Sadly, the bats weren’t coming out due to unfavorable weather condition. Despite so, it was still a very memorable experience. Climbing mountain gives you a different perspective of a lot of things, and I’m going to talk about some of them here:
I cherished my time with my father
I went to Mulu National Park with my father, he only stayed for 3 days 2 nights before heading home, while I continued my journey to Mulu Summit after that. Together we visited quite a number of showcaves such as Deer Caves, Wind Caves.
We also went to see the Bat Exodus . While waiting for the bats to show up, we went through the 509 Election memory together and had a good laugh. Politics is a unifying force in our family. It was definitely a good time.
The native people are most probably smarter than the urban people
Our tour guides are the ( settled) Penan People, an indigenous people living in Borneo.
Throughout the trek he displayed an outstanding knowledge of the forest, and the good command of English, BM, and several Sarawak native dialects ( how many languages you can master?). He knew what plants are edible, how to read the wild boar footprints, how to travel in the dark with only moonlight, how to hunt wild animal alone in the forest for a few nights etc, etc.
Which brings me to the conclusion that native people in the jungle are most probably smarter than the urban ones, on average.
Urban lifestyles are so convenient that we barely need to use our brain, unlike in the jungle when you have to make use of all your cognitive faculties just in order to stay alive. Also there is a natural selection pressure here: thanks to the modern amenities urban people can still survive and breed despite being less than healthy or smart, not so for the jungle people. In the long run I can see that modern amenities are dumping us down while the jungle produces better and better human. So never look down on native people. The fact that they are simple doesn’t mean that they are stupid.
News, handphones and social medias are very optional for survival
I went to Mulu National Park for almost a week, and throughout the week I was cut off from outside communication. No news, no playing of handphones, no facebook, instagram, emails….
And I survived just fine. And I didn’t feel the compulsion to continuously check my handphone. And I had more quality time with people around me, or just being alone reading kindle.
We are so attached to handphone that we often can’t stand 5 minutes without looking at it. Thanks to social media our mental health is being negatively affected. Going into the jungle is one way to correct that: you realize that the news are just mostly noise, important news will come to you, and it can wait.
It’s the circumstance, not the quality that makes food tastes really nice
I stayed in the forest for 4 days 3 nights. At night we rested at a simple hut, and our guide prepared meal for us.
The meal was great not because of the quality of the cooking or the ingredient, but because I was enjoying the meal after a day of hard trekking, and also because I was sharing it when a bunch of great hikers:
Quality of relationship is one of the biggest predictors of happiness, and food tastes best after you have done hard work. So next time if you want to enhance the food’s taste, just do some hard work and then eat the meal with terrific people, you will find your enjoyment.
Pain, fear and doubt are always there, focus on the present
Climbing Mulu Summit is not easy. There are a lot of places where the cliff is steep, the trails are murky, the road is long and the hills are high.
If only I knew how hard was it, I wouldn’t have the courage to do it. Or even if I had the courage to climb up, I wouldn’t have the courage to climb down, the cliff is just too very steep.
Ignorance is bliss and I’m glad that I didn’t know how hard it was. Fear, uncertainty and doubt are always there when you take on life’s challenge, but what really matters in climbing and in life, is the PRESENT, the one NEXT STEP that you are going to take. The rest are irrelevant.
This is how I conquered the Mulu Summit, one step at a time.
At the Mulu National Park cafe I met a Belgium who was reading a Kobo ereader. A fellow traveller cum reader!
He said that he was looking for a kindle but couldn’t find one in his home country. I was glad to met a like-minded fellow at this place, and I asked him to visit us when he is in Klang Valley.
Being able to meet a fellow reader is my greatest pleasure; it makes my Mulu trip complete.