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Itchy Feet "I am going because I would have no peace if I stayed" - Donald Crowhurst.

JUNGLE TREK PART 2

INDONESIA | Tuesday, 5 August 2014 | Views [466]

Trekking uphill is tough but I always think going downhill is harder.  After slipping & sliding a bit & getting rather muddy somewhere deep in the jungle, we saw elephant footprints in the mud, partly filled with rainwater.  That’s something that you don’t get to see too often.  We marveled at how an animal as large as an elephant could get through such dense jungle. 

 

We came upon a beautiful clear creek.  We all had a rest here and washed our feet & de-leeched.  Jamin cut up a pineapple that was better than any pineapple we’d had back home.  It was deliciously sweet.  Then it was an uphill trek again.  When we stopped for a breather, halfway up a steep hill we spotted two skinny leeches on the ground, on top of some leaf litter.  They were making a beeline for us, like heat seeking missiles they were headed straight for our tasty feet.  We stepped over them & kept on hiking.

 

We reached the back of the bat cave which we would be going inside tomorrow.  There was a massive drop between us & the bat cave.  On the ground were some seeds – those helicopter blade shaped seeds – only these ones were gigantic in comparison.  We all picked one up and watched it spiral down, down, down into the abyss below.

 

The rest of the trek was downhill, we held onto skinny trees or roots poking above ground to prevent us sliding too far.  Suddenly there was more sunlight as we came to the edge of the jungle, onto pebbly ground at the river’s edge where we would be spending the night.  Two of Jamin’s friends were there.  They had set up our two tents for the night & had already started preparing dinner & making coffees for us!  We all had a drink & soaked our feet in the river while watching some macaques swinging through the trees on the opposite side of the river.  Then all six of us headed off towards some gibbon sounds to see if we could spot them.  We clambered up some giant boulders to get a better view.  This was by far the hardest part of the trek today, so hard that I needed help to get up.  Once we were up top, it was a death defying clamber over several boulders with gaps between them in which you could fall to your death.  The gaps were covered in leaf litter, so it looked as though you could step where you actually couldn’t.  Very scary!     I had visions of the American Aron Ralston who got his arm trapped between two boulders while hiking alone & amputated his own arm after five days of not being found.  We spotted the gibbons swinging in the uppermost branches of some trees across the river from us.  They were silhouetted against the sky right before sundown.

 

While Dave, Dan & I swam in the river, Jamin & his two friends May & Asis cooked us a delicious dinner on the camp fire.  They made spicy fish, spaghetti with a tomato sauce & a potato & broccoli dish with krupuk on the side (similar to prawn crackers).  May & Asis had even made a table for the dinner preparation out of bamboo.  And they had formed a Flintstone table and stools for us out of the large smooth river rocks.  We even had candles on rocks (primitive candelabra style) outside our tents.  Luxury!

Tags: camp, elephant, fire, jungle, trekking

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