“You are lucky I’m a pacifist’ I tell Gustino, from the Sarawak Tourism Board, “if not, I would slap you!”
“Don’t worry”, he tells me, “many will come tonight”. I remind him of the old saying about birds and how one in the hand is worth two in the bush – and that that specific turtle was the one in the hand. He laughs, “don’t worry, you will see them tonight” he reassures me.
We are on Talang-Satang Island National Park which is part of the Tanjung Datu National Park the smallest in Malaysia’s largest state : the tonight he’s talking about is the island where we will be in a few hours, Talang-Talang. (all National Parks are managed by Sarwawak Forestry)
He, as our host, was woken at about midnight by the ranger who was patrolling the beach to watch for landings. Perhaps they thought we were exhausted (true) after a week at the Borneo Music Expo and the Rainforest World Music Festival but seeing turtles lay eggs has been on my bucket-list for ages and I’m scared I’ll miss out!
Anyway, miss out that night I did but this is what I’m told:
- it was her second egg laying visit in 10 days
- she laid 104 eggs (80 last time)
- the eggs were transferred immediately to a safe area (the monitor lizards must hate the rangers)
Despite being disappointed I did hear gibbons calling early in the morning – they remained out of sight but it was thrilling to hear them again, my first time had been in Sabah last year.
After breakfast we boarded our fishing boat for a one-hour trip to the island where I’ve been told “you will see them.”
See my next blog to see if I was able to tick off one of my bucket list items or, if I had to abandon my pacifist leanings and slap my host!
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Here is a pictorial journal of our stay on the island.