Trip Start Sep 01, 2008
15Trip End Sep 01, 2009
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We were picked up at 7am by a minibus to take us back to Padang airport. We got on our flight to Medan without a hitch. It was only a 45 minute fight. From Medan airport we took a taxi to the bus terminal. We then got on a bus to go to Bukit Lawang. It was only 100kms to Bukit Lawang, but it took us 4 hours to get there because the bus stopped a number of times to try and pick up more people to fill up the bus. In Indonesia this does not mean just fill the available seats on the bus, it means fill every possible available space left. Needless to say it was a little crammed. But 4 hours driving down a pot-hole filled road in a crammed bus was not so bad???? It was pouring down with rain the entire time and the back window in the bus wouldn't close. We had to tape a plastic bag to the inside of the bus to stop it from leaking on us. When we finally made it to Bukit Lawang it was still pouring it down. We took a very wet motorbike taxi into the village from the bus station
Early in the morning we went to get our national park passes to go to the morning orang-utan feeding. After crossing the river by canoe we met out first semi-wild orang-utans (Sandra, her 1 year old baby and her 6 year old child, Jackie). It was a pretty awesome experience! Later that day we went swimming in the river rapids. We then went to the Jungle Inn to set up a jungle trek with one of the registered tour guides there.
Joel and Alex left. We were very sad to see them go. It had been great travelling with such like-minded people and crazy how fast we became great friends. Hopefully we'll see them again on our travels. Darwin and Remo (our guides) met us at 9am to start our two day jungle trek. As soon as we got into the thick of the jungle we saw Thomas Leaf monkeys (or funky monkeys as the locals call them due to their Mohawk hair-dos). We later saw Sandra, baby and Jackie hanging out in the tree canopy
We woke up to an amazing breakfast that Sabul had cooked for us. We took a swim then packed up the camp to head out for some more trekking. We hiked back up to the canopy passing some beautiful waterfalls and streams along the way. On the way up to the canopy we caught a glimpse of the very fast and illusive white handed gibbons. We hiked around the canopy then back down to the river to get on our inner-tube rafts to carry us back down the river rapids and into the village. Erin, Remo and Darwin got tossed of the tubes on the first fast rapids. Quite funny once we realised everyone was ok. Erin looked petrified again when she surfaced! Lol! We came back to the Garden Inn that night and hung out with the locals and a few other tourists and played guitar, bongos and sang all night. It was great fun!
We decided that we couldn't stay another night in the Bukit Lawang Inda, so we packed our stuff up to go and stay at the Garden Inn, which is a little closer to the entry to the national park and has much more of a chance of seeing some of the wildlife in the area
We went to one more morning feeding and really lucked out. 7 wild and semi-wild orang-utans came down from the jungle for the feeding. Mena was one of them! It was a little tense at first as Mena jumped onto the feeding tower, chasing all of the other orang-utans away and almost scratching the park ranger, but after she got her food she seemed quite content.
We took the arduous bus journey back to Medan. This time was even worse than getting to Bukit Lawang. It took us 5 hours to drive 100kms. Brutal! And the bus was even more packed
We decided to change our itinerary and booked a flight to Bali rather that getting another 6 hour bus ride from Medan to Lake Toba which was our original plan. Ocean and white sand beaches sounds much more up our alley.