Saturday, April 9, 2011

KALAWEIT, Indonesia - Boxing day!!! (Palangkaraya)

What a fantastic day!! So glad I went out.

We hit 'town' at about 9am...too early for the shopping centre, but in time for the street markets. And, wow, this what it was all about - The raw, gritty, at times stinky streets of Palangkaraya. Sophie & Jean-Paul went and did their thing, so Adam and I hung out. I would have found a shopping trip, even for an hour, a bit lonely and strange in this little town, so it was good to have someone to wander the unpaved streets with.

Fruits were in abundance, clothes were everywhere, but what did we do? We bought ice cream! It's the little things, even after one day in the jungle!

We walked around and found a fish market too, another world from Tsukiji.
The place did not smell too good and the floor was just mud with a few pieces of wood attempting to facilitate the walk.

I managed to pick up a few goodies, enjoying the exchange rate and the general value of the rupiah.
We were picked up and whisked off to a shopping centre where, it was not even 11am and we were trying to get KFC!!! It was the iced pepsi that did it for me! It is unbelievably hot here and hit 30 degrees by 10am if that gives you any idea.

The shopping centre was dead quiet, but it was early.

Lunch time, well, officially anyway, lunch, round two. On the menu spicy chicken, rice and FRESH AVOCADO juice!!! Yummy! oh, and fresh melon juice too. Well, I simply had to.

I was apparently very hungry. Perhaps my spicy noodles and and boiled egg for breakfast wasn't enough, although, it must be said that they were delicious and became my favourite treat at camp (and even now I squeal with excitement when I see a packet of mi goreng!)

After that great food, we went to the Kalaweit office. We met the staff there and also saw some of the monkeys and gibbons that were in the space outside.

We loaded the boat up to the max on our return, four volunteers, Emil, the cook and her son and another worker at the camp. The staff at camp rotated regularly so they would live at camp for a week or so and then return home.

We made a stop at the 'riverside shop'.
It was very well presented and very quaint indeed. At the house behind, there were 4 very cute girls mesmerised by the fact that there were foreigners in their midst.

They happily posed for pictures as did we when they took out their parent's phones. Such a lovely moment.

The rest of the journey back was a little disconcerting. The boat chugged a couple of times, and then actually stopped, twice! My heart stopped each time, imagining the worst. we would be floating through the dark night in crocodile infested waters and shore was miles away.

Save the hitches, it was a lovely ride home.
Actually, this river didn't have crocs, so I later learnt...

After a while, with more petrol in the tank, and there was no more chugging, Adam shouted out and pointed up to the trees. I eventually saw what he was pointing to and saw something orange at the top of a tree! Wow! An orang-utan! No, it was a probiscus monkey, you know the one with the funny nose!
Nature in action, lovely!

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