Monday, November 19, 2012

The River

Our klotok took us from the port at Kumai on the Kumai River to the Sekonyer River (unfortunately cloudy and polluted by tailings from illegal gold mining upstream), which runs along the northern edge of Tanjung Puting National Park.

The Sekonyer River is a wide, calm, muddy river, full of crocodiles (3 types, said our hosts: regular crocs, caimans, and the boat captain, as crocodile is a slang term for playboy in Indonesian).  On the river, as we made our way towards the park, we passed through an area in which the river was flanked by palms, then one flanked by a type of pandanus, and then finally into the more mixed lowland swampy, peaty tropical heath where the orangutans reside.


We passed by one or two very small, very poor villages (more on them later), with houses built on stilts and stray wooden canoes docked all around in anticipation of the rainy season when all is flooded:

This village had a little floating vegetable garden growing on the riverbank:

While we were heading up the river towards Camp Leakey, it rained.  Hard.

But for the most part the river was quite beautiful:

The sunsets, in particular, were awesome:

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