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


INDONESIA | Wednesday, 6 August 2014 | Views [636] | Comments [2]

In the morning, everyone made cairns out of the rocks on the river’s edge.  The Indonesian guys used large heavy rocks so a cairn over 6 feet tall only had 5 or 6 rocks.  We all drank Indonesian premixed cappuccinos to wake us up and the guys made beautiful banana pancakes for us.  Then we were off to the bat cave!  We would be returning to camp after the cave so we could leave our bags behind & just carry water & cameras with us.


Again, as soon as we stepped into the jungle and started the steep ascent, the humidity hit us! 

We reached the bat cave & donned headlamps & in we went.  It was instantly cool inside.  We could smell & hear the bats long before we saw them.  When we did see them it was astonishing how many thousands of bats were crammed so closely together, all hanging upside down, chattering away to one another.  We were inside the cave for about 40 minutes, all the while walking on fine dirt, or clambering up & over rocks, or squeezing through the narrow spaces between large boulders.  We saw 3 bird nests in the cave with small eggs in the nests but no bird to be found.  We wondered what bird would be able to make it so far underground in the pitch dark, again & again carrying nest-making material in it’s beak & did this bird have sonar like the bats?


We reached a point in the cave where we had the choice of clambering up & out of the cave via a steep angle of rock where we could see a tiny pinprick of daylight or continuing down into the depths of the cave & exiting via the river.  Even though no one in the world knew where we were & hoping that our Indonesian friend remembered how to get out through the maze of tunnels & fearing that somehow the cave may collapse in on us, we chose the latter option & continued deeper into the bat cave.


At one stage the floor of the cave was just a V-shape where two slabs of rock met.  It was only just wide enough to fit the width of our sandalled-feet as we pushed our bodies through, hips scraping the walls of rock.  When we finally saw daylight, we realized that the cave exit was at the river we had camped beside.  To leave the cave, we had to jump into the river!  It was our only exit.  There was no other choice.  May held our head lamps & other non-waterproof possessions & in we jumped!  It was daylight again, it was hot outside & we were nice & cool in the river!


We were only a few hundred metres from our camping site.  We waded up river to camp & packed up our belongings & threw rocks into the water & smashed down our cairns & marveled at beautiful blue butterflies until it was time to leave.  We were heading back to our Jungle Lodge by a rubber tyre raft.  A couple of locals had walked up the river from the village, carrying tyre tubes on their heads for us.  They carried up two extra ones for themselves & once they had delivered ours, they jumped on a tube each & headed down river themselves!


Once May & Asis had lashed the tyre tubes together to make a raft, the six of us piled onto the watercraft with our luggage in the centre & off we drifted, May at the helm with a long stick to push us off the rocks.  We only went a short distance before we all piled off the raft & ducked under a rock overhang where we sat in natural hot springs, soaking up the warmth!  Indonesia, the land that has everything!  We all decided right then & there that there was absolutely no need for us to return to civilization.  We had everything right here.  We could live in the tent on the riverbank.  We could fish for food & boil the water to drink on campfires, we could play with butterflies & watch monkeys swing from tree to tree & we could even have a hot bath every single day!  We didn’t want to leave!


Further downstream we floated under an overhanging tree & took photos of a sleeping snake coiled on a branch above us.  We drifted under another Indiana Jones style bridge & even passed our elephants as they were having a dip.  Was this just an amazing dream?  No!   It is just all a part of beautiful Indonesia!

Tags: bats, butterfly, cairn, cairns, cave, headlamp, jungle, river, sonar, trekking



What an adventure! That riverbank sounds like heaven, I'd join you living there!

  Eileen Dec 7, 2014 10:53 PM


well done, good reading, definitely (+)(-)50 plus 150! cheers Dad

  praff Apr 10, 2015 8:49 AM



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