Monday, June 16, 2014

Cukai to Kapas May 2014

We left Tioman and Tulai and headed for Cukai, up the coast and up a river.  We had to follow the path of the fishing boats to wind through the sandbars and rocks behind a new breakwater wall at the entrance.  Hugged the mangroves around the bends in the river as that is where the deep water was.  We ended up across from the town, with access via concrete steps that came down to the water at half-tide or above.  At low tide, it was a mud flat with the steps out of reach from the dinghies.  You can see some of the rally boats lined up along the mangroves downriver from us.
We had a day to wander freely before our rally rep showed up with a tour bus and we all headed off to the new mini-zoo just outside of town.  These owl's eyes were such a gorgeous gold.  And they were active during the day and playing in the water.  So unusual...

These tapirs were just lazing in the corner of their pen.
 Porcupines make the list at this zoo.  The enclosures weren't very nice or natural.
 One of the orang utans, with a burlap sack as a coat.  Electrified fences on the trees kept them from climbing out and running away.
 A young elephant was munching stalks of sugar cane, breaking them with his foot while holding them with the end of his trunk.  Zoo boys herded her to us so we could pet her and get photos.
 Karen with the young elephant.
 These tortoises had large scaly legs.  They were piled in the corner of a pen.
 A rhinocerous hornbill.
 One of the owls on a branch in the water.
 This zoo had lots of birds.  These grey parrots look like 'X marks the spot'.
 Such an elegant, flowing tail on this gold and brown bird.  He was flighty and wouldn't stand still for a photo up close.
  Much like a peacock in stature and size, but different colors.  The Latin names were posted, but the zoo didn't do much in English signage, so I have no clue what kind of bird this is.
 Here he is strutting his stuff.
 We headed out to a turtle sanctuary and turtle farm.  They gather the eggs when the turtles come ashore and replant them in fenced areas until they hatch safely, about 50 days later.  The gender of the turtles is determined by the temperature of the sand where the nest is laid (warm is female, cool is male) and the tenders of the turtle farm say the males take more than 50 days, whereas the females will hatch in 50 days. Here are a bunch of male green turtles a couple of days old.  They are about the size of a silver dollar.
 Karen with her turtle to be released.
 A basket full of baby turtles for us to release into the ocean.  If they survive, the females will return to this beach to lay their eggs.  Sadly, only about one in a thousand survives to breeding age.  We hoped the birds didn't see us release this batch!
 Heading off to the big, bad ocean, this little turtle seems quite spunky. Hope he makes it!
Our group standing on the beach watching our newly released turtles paddle out into the waves.  They'll eat algae and jellyfish as they grow up.  Jellyfish is their favorite.
A long alleyway in Cukai with no people or motorcycles or cars in it--a rarity!
 The mosque in Cukai on the river.  A pedestrian bridge crosses the waterway, but walking across the water along the road was shorter.
 Mick, Janice and Lyn after our breakfast of roti canail.
 After our tour, we were welcomed back with a traditional dance displaying martial arts.
A mock fight to show the moves.
These musicians supplied a soundtrack to our welcome 'high tea'.
 Mangoes, rice and fish cakes, grilled fish in bamboo leaves, coconut pancakes, chicken curry and beef rendang were some of our dishes.  We get used to trying stuff even when we don't know what it is. Sazli, our rally orgainzer/rep, sat with us and explained some of these dishes to us.
 Notice the staples in the leaves to hold the fish paste in.  These grilled leaves held just a little morsel inside, but they were quite tasty.
 The Cukai River
Fishing boats rafted in the river near the entrance.
 You can see the smoke and haze along the coast as we left Cukai for Terengganu.

 Entering Kapas, an island just 10 km outside of Terengganu.  We stopped there for a clear water snorkel.

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