It’s been a while since our last post and it has been busy, the next stop after our jungle adventures on Borneo was Sumatra. First stop in Sumatra: Bukit Lawang. What are we going to do there? Oh yeah, again to the jungle baby!
We arrived in Medan where our taxi driver was waiting for us and 2 other girls. We went off and we noticed immediately the differences between Malaysia and Indonesia… Bye bye modern Malaysia, hello chaotic and dirty Indonesia. The roads where very bad so progress was slow although the distance wasn’t too bad to Bukit Lawang. It took us about 4 hours whilst it is only about 80 km… Besides that the village itself was nice and had a very welcoming feel. The 2 sides of the river are connected by 2 bridges and one part of the ‘road’ is through a cave! We where happy to have found thomas’ retreat with some help of Adi and his wife, the local guide that would take us on the jungle trek the next 2 days.
After a nice dinner we went to bed quite early to be fresh for the 2 day jungle trek with Adi.
The jungle trek is popular here because there are a lot of orang utangs in the forests around Bukit Lawang. This is mostly due to the fact that there was a feeding platform until 2016 in support of a rehabilitation centre. In the end there was no centre anymore but tourists could feed the animals for a serious amount of money. This is off course not in the best interest of the animals so it was shut down -luckily- in 2016. Anyway, the apes are still roaming the forest as wild animals now. Some guides still feed them but in general they try to keep it as natural as possible. Our own guide was definitely against these practices and condenmed it multiple times.
After 2 hours of crawling, climbing roots and walking through the forest we encountered a mother and a baby. YES! We where still amazed by these animals, it is a thing of beauty to see them climbing from tree to tree. After taking the obligatory pictures we moved on to the second spot. We where walking nicely when Adi saw a orang utang, suddenly turned around and told us to RUN! We ran for a 100 metres until we lost sight of the ape. Apparently this was a known orang utang that was abused as a child and stayed in the rehab centre. Our guide was bitten by her before and didn’t want that to happen again 😮
We continued the hike and saw a hornbill, a thomas leaf monkey and some macaques. It started raining and the guide decided too take a shorter route to the river because the rain would make the waterlevel too high to cross. Nobody ever told us off course that we had to cross a river 🙂 No worries, they had some inner tubes from truck tires and a lot of courage/experience to bring us safely to the other side (we hoped). It was quite an adventure and the guides had some serious trouble to make it across with us. Sadly no pictures of this since our camera was packed in a plastic bag… We where already curious for the ‘traditional rafts’ to make it back to the village the next day. The river was quite strong and the rapids high…
That evening we slept in a nice but very basic jungle hut. We played some cards while we waited for our lovely dinner. After some hours of playing shithead we went to bed to gather some energy for the next day.
The second day we hiked straight through some jungle and a rubber plantation. We took a – much needed – jungle shower in a beautiful waterfall and took a short but intense and awesome tubing ride back to the village on the strong river from the day before. It was a very nice experience, thanks to Adi and his porters.
This would be the last real jungle for a while and it was definately worth it!
Next stop: Lake Toba, another beautiful part of Sumatra.
Jungle trekking in Bukit Lawang: https://bukitlawang-wildlife.blogspot.co.uk/