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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Cryptocoryne zaidiana is a new species of Cryptocoryne (aquatic aroid) only found in some secret locations in northern Sarawak. In order to find it, we (Jungle Mike, Joshua & Herman) spent a lot of time & money to get infomation, travelling in the worst muddy road we ever seen, took a boat to find the Crypt. in the river infested with crocodile. It was one of the most exciting trips I ever had in my life.

To find out more about this plant, u can visit this site; the link:

http://www.nationaalherbarium.nl/cryptocoryne/Gallery/zai/zai.html

Some photos to share before telling our adventure story.

Joshua was trying to dig the mud out when our 4 wheel drive vehicle was stuck in the muddy road for almost an hour!



A tributary of Baram river where Crypt. zaidiana was discovered by a researcher from Sarawak, Dr Isa:



crypt. hunting in a river infested with crocodile. None of us were wearing life jacket.



....to be continued.
 

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June 2, 2008. It was the 2nd day of Hari Gawai (Harvesting festival). As our trip to Danau Sentarum of Indonesian Borneo has been cancelled, we decided to go north to northern Sarawak to find Crypt. zaidiana.

It was a rainy day when we started our journey. I had a bad feeling about this trip. We travelled about 800km by using my car to a town called Bintulu & took a rest there.

The next day, we rented a 4x4 car to a remote area near Miri. The gravel road is very bad. Later, we found out the info that we gathered are not accurate. We had to solve the "puzzle" along the trip. We were lost a few times in the oil palm plantation. Luckily, we met some locals & they pointed the right direction to a Kayan people longhouse.

About 11am, we found out the road to the longhouse was pretty bad. Due to the heavy rainfall almost every evening, the dirt road became a muddy road. When we almost reached the longhouse, our car was stuck in the mud! No matter how hard we tried, we couldn't get our car out of the mud. Our shirts & trousers were all covered by mud. We went to look for help but almost everyone went out to celebrate Gawai in another village. The elder people couldn't help us. Luckily, we found out there is a teacher who got a pick up truck was still in the village. That's the only vehicle in the village during that time. He helped us to pull up the vehicle at last.

Then, we went to look for boatman who can bring us to the location of Crypt. zaidiana. It took us sometimes to find that boatman who can bring us to the place that we wanted to go. At that time, the rain cloud was developing in the west. We didn't have much time left....cos we'll stuck there for a night if it rains. About noon, the boatman took us to the up river.

The boatman told us the water level in the river has been raising up to very high level. The small river that we're going to visit is the fishing place for the locals. When we reached there, we couldn't find a single Cryptocoryne as water level was too high. I was sweating in the boat cos this was my first time aboard a long boat without wearing a life jacket. Besides, there are crocodiles in the river!

In order not to waste our money which we paid, we asked the boatman to go further up the river. It was very difficult to travel up river as there are too many fallen trees. The oil palm plantation company is starting to clear the forest near the river. Sooner or later, almost the whole Borneo will be covered by this oil palm trees.

At 5pm, we still couldn't find anything. We came at the wrong time. June is supposed to be the best time to explore in the river & to find aquatic plant as it's used to be dry season. But climate is changing now & it rains almost every evening. We went back to the village with disappoinment. Thunder storm hit that area that evening when we're on the way out. I felt so sad.....what happened to this world? More & more forests are gone...then the climate is getting strange.

We shall be back to visit Crypt zaidiana oneday.

Our car was stuck in the mud!!!!



Hard work.....



Rain cloud is forming!!! It's going to rain very soon....and we need to leave before it rains.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Travel up river:



Travel in smaller tributary which is the location of that new species of Crypt.



Fallen trees at the edge of oil palm plantation:



High water level.....can't see any crypt in the river bed!



Too many obstacle in the river....what will happened if out boat capsized? If so, I'll say goodbye to my beloved camera.



WE SHALL BE BACK!!!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
We tried to find that place twice last year and we failed to locate the right spot.....(the info is inaccurate due to some reasons I do not wish to disclose) Now this is our 3rd times to visit that place....and we have reached the destination at last. Too bad, the water level is too high!
 

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We tried to find that place twice last year and we failed to locate the right spot.....(the info is inaccurate due to some reasons I do not wish to disclose) Now this is our 3rd times to visit that place....and we have reached the destination at last. Too bad, the water level is too high!
No worry, We will be back soon ;)
 

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Such a great read junglemike. I hope you guys are able to find C. zaidiana the next time you go. A tip for out running those crocs would be to run faster than the other guys your with. ;)
 

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Mike,
Thanks for sharing. Hope you guys will find the crypt next round. You might want to buy a waterproof bag for you camera since you go on the field trip so often.

A camera casing will even be better. With that you can take under water photos.

Yoong
 
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