We're currently in Berestagi, a cool, high country retreat for the city folk of Medan. Mike and I climbed a volcano today. Great little climb with rewards of a proper crater and heaps of eggy smelling steam firing out all over the place. The kind folk at the end of the trip had installed several hot spring pools so we had a good soak before joining Helen and the kids at a fancy hotel swimming pool where we sipped on beer and fancy milkshakes.
We've been here 2 days now. Before that we spent 5 nights in Ketambe, a small village at the entrance of Gunung Leuser National Park. We had a lovely 4 days staying with a Pak and Mama Mus and 5 of their 8 children. Iris spent most of her time playing Barbies and putting on nail polish with their 6 year old daughter Atus. Their 12 year old son, Salaat, took us bush bashing to see a lovely 30 foot waterfall.
One of the days, Pak Mus took us trekking in the jungle to find Orangutans. It was a full on day but we all coped well despite feeling a bit on edge about all the leeches ( prize for most leeches spotted to Nico, prize for most bloody socks to Helen). We had almost given up hope of seeing an Orangutan that day when we came across a 50 year old male high in the trees at about 2pm. After swinging around in the tree tops, eating fruit in the most gravity deying way, he ventured down to check us out and sat for a couple of minutes staring hard at us. As I looked into his face I could see why they're called people of the forest .
The other days in Ketambe we chilled out a lot in our little bungalows but also took daily walks to spot wildlife. We saw macaques, thomas leaf monkeys and a gorgeous black gibbon. We swam in the almighty Alas river to cool off. A couple of us got sick and recovered quickly.
I continue to be amazed at how cheap it is to travel here. We are alway under budget and have been spending only around $65 a day over the past couple of weeks for the 4 of us.
Love to all at home, Kris