Alex needs no persuading to join us for breakfast today and we’re early at the pool. We’re in and out of the water for an hour or so then Alex goes inside and Simon and I read our books until it’s time to go and see the Orang Utans in the resort’s nature reserve. Alex turns out to have fallen asleep and struggles to wake up fully.
We make it to the nature reserve in good time but Alex dozes through the introductory video and almost sleepwalks up the steep path to the viewing area. As at Sepilok – to which Rasa Ria’s reserve is affiliated and where its Orangs go when they are old enough – there are two feeding times when the Orangs know they can get fresh fruit from the feeding platform.
Unfortunately the long-tailed Macaques also know this. There are only two Orang Utan left at the centre, they are 5 years old and ready to leave but have been kept on to teach the babies who are expected to arrive soon. By this stage they are able to forage for themselves and don’t rely on feedings so much.
After the briefest of visits to the platform they fade back into the forest and the monkeys take over. Meanwhile, Alex is still struggling to stay awake and Simon decides to take him back to the hotel where he returns to bed. I remain at the viewing area until the hour is up, hoping the Orang Utans will returns but enjoying watching the monkeys nonetheless. Towards the end a pair of deer appear – the keeper tells me they come to finish off what the monkeys leave.
Returning to the hotel I find the source of the screeching noise we’ve been hearing – there are large parrots living in the trees. The grounds are full of exotic birds, too, and after a week of wildlife tours it’s hard to resist the urge to photograph them.
Simon and I have lunch poolside, read our books and watch the sun set from the beachside bar then return to see if we can rouse Alex. He has been like this once before, when I took him to South Hill Park to watch his friend in a play but had to return home without seeing the show. On that occasion he slept through till the following morning, but in a hotel it’s more awkward if he wakes up hungry during the night so we endeavour to wake him for dinner. He’s generally hard to wake and this is certainly the case today. Even fresh lime and soda fails to tempt him out of bed. In the end we go to dinner without him, eating in the more casual restaurant where breakfast is served.