Friday, December 12, 2008

Have a nice Fall

Day 276
When I woke up I decided to not go on the tour. It was quite odd though that despite this decision I still packed my small backpack as if I were going. I guess I was going.

Shortly after breakfast our things were put into storage and I was following everyone into the jungle. After about five minutes I wanted to head back, but I still went forward. I quickly fell several minutes behind everyone. It was probably for the best though, this way I would have no one but myself to whine to.

Soon we were walking through a rubber tree plantation. I didn't hear much of the explanation though, I was panting through it all.

After about 45 minutes we saw our first orangutan. The guides got it out of the trees by feeding it bananas. I don't know if I quite agreed with this, but it did mean that we would get to see them. He was very docile and moved almost as if he was posing for us. After a while he grew board of us and wandered away through the trees.

Soon we found another kind of monkey, I don't remember the name, just the nick name, funky monkey, due to it's mohawk like hair do. This seemed to make the first orangutan jealous because he came back to pose for some more shots.

There is one aggressive orangutan named Mina. The goal is to stay away from her. When the porter told us to change directions as she was headed towards us we tried to move quietly away, but she was too fast with us. To our surprise she also had a baby with her. Mina proceeded to sit in a tree and stare at us for some time with a very angry look, but never made a move to do anything. Her baby played in the branches over her head. In case you were wondering she is very recognizable by a large scar on her forehead, some years ago someone tried to kill her.

About 40 minutes later we found a male sulking around a hut. When we went in the hut to get a better look we found that a female was in the ceiling. Apparently the male moves around the female in circles as his mating dance. As we were interrupting we quickly moved on.

Not an hour later we found another orangutan. This one was super friendly and let some people in the group feed it and even touch its hand. My left over fear from the Batu Cave monkeys caused me to stay away.

I was very tired at this point and my prior foot injury was getting worse. I also had a pretty bad attitude. I kept falling way behind everyone, and this just added to it. I don't think I was ever really alone though. The porter was in the jungle (off the trail) looking for monkeys, every time there was a fork in the trail or I wanted some water (he was kind enough to carry mine for me) he seemed to pop out of no where before I could even ask.

Lunch was quite good. It consisted of rice, an omelet and some chips in a banana leaf.

The last 1.5 hours were horrendous. It was either almost straight up or straight down mud slick hills. I fell down more times than I could count and I was covered in mud. My foot wasn't helping the matter any, I think it might have been why I was falling so often. The porter tried to help me, but I must have been twice his size and I was nervous about taking him down with me. For the last and worst bit of it our guide, Ali, backtracked and helped me down each step. I was close to panic at this point. We had been walking for about 7 hours now and the trail just kept getting worse. Seeing the orangutans had been nice, but was not worth the effort I had to go through. I tried to joke with Ali that it would be faster and quite possibly more fun to simply roll down the hill. Ali didn't seem to think this was funny.

When I finally got to the bottom I was sweating quite a bit and jumping in the river actually seemed like a good idea to me. As I was changing into my bathing suit I found that one of my socks was full of blood. My first thought was what else could I have done to myself, but it was actually just a leach bite. It did bleed forever though. After swimming, well sitting on a rock in the water, I changed into some mud free and dry clothes. I was feeling a bit better.

Dinner was quite good, there were some curries and rice. The tea was fabulous. I couldn't believe that the porters were able to cook something so good in the middle of the jungle when I can't even put anything half good together with a full kitchen. After eating I went to grab my head lamp as it was growing dark. On the way to the tent I slipped on a rock. Immediately pain went through my food. Whatever had been an annoyance before was an actual injury now. I stuck my foot in the river for a bit hoping to reduce the swelling.

With Ali's help (I couldn't put weight on my foot at all) I got up the hill to the tent. One of the porters wanted to give me a foot massage. I told Ali that all I wanted was an x-ray. He persisted. At least it didn't last long, although it seemed to do nothing but hurt. I was pretty much stuck in the same place for the rest of the night. Going to the bathroom was the worst. As I couldn't walk myself I worried that I wouldn't be able to balance. Somehow, after being helped to a secluded spot I managed to do it without peeing on myself.

The sleeping arrangements were terrible. There were 6 mats and 9 people on the hardly masked rocky ground. I was next to one of the porters and he kept rolling on me and waking me up, that was if I could even find a position sorta comfortable enough to fall asleep in. I spent most of the night awake. I did, however, dream that an
orangutan came and chatted with us.

No comments: