05.05.2017 - 05.07.2017
05 May 2017
Pretty good nights' sleep, again Yana's magic with food is amazing - breakfast is great.
Today, the plan is two different feeding stations : Pondok Tanggui and a return to Leakey.
Wayne wasn't feeling well (it happens)... so he stayed behind to recover.
This trip is all about the Orangutans. Each station we went to was a different experience and we saw different animals. One of the highlights was seeing "Carlos" -- currently the dominant male in the area. "Tom" was the dominate male but hasn't been seen for about four months and Arif lets us know that there was probably a fight between the two with Carlos being the winner. So goes life in the jungle!
Forgot to add from yesterday - while we were at Leakey - all of a sudden a sneaky little Gibbon Monkey decided that he was invited to dinner....He would hang in the trees above our heads and very quickly swing from branch to branch, swoop in and grab some food (bananas) and head back up into the tree to eat. The branches he was on were too narrow for the orangutans so he didn't worry that they would come after him. He was actually very funny to watch.
06 May 2017
Today is our last full day on the river. (After our second day we were all wondering if 5D/4N was too long....it's not. There was no wifi and rarely cell coverage but that was OK. We had the chance to leisurely enjoy this area without outside interference)
After breakfast we make our way along the river - always on the lookout for birds or other primates. Our morning destination is Pondok Kerja where we will have a chance to plant trees that have been donated by Orangutan Applause. The planting area was about 1Km walk into the jungle along a primitive walkway (no OSHA out here) to the base station. This a government run, one man station. The gentleman who works here has the job of separating the seedlings, planting some and assisting volunteers (us) with planting and marking.
Our last feeding station is one that is government run and is the most basic. It also had fewer boats going there and fewer Orangutans. We found it ironic that, at the other camps, the animals are given bananas, mangos and milk and here just sugar cane. I think they know were the best "eats" are.
When going into the jungle on a boat everything for the trip is pre determined. After a hot day in the jungle a glass of beer sounds very good but ..it has to be ordered ahead of time and....well, I forgot to order the beer. We didn't find out until we asked Arif about it on our 2nd day. It wasn't a big deal but if you remember from my previous posting...most reasonable requests are usually granted. Arif came to us yesterday and told us that we'd have beer for our last day. How it arrived was an actual event: There was a large boat coming up the river towards us. They got very close and Arif runs to the front of our boat. They pass over a styrofoam cooler. We thought it food was for dinner....nope...it was the beer. Dessy can do anything!!!!
The Captain nestled our boat along a reeded area to moor for our last night. Arif had one last treat for the trip. Once it got dark, he brought us all out to the front of the boat and up in the trees were hundreds of blinking fireflies. What a way to end our trip.
07 May 2017
After breakfast we made our way back to the main river and to our port in Kumai where we were transported back to the airport. Sadly, it was time to say goodbye. I doubt that another trip to this wonderful place is in our future but we'll always have such incredible memories......and also.....well, there's always Facebook (lololol)