Trekking: Indonesia

February 8, 1998 8:42 pm

This month, our two adventurers, and some friends, experience the beauty of Delta Gecko Village in Pangandaran. Rob and Annie packed their bags after wedding at the end of August aid set off for an eight-month trek around the world. Ottawa Life Magazine is tracing the couple’s steps every month and telling their stories. Their adventures this month start at a dam in Indonesia, where they arrived with friends Elinore and Dave, sweaty and hot and ready for a swim. The dam had three levels of waterfalls and the group climbed all three. The water was blue and green with thick, lush foliage. It was exactly how Rob and Annie had dreamed Indonesia would be like…

Behind the last cascading falls we found the mouth of a cave. The guys ventured in but the girls didn’t go far, as its slimy walls and dark existence made them feel claustrophobic…

Rob and Dave soon discovered a flashlight was necessary when their first attempt to explore landed them in pitch black. Swimming with his head above water and a flashlight between his teeth, Rob led the way back into the cave.

In order to travel its length the guys had to crawl through some sections and swim in others. At some points the breathing space between water and ceiling was only a matter of about a foot. Neither of the guys had ever done anything like this before.

Every twist and turn, the weight of claustrophobia, and occasionally the dimming light, made for exciting, authentic exploration.

The route eventually ended in a huge cavern which was big enough to stand in and walk around. Stalactites dangled from the ceiling, glittering like diamonds when the light passed over them.

It was difficult for the guys to leave, but it was getting late. They promised to return….

The next day we took a bemo to the Green Canyon. Elinore and Dave joined us again, as did Kevin from England and Cami from Paris.

We rented a boat for 24,000 rp (C$12). The boat was similar to a dugout canoe and brought us up the beautiful green river. We spotted a lizard and some birds we’d never seen before.

We arrived at the canyon 20 minutes later. The boat anchored, we got out to explore the 50-metre stalactite walls that were dripping large droplets of water. During the rainy season the droplets are transformed into a steady stream of water. With the light shining through a canopy of trees above, it was like being inside an emerald. When unable to swim any longer, we had to climb the big rocks, while making sure we didn’t slip on their wet, slimy surface. Kevin climbed cautiously, as his left eye was already black and blue from slipping on a rock at the dam a few days before. His injury made us realize the importance of safety and caution while travelling. We would hate to find ourselves in a third-world country hospital.

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