Tanjung Puting National Park – Day 1

Tanjung Puting Day 1 Title Pic

4th November 2011

Tanjung Puting National Park – Day 1

At 8am we headed off, from the harbour at Kumai towards the open river canal that lead into the Tanjung Puting National Park. And I was beaming with excitement…I could not wait to get to the jungle and see the orangutans! This is why I travelled all the way here.Within the first hour we had seen a crocodile basking in the sun on the edge of the riverbank, but it soon scurried away when it heard the motor of the klotok {shame about that!}. The crew were very excited about spotting it! I thought…”Ahhh…it’s tiny compared to our crocs back home in the Northern Territory!”

It wasn’t until two hours in to the journey, that I got really excited! This was when I saw my first “wild” orangutan! So cool! He was sitting up high in a tree, it was as if he was posing for the camera! We stopped for a while and just watched the wild orangutan.

Our first stop was at Tanjung Harapan. I had a walk around the information centre before lunch. Lunch was amazing! I had already decided that I would very much like to take the chef home with me ha! My first lunch on the klotok was steamed rice, king prawns {that were HUGE!} in sweet and sour sauce, vegies, tempe goreng and mango! All of my favourite foods!!! =)

Throughout lunch and after lunch, there was a small drama going on with another klotok, that was parked just a little way up the river. Apparently the captain on the other klotok had an insect in his ear {a suspected cockroach! My thoughts: “Great! Can I cover up from head to toe?!”} So, my captain had to go on that klotok while that captain was taken by speedboat back to Kumai….and my chef would also become captain!! He was multi-skilled! 🙂

At about 2pm, we walked past the information centre and camp area of Tanjung Harapan and headed into the jungle. My first orangutan sighting was a HUGE male orangutan, it scared me! He was huge, and the rustling in the trees that he made as he moved around, was very loud! He was first to make his way down to the feeding station and the noises he made, to scare off anyone from taking his bananas, was also scary for me!

Next came a cute, small orangutan, although he was wary of the big, dominant male, when the male moved away, then the smaller one would come down from the trees to steal some bananas and run off with them again. Later, another smaller female came with a baby. It was fascinating to just watch them, although I was scared every time the big, dominant male came back!

Tanjung Puting Day 1 Pic Collage1

We must have stayed and watched the orangutans for one hour or more, it was nice as there were only a couple of other tourists there. It was a little difficult to take photos of the orangutans as they moved pretty quickly and swiftly! I noticed lots of strange insects and huge ants!

We walked back to the klotok and when all the other klotok had gone, we headed further upstream of the river, deeper into the jungle. I saw lots of Proboscis monkeys up high in the trees. The proboscis monkey is a strange looking animal…he is nicknamed: ‘Monyet Belanda‘ – ‘Dutch Monkey’ due to the fact he has a very large, long nose …apparently like a Dutch person! Ha! They also have huge pot-bellied tummies and long arms and legs. They were almost flying through the trees…they were leaping high up in the tree tops from one tree to another tree. Some were settled, sitting perched in a high tree next the edge of the river. As the sun set, it was amazing to watch the proboscis monkeys just sitting there…not so far away from the boat…perhaps they were also watching as the sun set in the jungle!

Tanjung Puting Day 1 Pic Collage 2

Just as dusk was upon us, the problem started with the generator – dodgy battery! So, this afternoon we had lost our captain {as he replaced the captain on the other klotok with the cockroach that had crawled inside his ear!} and now we had a dead battery, which meant no light and no clean water!

I was desperate for a shower, especially as I hadn’t braved the cold shower {mandi} in the morning and ….after the long walk in the jungle earlier. So, I ended up standing on the back deck of the boat, in my undies and singlet, and pouring cold water over me from the buckets of spare water we had! Classic! I didn’t care, it was almost dark anyway, and I just needed a wash!

Dinner consisted of steamed rice, veggies, king prawns and yummy fish…and all by candle light, with the sounds of the jungle! Perfect! It was so quiet…I loved it! Peace – just what I needed! It was an early night in the darkness of the klotok down the river, in the jungles of Tanjung Puting National Park!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *