sitting there I closed my eyes and prayed, "Lord, please let us see some animals while we are here for this short time.  We really would like to see some animals."  When I opened my eyes, lo and behold there were THREE animals there, of the homo sapien variety from the next group.  I had to laugh.  The Lord really does have a sense of humor.  Next time Lord I will be more specific about what type of animals to send.
 We saw this bunch of wild boars crossing the road.  Little piggies and momma piggies.  They can really run fast when trying to get out of the path of an oncoming truck loaded with people hungry for bacon.  Actually we have eaten wild boar and it is pretty good.
We saw these elephant tracks in the mud.  The tracks were HUGE.  We also saw elephant poop in many places, we could hear them at night in the palm oil plantations and we could smell them, but alas and alack, we never were able to see them.  I guess we'll just have to go back another time and hope they will make an appearance.
Here is a gibbon monkey in a tree.  There were several of them in the trees outside of our cabins.  They were fun to watch as they swung from tree to tree.  Kathy thought it was also fun to listen to them calling each other.  
Anytime you get back from a jungle trek you must check for leeches.  Here is an example of a leech on the Wellington boots we had to wear while trekking.  Kathy found one on her leg just above her ankle.  It had drawn blood.  Kathy was screaming and crying like a baby when she saw it (not really).  She was brave and pulled it off and killed it dead.  We had a sweet German girl, Heike, who was part of our group.  One day she found four leeches on her.  
 After a hard day of jungle trekking they offer you a herbal foot soak.  Doesn't John look so fine soaking his feet.  Ben was a boob and wouldn't come with us for his foot soak.  He really missed out.  It was really very soothing and made your feet feel so nice after.
 Heike and I soaking our feet.  

This is the restaurant where we ate our meals.  The five of us sat at the table there in front.  You can see John's back on the left and then me and Heike to the right of the green post.  They had pretty good meals.  If you got up early to do a dawn or morning trek, 5:30 - 6:00 ish, then you got a light breakfast and then when you get back around 8:30 or 9 they had a bigger breakfast.  You had lunch around 12:30, tea time at 4 and then dinner at 7 or 7:30.  Of course every meal had one staple dish -- r  i  c  e!!

Crossing the suspension bridge over the river by our cabins. 
 The jungle with an early morning mist in it.  It was beautiful.  They jungle is so diverse and interesting.
 A flower for Dawn to identify if he can.  Didn't turn out so well.
 A giant tree about 200' high - very very tall and about 400 years old.  Related to the legume family.  Honey bees love these trees.  Some even call this tree the honey bee tree.
I thought this flower was interesting too.  There were two different types of flowers growing out of the same stem.  Dawn -- what do you think?  What type of flower is it?

Well these are just a few of the many many pictures we took.  It was just an amazing place to visit and we learned so much about jungle life.  The Lord has truly made us a beautiful world.  Hope you appreciate everything around you.  While we may not all live in a jungle, we are all blessed to have special things in nature to make our world better.  "And I say to myself, what a wonderful world".  Glod bless you all.  Send us an email please.  Elder and Sister Read


  1. What a fun adventure into the jungle. That place looks awesome. Happy Mother's Day, Margaret!! You have always been such a wonderful mother figure in my life. Sure love you and thank you for all you do for me.

  2. How amazing! I'm sure it was that much better because John and Kathy were there. I can't believe all of the diverse things that are in the jungles. What a fun 2 weeks!