Please note East Markham WI are not currently meeting due to the Covid-19 restrictions but bookmark this for later.
The February meeting of East Markham WI saw the return of Paul Dyson, a wildlife artist, climber, adventurer and photographer who was to talk on his travels in Borneo, seeing Orangutan and attempting to climb the highest peak in Mongolia, illustrated by many photographs.
Arriving in Borneo he was astounded at the tremendous heat as he and his companions travelled along the coast to Bako National Park, a protected forest and coastal area, where they saw fantastic bird life, long tailed macaques, silver leaf monkeys and proboscis monkeys as well as many different species of gecko, squirrel and lizard. On the river near the coast the rare Irrawaddy Dolphin was sighted. In the Gungung Mulu National Park, they visited the world’s largest caves, and from inside the Deer Bat Cave, watched as thousands of bats flew out to feed. Each bat eats its own body weight in insects.
Around Kinabalu much of the rainforest has been cleared for Palm Oil plantations. The remaining forest area is rich in flora and fauna and is dominated by the 4,000 metre high Mount Kinabalu. Orangutans are Paul’s favourite animals and for some years he has sponsored one at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, where orphaned baby orangutans are cared for after being rescued from logging sites, plantations, illegal hunting, or being kept as pets. Paul showed some wonderful photos of these beautiful creatures in the sanctuary as well as ones of some in the wild.
The second half of Paul’s talk was so different. From the heat and forests of Borneo to the mountains and glaciers of Mongolia. After flying into the capital it was a journey of four hours to the mountain area. A further nine hours drive took the party to the road head, from where it was an eight hour walk to the Base Camp for the 13,500 foot Khüiten Peak, Mongolia’s highest mountain. Mongolia is the land of Genghis Khan and many statues and monuments were seen during the journey, some of them in very remote areas. At the Base Camp much training was done to ensure the team’s safety on the snow and ice of the glaciers. From Base Camp they climbed to the Intermediate Camp to prepare for the climb to the summit. Unfortunately a weather front was blowing in and it was considered unlikely that the summit could be reached. The party was given the option of making the attempt or climbing another peak in the vicinity. A small group made the attempt but Paul opted for the second climb, which was successful. From the top Paul could look into the countries of Mongolia, China and Russia. On return to camp they awaited news of the others, who eventually appeared having made the summit just as the weather broke. They all made a rapid return to Base Camp as the weather worsened.
Paul had brought along a selection of prints and greeting cards, which members eagerly browsed whilst marvelling at his great skill in capturing the beauty of animals and birds. After a formal vote of thanks, the raffle was drawn and members and visitors enjoyed refreshments. Meetings take place at East Markham Village Hall, NG22 0SS. More information is available from 01777 871567 or 01777 871706.