Jungle Massive

Trip Start Apr 29, 2006
Trip End Apr 29, 2007

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Flag of Indonesia  ,
Sunday, August 27, 2006

Not one of our favourite journeys.... 5 hour boat ride across straights of Mellaca in which we had the joys of vomitting to listen too.... Then due to as not getting any Indonesian currency in Malaysia we were forced in to getting an overpriced taxi to an ATM. ANYBODY ELSE DOING THIS JOURNEY _ PLEASE DO NOT MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE AND FILL THE POCKETS OF THE RANCID TAXI DRIVERS!!!! GET RUPIAH IN MALAYSIA!!

Anyway, so we paid 16 quid EACH to get to Bukit Lawang, which was way more than the 70p it
would have cost by bus.... I suppose I got to sit in the front though and have some Indonesian lessons for free!! Miss Malaysia and its nice cheap public transport... As for the roads, they were horrendous! Pot holes everywhere, it took 4 hours to go about 75 km! Sumatera seems pretty crazy, loads of brightly coloured minibuses beeping their horns and strange bicycle or motor powered bike things..

Our Ecolodge is pretty nice & less than 5 quid a room, signed up for a tour with some fella that jumped into the bus with us - "Jungle Eddy"

People are so desperate for tourists here, the place suffered from a flood which killed over 200 people in 2003 and its never recovered. There were about 15 people in the whole resort I reckon... We heard accounts from villagers about the flood and how they hid up trees or just ran, leaving their friends and family behind.... The water rose about 7 metres in 15 minutes. Nasty.....

Next day we met a Dutch girl called Hady, she's lovely but has been living in Indonesia for about 6 months and isn't keen on the people (in fact she seems to hate them (not a good sign!!)) The three of us went to the Bat Cave, it was far bigger than the last cave we visited and much less scary - but was impressive nonetheless. In one chamber a bat flew in to rats head, and then attacked my bum... We didn't venture farther!

Walked around the village, was fun as Hady can speak Indonesian, so prevented us from getting ripped off!! Rested in the afternoon, then Hady shouted at us and she pointed at an Orang Utang with a baby, walking across the hotel grounds!!! Was awesome!! We followed it until it went up a nearby tree and ate a lot of lychees - couldn't believe that one just came in to the gardens like that!

Next day the three of us went on a trek with Jungle Eddy. There is a rehabilitation centre for the Orang Utans which has a feeding session each day. This proved to be entertaining, but a bit of a tourist spectacle - not sure just how much good the programme is doing now.......

As for the trek, we saw another Orang Utan, Thomas Monkeys, Macacs, Chamelions and scorpion. Didnt really like trekking with a guide, prefer to do my own thing, but you have no choice here... Hady was less than impressed by Jungle Eddy - she questioned him loads and was irritated by his lack of knowledge!!

After a ride down the river (on some inner tubes tied together to become a raft) it started to rain in a most extreme manner... We ran back but still got totally soaked. We were a bit worried about a repeat of 2003.....

No worries though, we're still here, just had to endure a night of powercuts......
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