Blog for 2010-07-3

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HIKING DAY 1

Start of the track...Agathis camp (photographed by Alex)

We started the 4 days hike today at Agathis Camp. Our next stop would be Nepenthes Camp. We walked 7kms up to about 1000 meters. The hike was steep but there were ropes and ladders. I wore my safety boot but it was very heavy so I took it off and wore my sandal. The forest structure was the same as lowland dipterocarp but as we reached the top of the basin, about 1km from the Nephanthes we saw a different forest structure. Much of it were kerangas forest. This forest had few tree species (there were only 10 species of trees by Cam) and obviously few animals. You will find mostly eucalyptus trees and pitcher plants (Nepenthes). This forest was because of poor nutrient white sandy soil, as a result of eroding.

One of the steep climb but very safe...this is Alex climbing
When we arrived at the camp everybody was tired except for Rachel, Sachi, Doni, Sopark, Frank, Cam, Kinari, Rod and myself. We climbed to the canopy of one of the biggest tree (one of Agathis species). The tree was about 40 meters above the ground with the diameter of I guess 1.5 meters. It is good for bird watching so Frank, Kinari, Zach and Doni had their wonderful opportunity to see their birds. Doni reported that he saw white belly woodpeckers and some swiflets.
Civet...in the night (photographed by Alex)


Two animals welcomed us. The first welcomed us during the day and they were leeches. They sucked blood to make us accustomed to the rainforest. Then in the night we were kindly visited by Civets. They were cool animals. That was my first time to see them. They came very close to us about a meter or so to eat some food we left for them.There was no light but we had candles. At 10:00pm everyone were already fast asleep. Alex and I were the last. Alex found a bed but I did not so I made use of the floor. It was the first trip and we have more adventures to come. Maliau Basin is indeed the great place to be to see some of the worlds profound biodiversity.

Tiger leech, one of the prominent person of the rainforest who welcomed us throughout the 4 hiking days...I miss them!...17 leeches greeted me!!(photographed by Alex)