Our last two days in the jungle would be spent at Bukit Peninjau Wildlife Research Station, about a half an hour boat ride from Meliau longhouse. We did most of our trekking in the mountains here—one day of trekking in the scorching heat, the next in the cooling rain.
We conducted a data survey of orangutan nests and fallen fruit with the research team, learnt some jungle survival skills with the locals, watched proboscis monkeys from our boats in the stillness of Danau Sentarum, and went night-fishing. There truly was never a dull day in Borneo.
Day 6-7: Bukit Peninjau Wildlife Research Station
The next morning I was woken up (a few times) by the roosters crowing and dogs howling and pigs screeching. When they all burst into a simultaneous cacophony at 4am (I called it the Chorus of Animals), I promptly gave up on any further "sleep" and got up to use the bathroom—a single squat-style toilet in a concrete block outside the longhouse, at the far end of the village. Just a single toilet for the whole village (though we were pretty sure the locals didn't use this one).
There was no power running in the village now so I walked out with my head-torch, sanitiser and toilet roll in hand, stepping lightly on my toes across the wooden floors which creaked underneath me anyway. As I opened the front door the village dogs congregated excitedly at my feet, whining and sniffing for my attention. 4am, in the dark, on the way to the toilet wasn't really the time and place for pats, I thought.
It was nice being up before everyone else; before even the sun. I liked hearing the village go about their business. I had already heard some activity at about 3am: people heading out very early on their boats, perhaps to the plantations or to check fishing nets and crab pots. I used the time to pack my things ahead of our next campsite: Bukit Peninjau Wildlife Research Station, our home for the next two nights.