Saturday, June 14, 2014

My Return to Santubong

"Gonna goose that goose
Gonna quack that swan
Gonna rubber my duckie all night long
Gonna whack that Mallard
Until its feathers plume
Gonna Huey Dewey Louie all over the room
Scrooge McDuck, gonna give it to you
Dive into your gold until you say
DuckTales, whoo hoo!"

Sex with Ducks (2010) by Garfunkel and Oates

On April 20 last month, I went back to Santubong to see if my stamina have improved since my last ascent because I have been climbing some mountain or other every week since the beginning of this year in preparation for my trek up to the lofty Pinnacles at Mulu National Park on the 12th of May - which, as the more observant would notice, is a matter of history by now and I would bore you with those details in good time.

Anyway, just to quickly summarise my most recent Santubong climb: I entered the mountain using the Bukit Putri trail this time which many have said to be a more pleasant trek and boy, was it ever! The forest is sparser and less oppressive on that trail and it closely skirts one of Santubong's ridges, so there was almost always fresh air. All in all, I passed two groups of hikers on my way up while a Eurasian man overtook me. It took me about 2 hours and 50 minutes to reach the summit, beating my previous time by about an hour (which isn't saying a lot since the Bukit Putri trail is known to be easier). The real difference I noticed was that I didn't feel any aches or soreness in my body after this outing. Following my previous climb, I couldn't walk up a single step of stairs without my thighs screaming like the souls of the damned. That infused me with a not-insubstantial amount of confidence boost, ceasing my regard of my impending Pinnacles climb as a suicide mission.

This time, missing the constant threat of expiring from the exertion, I was able to pay more attention to the bugs and other small creatures that make Santubong their home. A fellow trekker told me that once, he even saw a hornbill in flight hereabouts - which would be such a treat if it happened on any one of my hikes! Also since I made such good time, I could afford to spend about 2 and a half hours loitering on Santubong's summit and even took a restorative nap.

So with that out of the way, here are the pictures I took this time,

Santubong 01 Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia)
A male Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia) right at the beginning of my hike.

Santubong 02 Bukit Putri Trail
A section of the Bukit Putri trail before it joins the common summit trail. There's always a cliff to the right.

Santubong 03 Tall Ladder
Rope ladders on the latter half of the hike. It's higher than it looks in this picture.

Santubong 04 Datuk Merpati Bust
A bust of Datuk Merpati, the superhuman founder of Santubong.

Santubong 05 Summit
The gazebo at the top of Santubong, currently being occupied by some assholes from a silat (local martial arts) school who don't understand the concept of public property. They even collected bottles of their urine inside, for some reason or other.

Santubong 09 Asshole Taking All of Pavillion Denying Others
I was not joking about the pee.

Santubong 08 Dangerous Untended Fire
A choking, smoking plastic fire they left burning untended for whatever bugfuck fancy that have crossed violence-addled minds. I put it out using water from a nearby well, to the applause of other hikers. The vegetation on Santubong is already so dry. All it takes is one stray spark to barbecue the entire mountain!

Santubong 06 Dirty Well
The gross looking well I mentioned earlier.

Santubong 07 Snack
Brunch! "Made with chocolate, pretzels, peanut butter, caramel and peanut."

Santubong 10 Common Three Ring (Ypthima pandocus)
A Common Three-ring (Ypthima pandocus) with folded wings, showing its underside. The "three rings" refer to number of ocelli on the underside of one hindwing, as seen here.

Santubong 11 Common Three Ring (Ypthima pandocus) Upperside of Wings
Another Y. pandocus showing its upperside.

Santubong 12 Painted Jezebel (Delias hyparete diva)
A Painted Jezebel (Delias hyparete diva) feeding from a flower.

Santubong 13 Unidentified Skink
An unidentified brown skink skittering nervously around the peak.

Santubong 14 Sea View
Southwest view. Click for larger view.

Santubong 15 Bako and Kuching View
East view. Click for larger view.

Santubong 16 Swiss Smoker
A Swiss jerk smoking near me without asking me if I was okay with it.

Santubong 17 Grasshopper
A tiny, green grasshopper with striped hindlegs. I still suck at identifying them.

Santubong 18 Common Bluebottle (Graphium sarpedon)
A pretty Common Bluebottle (Graphium sarpedon) feeding.

Santubong 19 Common Bluebottle (Graphium sarpedon) Sucking Nectar
Another G. sarpedon that wouldn't even stop fluttering while feeding.

Santubong 20 Blue Helen (Papilio prexaspes)
Looks like a Blue Helen (Papilio prexaspes) sunning itself on a leaf.

Santubong 21 Other Peak
A peek at the other peak of Santubong which I was told was inaccessible.

Santubong 23 Moth from Nygmiini Tribe, Genus Nygmia or Rhypotoses
A moth from the Nygmiini tribe. Likely Nygmia sp. or Rhypotoses sp..

Santubong 24 Scenery from Viewpoint
View from Santubong about halfway down the mountain.

Santubong 25 Jade-Green Cicada (Dundubia vaginata)
My first ever snapshot of the very loud jade-green cicada (Dundubia vaginata). I kept hearing them when I was hiking at Bukit Serumbu and Kubah National Park (where I took a recording of their shrill, soulless, almost-mechanical tymbalisation). It's good to actually see one. The picture quality left much to be desired though.

Santubong 26 Jade-Green Cicada (Dundubia vaginata)
Here's a profile shot of another D. vaginata. They always creep to the other side of their trees whenever I approach them and if I get too close, they will buzz away to another tree.

Santubong 27 View from Bukit Putri Trail Entrance
View of the sea and Satang Besar Island near the entrance of the Bukit Putri trail.

Santubong 28 Mountain from Kampung Santubong
An unencumbered view of Mount Santubong from Kampung Santubong located at its foothills. Majestic, no?

Santubong 29 Beach by Lim Hock Ann Seafood Restaurant
The beach at Kampung Buntal, a fishing village near Mount Santubong. Yonder lies the peninsula that hosts the Bako National Park. The building on stilts to the far left of this picture is a seafood restaurant called Lim Hock Ann.

Santubong 30 Lim Hock Ann Seafood Restaurant
The interior of Lim Hock Ann seafood restaurant. It quickly filled with customers shortly after this picture was taken.

Santubong 31 Lim Hock Ann Seafood Restaurant Midin Fried with Garlic
When I first visited Sarawak in 2005, I was treated to some strange vegetable by my friend's mom at his house. I was told that the vegetable is called "midin", a fern known by the scientific name of Stenochlaena palustris. I fell in love with it instantly and insisting on ordering it for every single meal after that. One can even say that it was the reason why I decided to apply to Sarawak for Housemanship training in the first place.

Santubong 32 Lim Hock Ann Seafood Restaurant Jellyfish with Sesame Seeds and Peanut Sprinkles
A sweet and sour jellyfish, sesame and peanut salad that I adored when I first had it here in Lim Hock Ann in 2005.

Santubong 33 Lim Hock Ann Seafood Restaurant Deep Fried Ikan Kurau or Threadfin Fillet with Lime
A deep-fried threadfin fillet. Also known as ikan kurau in Malay. Served with a slice of lime.

Loves, loves, loves midin,
k0k s3n w4i


c3rs3i said...

Inspired by your pictures of bugs I tried to take one myself when I saw a bee collecting nectar last week. Clearly you must be more patient than I am since I ended up yelling at the stupid thing to stay still.

k0k s3n w4i said...

c3rs3i: For every decent shot I got, there are dozens that came out crappy (and it is hard for me to get good shots since I only have a compact camera). I just take lots and lots of pictures. I figured that some of them bound to be good.