Posted by: Ross Gardner | February 23, 2018

In the thick of it

Lupa Masa camp 2 (scaled)

Lupa Masa, translated from Malay into English, means ‘Forget Time’.  It is also the name of the jungle camp near Poring where we spent four days after leaving the slopes of Mount Kinabalu.  And for our stay there ‘forget time’ we certainly did; time and a lot more besides.

Poring is not the largest of places to begin with, a village that presumably does well due to the well-known hot springs of the same name.  An hour’s hike from there into the jungle and we were certainly starting to feel ‘off the beaten track’.  A thousand metres or so closer to sea-level than our location at Kinabalu was given us rather more of a taste of the Bornean heat and humidity.  Here we would be given a memorable jungle experience.

The camp consists of an unassuming collection of huts and camping platforms located in verdant secondary forest on the very, tantalising fringes of virgin jungle literally right alongside.  Facilities are… well, basic – squat toilets and a river for washing in.  Basic yes, but it must be said that we were looked after very well indeed by our guides, who served up freshly prepared and cooked food for every meal.

Bornean Horned Frog 2 (scaled)

The superbly camouflaged Bornean Horned Frog (Megophrys nasuta).

The walking tracks available are limited close to the immediate surrounds of the camp, but we wanted for nothing more.  Trails led up the slope to the boundary of the virgin forest, along which we could walk but not enter.  They led down to the clear, rushing water of the river and up to the waterfall.  We needed nothing more, as it was the feeling of immersion that stimulated the sense and satisfied the thirst for discovery.

And at any rate, much there was there to be discovered. Giant millipedes 20cm long and tree climbing agamid lizards. The languid grace of huge Nymph butterflies floating through the understorey and little Tailorbirds flitting around the camp. A bundle of leaves moves across the forest floor and becomes a frog; the Bornean Horned Frog – a stunning demonstration of beautiful camouflage perfected through the ages.

Our short time here proved one of biggest highlights during our time overseas on our Big Trip. If you should ever find yourself passing……

Bronchocela cristatella - Green Crested Lizard (scaled)

Green Crested Lizard (Bronchocela cristatella) – an agile climber.

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