Last night we heard an incredibe piano performance by Panos Karan, his second of this segment of the cruise. He departs tomorrow. He and Van-Anh Nguyen (the other pianist) were surprised to find 2 pianists on board at the same time and in his first concert, he invited her to the stage and they played a 4 handed piece – brilliantly. Well, he did the same last night. His solo concert was all Chopin, he played the first book of etudes (12) completely which apparently is rarely done. Then Van-Anh joined him for another 4 handed piece. What a wonderful evening of music. Van-Anh has one more performance before she departs in Penang.
Our excursion today took us to Bako National Park in Kuching Malaysia. What a spectacular place! Mel was our guide. This was a trek into the jungle and the park is only accessible by boat, no roads lead into it. On the way we saw houses on stilts, many shrimp traps (they like to feed in the mangroves) and people in fishing boats. Bako is the oldest park in Sarawak, and the word means mangrove.. We boarded the boat in the fishing village of Bako and cruised in the river to the South China Sea and to the park. There are 7 different ecosystems within the park and the trek was challenging and fun. We saw the proboscis monkey, another type of monkey, small crabs, a green viper, many wild boars and a lemur (which looks like a flying rabbit). They are nocturnal and it was hanging from a tree, sleeping. The monkey and lemur pictures showed too much greenery to spot the animals so I am not including them here.
There is an amazing array of plant life in the jungle here and we had a local guide who knew the trails, the plants and the wildlife well.
Then we returned to the boat, we walked along the beach when it was low tide. This required a “wet” embarkment to the small boats, wading through knee high water. Once we got into the boat, it was stuck on the sand, so a couple of travelers had to get out and help push it free. Here is Luke, from the Oceania entertainment team, helping with the pushing!
Two days at sea coming up on the way to Penang, our last port in Malaysia.