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Tamarra’s Travel Diary

Monday, 18 Sep 2006

Location: On my way to Puala Weh, Indonesia

MapHello All! Okay sing this in your heads to the tune of Jingle Bells:

Jungle Trek, Jungle Trek in Bukit Lawang
See the monkey's, see the birds, see orangu tan!

My two days in the jungle were FANTASTIC!!! The road to Bukit Lawang left more than a little to be desired! My 77 km ride took 3 hours on some of the most awful road I have ever seen in my life! And I thought Uganda was bad! HA! Bukit Lawang was just about wiped off the map by a flash flood in 2004. They have spent time and energy trying to rebuild the place. There is still no phone or internet available. However, the hostel I stayed at was FANTASTIC! Nora's Homestay, with my own private bungalow. Of course no hot shower but who needs one in the hot humid weather. My two days in the jungle were memorable. The Orangutan in the lower hills are semi wild. Therefore they are use to people and feel free to come as close as pulling my hair. I saw 10 Orangutan 3 of which were babies, one only a week old and so cute!! The trek itself was a bit scary. I started to sweat the second my foot hit the first hill! I swear I lost 3kgs in two days just from sweating. I know not a pretty picture but it gives you some idea of the temperature and the challenge of the hike. I am all for the hiking especially when you get to see great things but I am not the steadiest on my feet and sometimes we seem to walk awfully close to the cliffs edge. The ground is wet and I am never sure footed! However, I did arrive alive. And came face to face with all sorts of monkeys and birds and a big lizard about 3 ft long!!! COOL! My jungle guide Sinar was fantastic. And very knowledgeable! At night we slept fairly close to the river. After a rinse off in a beautiful waterfall we chilled out and had a delicious chicken dinner. However, the camping experience was pretty basic. There was a wooden frame with tarps draped over it and one below us. The ground was hard and the sleeping was pretty minimal. Oh well, all part of the adventure. On the second day I went on a short rafting trip down the river. It was good fun! But I opted to get out and walk the rest in order to see more Orangutan. I was greatly rewarded! I am now in a town called Bunjai. Here I am catching an over night bus (my first this trip) to a town called Banda Aceh. From there I will catch a bus to the pier where I will catch a boat to the island of Puela Weh. Then I will get on another bus for another hour to the town of Ipoh. Here I will hopfully stay on a sunny beach and dive for the first time on this trip! I should arrive at my destination about 20 hours from now! I hope!? I am pretty sure there will be no email there. So again don't fret at the lack of contact! I am loving every minute of my adventure.

Oh yeah, just a special mention of my bus trip from Bukit Lawang to Bunjai. Other than the road being ridiculous it started to rain. But my over crowded mini van 20 people was missing a few windows so when it started to pour it just poured right in! All part of the fun! Chat soon! Love, Tamarra

DID I mention I LOVE ORANGUTAN!! So amazing! And funny, and silly and playful!!! INCREDIBLE!!!