Thursday, March 12, 2009

Day Two On the River in Kalimantan

Here is an overview map of Indonesia, showing Borneo’s relationship to the area. Palangkaraya is just above the “I” in Indonesia.

The next day we take one of several tributaries of the river and take note of the color change of the water with each new route. From muddy brown, copper colored, and black with various hues in between. All surrounded with an amazing variety of green from the shores with the sky providing the most change to the landscape.

Towards the middle of the day we encountered a tropical downpour and the crew scurried to put up protective plastic tarps completely surrounding the boat. I felt I was in a cave.

But before that suddenly the boat slows and the crew shows us several Orangutans. They are orphans who were discovered near the gold mines, their mothers having been killed by poachers. After they reach a certain age they will be transported to a larger protective national park where they will live in the wild. At any given time I could see seven out of the nine that live there. Three wardens are within 100 yards to watch over them and provide them with bananas and other foods.

The boat is anchored and we slowly drift a little closer and watch them for most of an hour.

The picture below shows four Orangutans. Can you find them? One is at the very top. There is a platform at the bottom where the bananas are placed. Several monkeys could also be seen but they seemed of small import.

And we got closest to this one in a Bamboo tree. Another is partially hidden but visible.
After the downpour we were treated to a motorized canoe ride similar to those constantly seen moving up and down the rivers. We ventured off the river into a maze of waterways some of them very narrow providing some up close views.

We dock for the night where the canoe came to pick us up. I arose early and captured this sunrise.

Up to now we have had the boat to ourselves. Today, 6 others will join us for the next 2 days.


vikkitikkitavi said...

No Dr. Zaius spottings, I suppose.

GETkristiLOVE said...

Or Marlon Brando as Colonel Kurtz...