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Thread: DUW: Heart of Borneo Expedition and ICPS Conference 2014

  1. #1
    mcmcnair's Avatar
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    DUW: Heart of Borneo Expedition and ICPS Conference 2014

    So I spent a little over half of June and all of July of this year in Borneo and Australia. I flew quite literally, around the world and it was absolutely incredible. I flew from RDU to JFK where I spent eight hours sitting around on the airport floor. Then I flew directly to Frankfurt, Germany, then to Singapore which has the most incredible airport ever btw. From there I flew to Kuala Lumpur and then to Kuching where I began my Borneo journey on my own. I spent my first 24 hours resting and trying to get over the jet lag seeing as I was exactly 12 hours off from what I normally experience. Day was now night and night was now day, a rather difficult thing to get used to. My second day in Kuching I took a bus to Bako National Park where I was hoping to take a quick day hike to see N. rafflesiana, N. gracilis, N. albomarginata, and if I was lucky my favorite species N. ampullaria. I made it up to the summit of the relatively short, but steep trail but man it was hot! I've experience the heat and humidity of the Gulf Coast and Eastern NC but I've never been so overheated, exhausted, and miserable in my life! I was out of water by the time I reached the top and there was no way for me to refill my water bottle. I sat down in a little bit of shade and rested for a little bit. I just couldn't seem to cool down so I stood back up, took a couple photos of the few plants around and then hiked back down to the park headquarters where I chugged water and ate a little food before getting back on the boat to the mainland. I decided a lot of rest was in order with my two days left in Kuching before I flew to Kota Kinabalu to meet up with the rest of the group to begin the Heart of Borneo Expedition.

    The Singashanna lodge in Kuching where I stayed by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    Boat Ride to Bako by mcmcnair, on Flickr

    watch this in 1080p for best video quality
    During the boat ride to Bako by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    Beach at Bako National Park by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    Cliffs at Bako National Park by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    Cliffs at Bako National Park by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    At Bako National Park by mcmcnair, on FlickrAt Bako National Park by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    5V4B1102 by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    N. rafflesiana, Bako National Park by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    N. rafflesiana, Bako National Park by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    N. gracilis, Bako National Park by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    N. rafflesiana, Bako National Park by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    N. albomarginata, Bako National Park by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    N. albomarginata, Bako National Park by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    I should have read this before I tried to hike to the summit... by mcmcnair, on Flickr

    After resting for two days at the lodge I was at I was pretty severely dehydrated, hungry, and sick. I had a severely upset stomach having to visit the bathroom nearly every hour. Also with the world cup going on the lodge/bar/hostel I was staying in was anything but quiet. The day for me to fly to Kota Kinabalu arrived and I knew I needed to see a doctor to get whatever was wrong with me taken care of. So I flew to Kota Kinabalu and after picking up my luggage I took a taxi directly to the hospital where I received an IV of saline and some anti-biotics and I slept peacefully for the first time in days for around 4 hours. I then took a taxi to the Best Western Kinabalu Daya hotel where I met two of my group members, one of which happened to be a doctor and we went out to dinner where I had the first substantial meal I had in days. The next morning our group was supposed to leave for Gunung Kinabalu, but with my current condition I wasn't sure I could do it. When I woke up in the morning I felt 1000x better and decided I wasn't going to miss this chance to climb this incredible mountain. So I packed up my bags and we took the van to the base of Gunung Kinabalu where I got my first look at the mountain from the distance.
    Gunung Kinabalu in the distance! by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    View from Base Camp by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    The building at base camp by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    One of our guides explaining the trail we take by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    Nice view as we begin the climb by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    Beginning the climb by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    The trail is really well maintained on Kinabalu by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    The Climb by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    The Climb by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    The Climb by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    A nice orchid by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    A really cool little orchid by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    Who doesn't love N. villosa by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    During the climb by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    A relative of N. rafflesia by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    The climb by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    Me with a nicely colored N. villosa by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    N. villosa just hanging out alongside the trail by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    Still Climbing... by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    Still Climbing... by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    Still Climbing... by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    Still Climbing... by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    Still Climbing... by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    Almost there! by mcmcnair, on FlickrView from the Summit Camp by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    View from the Summit Camp by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    View from the Summit Camp by mcmcnair, on Flickr

    Oh I almost forgot the plants from the climb up
    Sphagnum sp. Gunung Kinabalu by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    N. tentaculata, Gunung Kinabalu by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    N. tentaculata, Gunung Kinabalu by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    N. tentaculata, Gunung Kinabalu by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    5V4B1153 by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    5V4B1155 by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    N. tentaculata, Gunung Kinabalu by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    Impatiens kinabaluensis? by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    5V4B1168 by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    5V4B1172 by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    5V4B1174 by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    N. tentaculata, Gunung Kinabalu by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    5V4B1177 by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    N. tentaculata, Gunung Kinabalu by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    5V4B1181 by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    N. tentaculata, Gunung Kinabalu by mcmcnair, on Flickr

    More in the next post!
    Last edited by Not a Number; 12-05-2014 at 07:50 AM. Reason: added Dail-Up Warning to title
    NCSU's Carnivore Nut
    Original President of the CCPS & Co-Founder
    Mason M.
    My Growlist

  2. #2
    mcmcnair's Avatar
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    More plants from the climb up...

    5V4B11N. tentaculata, Gunung Kinabalu86 by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    5V4B1191 by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    N. tentaculata, Gunung Kinabalu by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    N. tentaculata, Gunung Kinabalu by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    5V4B1208 by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    Some Utric, Gunung Kinabalu by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    N. x Harryana, Gunung Kinabalu by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    N. villosa, Gunung Kinabalu by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    N. villosa, Gunung Kinabalu by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    N. villosa, Gunung Kinabalu by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    N. villosa, Gunung Kinabalu by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    N. villosa, Gunung Kinabalu by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    N. villosa, Gunung Kinabalu by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    N. villosa, Gunung Kinabalu by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    N. villosa, Gunung Kinabalu by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    5V4B1232 by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    5V4B1233 by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    N. villosa, Gunung Kinabalu by mcmcnair, on Flickr

    We spent a full day at the summit camp, i had altitude sickness so I rested most of the day. Then the next day we snapped a few photos in the morning and began our descent.

    Summit Camp Gunung Kinabalu by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    Sunset at the Summit Camp of Gunung Kinabalu by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    Sunset at the Summit Camp of Gunung Kinabalu by mcmcnair, on Flickr

    We descended using the Mesilau Trail

    Mesilau Trail Views by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    Mesilau Trail Views by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    Mesilau Trail Views by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    Mesilau Trail Views by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    N. x Kinabaluensis, Gunung Kinabalu by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    N. x Kinabaluensis, Gunung Kinabalu by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    N. x Kinabaluensis, Gunung Kinabalu by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    N. villosa, Gunung Kinabalu by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    N. villosa, Gunung Kinabalu by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    N. tentaculata, Gunung Kinabalu by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    N. tentaculata, Gunung Kinabalu by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    Me and N. Villosa by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    Mesilau Trail Views by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    Mesilau Trail Views by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    Mesilau Trail Views by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    N. tentaculata, Mesilau Trail by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    Mesilau Trail Views by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    Mesilau Trail Views by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    Mesilau Trail Views by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    One of the porters on a small summit on the Mesilau Trail by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    Mesilau Trail Views by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    Mesilau Trail Views by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    Mesilau Trail Views by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    N. tentaculata by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    Mesilau Trail Views by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    Just completed the hike down from Kinabalu on the Mesilau Trail, heading to get some lunch by mcmcnair, on Flickr

    After lunch we went off to visit the Mesilau Gardens which is a natural site for N. rajah, N. burbidgeae, and a couple others.
    N. burbidgeae, Mesilau Gardens by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    N. burbidgeae, Mesilau Gardens by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    N. burbidgeae, Mesilau Gardens by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    N. rajah, Mesilau Gardens by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    Me and N. rajah at Mesilau Gardens by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    An Arisaema at the Mesilau Gardens by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    Me and N. burbidgeae by mcmcnair, on Flickr

    We then rushed to see Rafflesia keithii at a little roadside site that also had N. gracilis and N. mirabilis next to it.

    Rafflesia keithii by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    Rafflesia keithii by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    Rafflesia keithii by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    N. mirabilis @ the Rafflesia site by mcmcnair, on Flickr
    We went to see N. gracilis and N. mirabalis right next to the Rafflesia location by mcmcnair, on Flickr

    And then we road in cars all the way back to the Best Western Kinabalu Daya Hotel for an evening of relaxation. The next day we had off to relax and recover and then the next day we left for the Maliau Basin, the main reason I wanted to go on this trip. I still have to upload the rest of the photos of that though so thats it for now
    NCSU's Carnivore Nut
    Original President of the CCPS & Co-Founder
    Mason M.
    My Growlist

  3. #3

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    Thank you for these invaluable pictures!
    Looks like you had a very nice trip.

  4. #4
    mcmcnair's Avatar
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    I did, just wait the best pics are yet to come in my opinion.
    NCSU's Carnivore Nut
    Original President of the CCPS & Co-Founder
    Mason M.
    My Growlist

  5. #5
    Whimgrinder's Avatar
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    Brilliant trip, great photos, Mason! Thank you. N. tentaculata is one of my absolute favorite species. I enjoyed seeing it growing in situ.

  6. #6
    Cthulhu138's Avatar
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    Terrific shots Mason ! I love the Rafflesia and the orchids. I'm hoping some of the orchid freaks on here can ID a few of them. That Impatiens kinabaluensis is gorgeous too. Never thought I'd say that about ANY Impatiens....... The Kinabalu N.tentaculata plants are spectacular, glad I had the chance to get one of these.

  7. #7
    Plant Whisperer Bio's Avatar
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    Absolutely amazing. How lucky you must be to get a chance to go an a trip like this and see some of the most spectacular flora and fauna in the world.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by mcmcnair View Post
    I did, just wait the best pics are yet to come in my opinion.
    Question about the Villosas you saw...at what altitude were they growing in if I may know?

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