Thursday, December 15, 2016

Orang utan , Borneo , Tanjung puting National park

Starting a trip with a 1,5 week old cold was never been in my plan.  But it did. And I secretly hoping that i would magically healed. But i didn't. 
I had been planning to take my in laws to my home country for a while and i was nervous for a lot of reason. They are probably the coolest in laws you can hope for and super easy to be with. But I was not sure how their reaction to a developing country would be and i was trying my hardest to show the best and truest of indonesia to the best of my knowledge. 

The first trip i planned was Orang utan trip in Tanjung puting National Park, Borneo. Excited was an understatement . I've always wanted to see Orang utan which means Forest man in indonesian. 
We flew to Pangkalan bun, a little town about 20 minutes Kumai village where we would take the boat or klotok, the only way to access this remote area.  Upon arrival, i started feeling worse and developing stomach pain. And things continued getting worse thru the night during the night  with some throwing up in the mixed. Worried and probably against my better judgement, i decided to still go .  
Out guide operator , Jenie subaru, picked us up in the morning and took us to the boat that looked nice and comfortable with beds already made . There were even a lounge chair at the front of the boat. 
I rested as much as possible , fully knowingly that it was a losing battle. 
Kumai river was huge! And busy, but we weren't there for long. We turned and entered the sekoyer river which marked by a huge sign and an orang utan sculpture. Our guide , Dan jokingly said that that was the first Orang utan we see in this trip. 
Our skilled boat driver navigated our boat thru a much narrower river now. Wedged between dense rain forest , You can't see very far, but you can hear tons of different sounds of birds and insects. Relaxing and creepy in the same time. The murky water of the river didn't give much information of what's underneath but the sign does. Crocodiles... 
I managed to rest a little bit on the boat and 2 hours after we left Kumai,  we arrived at the first feeding station. 
Without the nice breeze from a moving boat, it felt very hot and humid. But we got our self ready and slowly made the track. The path was muddy and some of them was flooded from recent rain. Joy and Brad made their way bravely around fire ants, and  tiny unstable planks on top of sucking mud while avoiding mosquitoes attack. 

After arriving at the feeding station area , we tried to be as comfortable as possible, using leaves as our homemade fan to fend our self from mosquitoes. This humidity made my stomach feeling worse. After 30 minutes, one of the female orang utan and her baby showed up and hang out waiting for the food. Once the ranger arrived, another female with baby showed up with a bigger male. They seems to be able to smell the food for miles away . 
We sticked around for a bit to watch them , I was so excited but can barely focus to take pictures of them ( which turned out to be out of focus :(  ) 
We slowly made our way back to the boat and i was trying my hardest not to throw up in the middle of the jungle. Not that it really matters i guess. Once i made it to the boat, went straight to the bathroom to unload the remain contain of my stomach then i collapsed on the bed and closed my eyes. At this point, Joy grabbed a thermometer ( raised your hand if you have one handy in your purse, i bet none of us does ) . I saw 100.6 degree flashing in front of my eyes. She gave me some antibiotic that i willingly took and crashed. Thru out the night she took my temp again couple times and was pleased that it was going down slowly .
Morning came, and feeling much better compare to the previous day, i was woken up by some proboscis monkey jumping around the trees . We camped at Pondok tanggui which was the second feeding station. Unfortunately , some of the path was flooded from rain and we decided to skip this one.   It was rainy season after all . On our way to Camp Leaky which was the last station, we came across a male orang utan , alone, hanging on the short tree by the river. He watched us getting closer and kept eating. Until we got close enough and then he grabbed our boat rope and pulled it closer to him .

He knew we have food. We enjoyed this close interaction until it's time to leave and he didn't want to let go of the rope. At this point , it became a game of tug of war. Finally another boat showed up and distracted him enough until we could pull the rope back to the boat. It was a very amazing time to be able to see them that close.

At camp leakey we saw the biggest orang utan on this trip .
The rangers and guide called him the king. He probably weight about 120 kg and double the size of the female ones. 
Satisfied and happy , we made our way back to the boat for our ride back to Kumai that night. 

Cruising the river at night was also something else entirely . It was calm but eerie with the stars, the continues lighting , the sound of the jungle at night and trees that full with fireflies .
It's something that i will remember for a long time, even with high fever and all . 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Senaru village - plawangan sembalun

I kept waking up since 2 am. Probably the excitement and a little bit of nerves . I've never hiked a mountain here in Indonesia so I wasn't sure what to expect. 

5:30 am , i dragged my self out of bed and got ready.  By 6:30 am, we were all gathered at office again and had a quick indonesian breakfast that usually consist of friend rice or fried noodle. I was happily stuff my self with a plate of fried noodle. 

Everyone was getting ready there, all the stuff were up at the white pick up truck with an open backside. I squeezed in the front seat while the guide and the porter jumped in to the back of the car and off we went. First stop was the registration office. It cost us about 40.000 rupiah. Or about $4. A local price compare to 150.000 rupiah or $15 . Apparently until 2012, local was charged 25.000 rupiah and the porter got extra money based on how many kg of trash they brought down . Seeing how many trash around the mountain, i think they should do that again. 

We crossed a huge wide savannah, it was very interesting . Rinjani was in front of us the whole time. The trail was busy. Lots of other hiker from different groups. It was fun to hear where they are from and their story. I talked a lot to with zen and awan, while sanusi was off in front of us to save us a good spot at each reat point. People called him " a running horse" he was quiet but really fast. 
I sticked with the group for awhile until lunch time that was a luxury for me. We were served a rice plate with fried chicken, fried tempeh, tomatoes, cucumber , and variety of fruits. I have a feeling i'm not gonna lose any weight here. 

From post 2 which was the lunch spot. We made our way to post 3 where we rested a bit longer under a short rock cliff. I can't help but thinking that the rock is good for rock climbing. HA! The camp was about 2000 ft up from post 3 . There are multiple hills ahead.  One was called called hill of regret ( disappointment hill fit better i think because when you get here, you still see a huge hill ahead of you to get to the camp) 

I started pull ahead of the group and went with my own pace while jen stayed with martin who had cramp on his legs. Awan quickly caught up with me and accompanied me all the way to the camp. He is still 24 years old. A very funny and bubbly guy. It was a blast having him on the team. 
I chatted with other porter along the way. 

One of them wanted to have his own guiding company, the other one want a holiday ( i think he wants me to give him money thou.  I wasn't sure ) . 4 of us talked about working, life and random stuff. It was fun. 

I made it to the camp just before 3pm. 7 miles and over 4000 ft. It was quite a long day. Sanusi had already saved a spot for us with segara anak lake as a view. It was gorgeous.  

Friday, October 09, 2015

Lombok - senaru village

We were picked up by these 2 young guys. During our 3 hours rides, we shared stories and got a little bit of knowledge about the island, Lombok. But the interesting past is Opan's story. Last year he took a 6 months english class so he could apply for a master degree in Australia. 0_o . oh but he forgot about that after getting married to his gf . Who told him that she was about to be married to another guy by her family.  Life story of the day.. 

The drive from the airport was okay. It wiggled along the water for awhile then it wiggled thru villages. I love all the rice fields wedged between crowded residential and streets . 

At Senaru village, our place for the night is our guide's homestay. It's a simple but nice and clean studio looking at Rinjani. 

It was lovely. We came by at dinner time to talk about the logistic, plan and the mountain. Mer our guide , zen,  and 2 of our porters , sanusi and awan ( means cloud) . It is part of the regulation that all hikers at least have a porter. 

Our load for these 4 days trek was quite a bit. I feel like it will be the most luxurious trekking i'd ever done. HA. 

It will be a very interesting trek. 
I'm up at 5:30 am now and getting ready to go. Will try to update whenever i can 

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Baros International Animation Festival and heading to volcano

*breath... The past 2 days were a little hectic with meetings and teaching a masterclass at Baros International Animation Festival, 

It was a blast! There were about 30 people in the class and no one fall asleep in 3 hrs! That's an achievement in my book. 
The festival itself is its 2nd year. Lots of studio booth and a pretty good speaker line up. I think it's great that indonesia has event like this as a platform for the animation industry to meet and greet, share knowledge and showcase work. The animation industry here is still small but it is growing and it does have potential. 

I always love west java area , ( i went to college there ) so i was a little sad that I couldn't spend more time 

Next time! For now, i'm boarding the plane to lombok. And tomorrow me and my high school friend will hike up to Rinjani, the second highest volcano in Indonesia for 4 days. This is my first time hiking in Indonesia so I'm really looking forward to that. 

Monday, October 05, 2015

Experiencing Indonesia with a new attitude

I was born and raised at the most southern tip of an island called Sumatra.  Lampung is the name of the city, it isn't a big city but not too small either. It was perfect for my childhood. 
I have to admit that I haven't experienced Indonesia that much,  I have lots of reason for that ( mostly excuses probably). And i want to change that. This visit i feel that i want to explore more of it. Experience it with an open mind and curiosity. Well, i mean , why not? After all this is my country and I am an indonesian. 

Today is my first day here in Jakarta. After getting over my annoyance with the lack of queuing mentality and personal space ( i don't feel comfortable with a stranger shuffled their body so close to mine for no apparent reason while there are plenty other space to stand, i think that's fair right? ) , i was ready to enjoy the city. 

mom inspecting the fish at the local market
meat market
To my surprise,  my mom asked if i wanted to drive her to the local traditional market or pasar. I am always amused by the market. It is very interesting to say the least with its variety of produce and the people. But it can also be daunting ( there's a stall that sell "fresh" chicken ). 
The driving ... , let's just say i survived with couple of close calls. Anyone who had driven in asia know what i was talking about. 
tropical fruit at its best

Mom quickly walked thru the market, she knows this place very well. I think she can probably navigate it blindfolded. We picked up some fresh fish, shrimp, and house stuff. Everything is so cheap! A pound of shrimp only cost about $1,5 dollar. 

Next on the list after the market visit was an indonesian body scrub ( lulur ). I've never done it and i felt like i lost a layer of my skin afterward. 
I was escorted to a small room at the second floor of the massage place  that was wedged in a residential area. I was surprised to see there was another lady in there, butt naked on the table.  I knew right away that i was in for an interesting experience. I got ready and laid down on the table. The masseuse came back and saw that i was still wearing my underwear. Without hesitation, she took it off. HA! So a word of caution for whoever wants to get a massage here in Indonesia, keep in mind that there is very little privacy or the whole thing in the states where they try their best to keep you covered? Yeah that doesn't apply here. 
For the next hour she scrubbed the shit out of every inch of my body with coconut scrub that I had picked early on. Apparently it was Real shredded coconut that was fried without oil or sangrai . It smells sooo good! Maybe i should made my own when i get home. 
She let out a funny squeals when she saw my tan line. She would've probably passed out if she saw my skin after a climbing trip for sure. Here, the more pale your skin, the better it is, especially for female. Well i think we agreed that I failed on that . 

She massaged me for an hour after the scrubbing and finished up with pouring a jicama lotion all over my body (it was also  made from real jicama too) . 
It is fair to say that my skin had never been this smooth. I was amazed.  a mosquito would've slipped and fall if they try to bite me. 

So that is my first morning and Now on to the next adventure! 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Resupply .. DONE!!

How much food a person can eat?
Apparently a lot. Especially when you hike for hours. 
Planning for the resupply turning to be one of the never ending task. Even after writing it down a lot.. Like this
a little obsessive
A little obsessive I know..can't help it. 
I found my self second guessing and wondering if i would forget something. 

For those who don't know.. Carrying 22 days worth of food is impossible ( unless you are incredible hulk carrying a very large backpack) . So I planned to ship my self portion of the foods along the way. 
Because we ate starting rather early, I settled with 3 resupply points : Red meadow in mammoth , vermilion valley resort by edison lake and kearsage pass by independence. 

A sample of food supply for me for 8 days ranges from dehydrated dinner ( pasta, rice or beef stroganoff ) ,  banana chips, tortilla and sausage for lunch , lots of peanut butter and hazelnut spread, some energy bars, carbo pro to stop me from bonking, GUMMY BEAR!!!, and other random things .

this is what my 8 days worth of food looks like
I won't go into detail how i come to that  conclusion that i think works the best for us. But it is safe to say that , it takes consideration of how low the water level at edison lake, extra miles that we would have to do, and how many foods we can squeeze into bear canister without turning into powder. 
so the bear can't get in to our food
All of us had sent our first resupply to res meadow. And after anxiously tracking it. The status had shown that our food had arrived!! 
first resupply, check!!
This week , everyone will have to send the rest of the resupply. 

last 2 resupplies! i hope i don't forget anything

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