Wednesday, 23 July 2008

The Warm Fuzzies

While seeing orangutans at the rehabilitation centre was great, I was particularly looking forward to jungle trekking in the hope that we might actually see them in the wild. Our wonderful guide, Erwin, said it was possible to see on but that we shouldn't count on it on only a one day trek. Although he pushed for a two or three day trek we passed up on the opportunity of sleeping in the jungle - I've clearly turned soft and Hannah squeals every time she see's a crawlie. I knew it would be a great trip anyway and I tried not to get my hopes up too much. So you can imagine Erwin's surprise when we saw not 1, not 2, but...... wait for it........12 orangutans. I know!

The first three we saw within about half an hour. One was playing in the tree tops with her baby (soooooo cute) and the other was busy making a nest which she soon curled up in and stared down at us staring up at her. I was still excited when not much further on we came across a big male hanging from the branches and looking very regal. He knew he was boss. Later when we retraced our steps he was crashing through the canopy, hot on the heels of a young lady. Luckily his ardour was dampened when he noticed the small audience - I really could do without watching orangutan jiggy jiggy.

We kept walking further and further into the jungle, listening to the sounds of cicadas, hornbills and gibbons, and kept stumbling across more hairy beasts. I don't know who was more excited me or Erwin, who kept high fiving me and jumping up and down gleefully. He really couldn't believe we had seen so many and kept reminding us how lucky we were. Although after a while he started to look worried and mentioned that he hoped we didn't bump into Meena - a particularly nasty tempered orangutan who has allegedly taken chunks out of 80 people! I was glad when we didn't see her.

It was a truly amazing day and I've still got the warm fuzzies thinking about it. Erwin was a fab guide (he is able to speak orangutan, hornbill and gibbon and he quickly picked up Hannah speak copying her squeals perfectly!) so if you're heading to Bukit Lawang look him up. Indonesia is going to have to work really hard to trump this day. My grin is huge.

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