Last Sunday after I had written and uploaded my pictures, Doni and I went to the same place we we had been yesterday to have a drink. By that time he really got on my nerves. As he wanted to spend all the time he had with me, and I wasn’t that enthusiastic anymore. Due to the fact he was saying to me that it would be dangerous for me to go travelling by myself and I really needed a guide to help me travelling. I was so looking forward to the arrival of Gabi the next day. So I asked him to drop me off at Ecolodge. He asked me whether I wanted to have a drink with him that evening. I told him I needed my own space for a while. Or in other words, bugger off for now. I went to bed early and woke up at six o’clock all exciting for the arrival of Gabrielle. It was unrealistic she would be here in a few hours. Unreal and thank god. Donny and I waited for her at the busstation and there she was, yeahhh my dear friend!! Absolutely fantastic to share this experience with her. We had lunch and chatted away, it was all good. We decided to do a 3 hour walk the next morning. We started to walk a bit around town, and of course it started raining. When it rains, it pours. We forgot to bring our poncho’s so we searched for shelter at a small place. Waiting for the rain to pass by, wishful thinking. When the rain got a bit less, we arranged a becak but halfway up hill he turned around. Apparently his becak was not up for our weight or better said did not have the power to get us over the hill so he returned to the place where he’d picked us up. So the owner of the place drove us with his motorbike to the nice place I wanted to show Gabi, first me and then her. There is always a solution to everything, having said that always with the help of the friendly Indonesian people! We had a nice dinner at a local place and turned in early. The next morning we woke up at six and I got very excited again to finally do some walking and trying to find the orangutans! We had breakfast and geared up for the walk, binocular, poncho’s, camera, we were ready to hit the jungle. Walking in this area means sweating like a mad man, my shirt was almost soken by the time we got to the entrance of the park Gunung Leuser. We had a beautiful walk along the river before getting there. After we paid our tax to bring our camera to the park we started walking up hill. And then all of a sudden we encountered Mina and Debby. A beautiful female orangutan with her baby girl. The fact that we saw them so soon is that they have a feeding station in the park. The park consists of wild orangutans and orangutans who first spend time at the orangutang sanctuary. Most of them had been held as pets by human beings, and when they got too old or too big or too dangerous, they were brought to the sanctuary. They keep them there until they can survive in the wild. The feeding station is a bit against my nature, but still the tourist are able to see the wild orangutans in their native habitat which is great. The orangutan have the choice themselves to either come to the feeding station or get as far away as they want. So in a way by visiting the park, seeing the orangutans, you as a tourist are supporting their journey into the wild again. Which I think is a good thing.
It was such a joy to watch them move and eat and interact, we share 96% of the same DNA. It makes you watch them with humble interest, seeing their faces, their hands, their feet. With a deep respect I enjoyed the time with this endangered species. Homo sapiens has been taking away their habitat, now it is our duty to secure their future. I felt truly blessed to have a moment with them. There were a few different monkeys there as well. Unfortunately you do not see that many birds there, or at least not in this part of the park. We had a good walk back to the lodge and spent the afternoon on our terrace watching the rain. The rainforest is all about rain and forest indeed. The next day we decided to do the 3 hour walk again, we encountered 7 orangutans in total! Three mothers with their baby’s and one single female. We did a different trail and saw brown gibbons, they were another highlight to watch them in the wild. Afterwards we had a quick stop at the internet cafe to check flights for our next destination; Pulau Weh, an island on the north side of Sumatra, near Bandu Aceh. The area which was badly ruined during the Tsunami of 2004. I checked my e-mails and received an e-mail from my mum. The subject was; Floortje. I knew right away what the e-mail was about. The dog of my parents had passed away. My sweet dear Floortje whom I loved so much. That was sad news and I couldn’t help but not feeling well that further day. It made me homesick and had aching pain in my body for the rest of the day. Floortje had died peacefully and had the age of 13 years and 4 months. She was a part of our family and I will miss her when I get back. We left the next morning, while having breakfast my mobile rang and I got a nice surprise because Paul was calling me. He had been reading my blog and noticed my Indonesian mobile so he directly checked it. Hahahaha, I love those actions! We took a mini bus to the airport of Medan, got ourselves a ticket, checked in, an hour later we were up north and took a taxi to the ferry. By mistake… because we are stupid tourist for that moment, we got ourselves a nice seat in business class and watched karaoke clips for another hour to finally get to our second destination: Pulau Weh. An island also hit by the Tsunami 2004. The Aceh area was in civil war when the Tsunami happened, afterwards they made peace to reconstruct the area. It is very Islamic and very remote. It is low season which is nice we are the only guest here now. We have got a nice cabin overlooking the sea and right on the beach. Couldn’t wish for something else right now. This Friday evening we have internet access for the first time! Yihoooo!
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