Our next point of interest was Gunung Mulu National Park. Arriving in the afternoon, we were transported to Benarat Lodge where we would spend a few nights as a base to explore the park before travelling the head-hunter’s trail to Limbang.
After being assured that the river flowing past our accommodation was free from crocodiles (phew!) and false gharials (damn!), we plunged into the cool water for a swim. As we floated in the current, keeping an eye out for the longboats that travelled the river, we could hear a repetitive barking call from the limestone cliff that overhung the water. We spent some time searching with binoculars for the source (monkeys? birds?) to no avail, and were later told that it’s a huge gecko. Guides would often tell us a story about this species (which we later found to be the Green-eyed Gecko, Gekko smithii): that a large individual would be worth many thousands of dollars on the black market for the ‘medicinal’ (think men’s problems again) properties of the gall bladder, and that poaching was not unknown.
As evening and a light drizzle fell, we donned our torches and began the walk to the National Park. We hadn't walked far before George spotted some eyeshine that got him very excited – it was the eyeshine of a smallish mammal that was clinging to a slim tree-trunk at about head-height. George turned to me and exclaimed “Dave – I think I've just spotted a Tarsier!”