Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tanjung Puting: Hiking Around

In between orangutan viewings and rolling on the river, we took a hike through the jungle in Tanjung Puting park:

The forest was quite thick and quite wet, even though it was not yet full on rainy season.  Our understanding is that most of the area where we hiked is inundated with at least a meter of water during the height of rainy season:

Lots of tree roots:

Lots of plank walkways laid down by the park staff to traverse the really swampy areas.  I learned the hard way that these moss-covered planks were quite slippery- I slipped off, and then while I was trying to right myself, I slipped again.  Sigh.

Eileen found this weird pod thing:

We saw some massive trees... just massive.  This one our guide told us was ironwood.  It was hard to capture on camera, but it was so, so tall, and had these giant root buttresses:


Eileen was commonly seen this way, trying to find the best camera angle for snapping a bug or mushroom:

The bark on this tree was so cool... like camouflage.  Anybody know what it is?  I am struggling to find it on the internet:

Our guide, JuJu, found us this natural jungle swing, so the ladies had a go:

Chrissy looked a bit nervous about the vines load-bearing qualities, but ultimately enjoyed herself:

A good hike:

My only complaint, which Eileen might share, was the leeches.  The wet leaf litter on the forest floor was rife with tiny little leeches that would grab onto your ankles when you walked by.  Some of the guides walked barefoot through the forest because, as they said, it was easier to see the leeches on bare feet and ankles.  Maybe so, but you wouldn't catch me walking through that forest with no shoes.

Anyway, leeches are gross, but now we know you can get them off by either burning them or spraying them with Deet.  We also know that leech wounds bleed incessantly... their mouths must have some sort of anticoagulant in them, because the wounds never stopped bleeding... see Eileen's leg below.  I also had a bite on my foot that bled through a sock and 3 bandaids before slowing down.  Gross:


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