Friday, January 2, 2009

Indonesia Part I

As the four of us arrived in Sumatra, Indonesia, our first objection was to get straight to the jungles of Bukit Lawang. As we waited for a bus with 15 Indonesians trying vigorously to ask us questions in English, I felt a bit scared and a little nervous. I'm in Sumatra, the worlds largest Muslim nation while creepy Muslim music/chants are being cranked from the many mosques outside. Everybody was trying to help us or rip us off, and you couldn't distinguish the bad guy from the good guy.

As we arrived to the small village of Bukit Lawang, everyone was waving and greeting us. It was nice to be outside of all the hustle and bustle especially when you are staring at monkeys and waterfalls. The four of us then rented the biggest bungalow in the villiage and we had the best view out of anyone (See pics and video).

Bukit Lawang is known for its famous orang-utan spottings and intense jungle trekking. The four of us commenced on a 3 night 4 day jungle trekk with our Indonesian guide Eru and a few other local village men. Each day was physically exhausting, but filled with many orang-utans sightings. At this point, I had become a man-like Sigourney Weaver from the movie "Gorillas in the Mist." Not bad. For 3 nights we slept outside, and each camp site (two bamboo sticks and a tarp) was accommodated with its own 25 foot waterfall. When trekking for 5-6 hours each day, our natural and special reward was to go for a swim, a wash, and the occasional poopie.

As the jungle trekk went on, creepy crawlers and leeches continued to infiltrate our pants on a hourly basis. It wasn't until the last evening during our wash we thought our buddy Dan had discovered the worst possible place for a hungry leech. All laughs unfortunately were turned on me at around 9:00 pm as we got ready for bed. Humiliated and embarrassed, I slipt into first place on having the worst possible place for anything to be. I have never felt so violated in my entire life, and the experience actually humbled me. Please e-mail for details if curiosity consumes your thoughts.

After the jungle trekking we headed to the Island of Palua Weh for a little scuba diving session. Being surrounded by Morray eels, the underwater life was beautiful as it usually is. I even got to help a sea turtle free itself from some fishing rope and I swear the turtle winked at me as a "thank you" as he left my hands. Almost convinced.

Leaving the Islands, we arrived back on the mainland of Banda Aceh for two days of surfing. Banda Aceh is where the 2004 tsunami formed and hit the hardest claiming 61,000 lives. I have to admit, being out in the ocean was a little intimidating looking back at palm trees that were snapped in two like match sticks. Daily sunsets proceeded and the views were Sumazing (Sumatra + Amazing = Sumazing).

To be continued........

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