Niah National Park - The Caves

Nian National Park

Sarawak

Malaysia

January 25, 2013 

Part 2 - The Caves

Dear Friends and Spelunkers everywhere, 

The caves are the highlight of the hike in the Niah National Park. 

Traders Cave is an open air dwelling of birds and bats.  At the appropriate season, local men climb the scaffolds and gather the birds’ nests and trade them for money and goods. 

<--break->The Great Cave of Niah is enormous. The floor area of the cave is 10 hectares (25 acres) and in places the cave roof rises 75 meters (246 feet) above the floor.  It has been the site of 40,000 years of human occupation.  I definitely need a flashlight to climb up and down the slippery stairs through utter darkness. 

I have one regret here at the jungle park.  I wish I had invited my “birder” friends, Larry B. or Paul B. or Jeff Z.  I heard dozens of different bird calls but I never saw even one damn bird! 

I did spot a couple of crawly creatures and several species of butterfly.  I tried my best to photograph the butterflies but even when they stop flying for a moment, they never seem to sit still. 

There was one dramatic moment on my walk.  Two jungle “beasts” were at each other’s throats. One had multiple legs and the other large wings.  From the distance it looked like a battle of life and death.  On closer inspection, a blue butterfly was gorging on the innards of a tiny dead crab. 

What a shock! A carnivorous butterfly? What is this world coming to?  

Cheers from your friend, 

 Jan 

Does he ever sit still? 

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