Sunday 12:30 am ….. The only way to see ORANGUTANS was to TREK…..
So I had to TREK!! But it was worth it!!
We saw a mother orangutan and her daughter playing in their nest up in the trees and then swinging and hanging around in the branches!!
Yes…. I also saw birds, snakes and interesting vegetation (ferns, two kinds of chocolate, rubber trees dripping milky white sap into funny little cups…) and yes ….. I saw primates (there are 8 species in Northern Sumatra) including ORANGUTANS!!! We saw 4 different kinds of primates including a solitary big grey guy just strolling up the path!! He stood on his hind legs, decided we were too big and to many to mess with, and instead walked around us in the jungle and then continued up the path. Nice monkey encounters and great plants
AND best of all: YES .. I saw
… a mother and baby Orangutan!! Impressive!! Wonderful!!! Worth ALL of the effort to get here!!
At first the baby was rustling around in the treetop leaves that are her nest, throwing leaves around! With the mother hanging out on a nearby branch watching the Trekkers going by…
Then the baby put on a real show … Swinging in the branches, climbing on mom, and doing feats of strength … Hanging by one hand for a very long time and then hanging by one foot for a very long time! Adorable
Another group of tourists had food ( a no no, but what are you going to do!!) so they came very close and ate cucumber and rambatams (red hairy little round fruit with a big seed and white flesh – a bit like lychee. The mom just put the whole thing in her mouth, spit out the husk and then spit out the seed …. I think she gave a couple of pieces to the baby, because the people feeding only fed the mother …
A once in a lifetime thing!!
Nando, my Sherpa!, very politely asked me “You don’t do this very often, do you??” We went very slowly!! And the uphill steps were dreadful!! Treacherous for me with slippery mud, uneven surfaces, roots to trip you up, huge trees fallen across the way, and did I mention mid-day tropical rainforest heat!!
I didn’t go at the optimum time of day, but my viewing was delightful, and shared with only two other teams. A couple with huge cameras, and a woman from Adelaide on her way to Sri Lanka.
In preparation for the trek, I had walked down to the bridge and back the day before and had a small beer at the hotel on the other side. ( mind you … At that point, IT absolutely WAS NOT trekking warm-up, because I still thought that I could watch a feeding!!)
The bridge steps were difficult AND that round trip was an adventure for lazy me!!.
After our trek, I bought my guide, Hadi, and my “stick/Sherpa”, Nando, beers in the same place.. We were all happy for a refreshing beverage.
Back at my abode and I am now watching it RAIN in the Rainforest (at 5:10 pm). We are having a pretty impressive thunder storm at the moment with more of that monsoon like downpour!! Plus thunder and bright lightening. It’s a great storm! The electricity is out!
Clouds keep rolling in so that more and more of the jungle side of the river is disappearing and turning white!!
It looks wonderful AND every time I think I have never seen it rain THAT hard … it rains HARDER!! And the thunder and lightening gets louder and brighter!! The perfect end to a day of TREKKING!!