the mossy forest in Bahau Hulu, East Kalimantan, Indonesia small creek in the Bahau Hulu forest, East Kalimantan, Indonesia flower on Kakaban Island, East Kalimantan, Indonesia baby turtles on Sangalaki Island, East Kalimantan, Indonesia fisherman with a lobster on Derawan Island, East Kalimantan, Indonesia children playing on the beach of Derawan Island, East Kalimantan, Indonesia sunset over Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia catching fish from the Bahau River, East Kalimantan, Indonesia cooking coffee in the Bahau Hulu rainforest, East Kalimantan, Indonesia winding river from the air, East Kalimantan, Indonesia sandy beach on Derawan Island, East Kalimantan, Indonesia kids playing football on Derawan Island, East Kalimantan, Indonesia sea turtle on Derawan Island, East Kalimantan, Indonesia proboscis monkeys in Tarakan, East Kalimantan, Indonesia Borneo sunset in Sabah, Malaysia pier on Manukan Island, Sabah, Malaysia rainforest at the Kayan River, East Kalimantan, Indonesia butterflies at the Kayan River, East Kalimantan, Indonesia

Friday, 18 March 2011
Location: Budapest, Hungary

Leaving Tomorrow

We aren't going to blog as actively this year as we did in the Philippines or in India but every now and then we'll report shortly about our whereabouts. And we'll do this here on this site.

But where exactly are we going to this time? To Borneo, which is the third largest island in the world and where South-East Asia's last large rainforest survives. The Borneo rainforest boasts one of the biggest biodiversities in the World: there are as many plant species here as in the whole of Africa and as many tree species that allegedly you can walk for days till you see the same type twice. And well, some of them are as high as 60 metres and the canopy so thick that having a GPS signal is hopeless, not to mention a mobile network. On one such tree patient scientists have counted 1000 insect species. Here lives the orang utan, the "man of the forest" in Malaysian.

Our target is this heart of Borneo, which is a rather difficult undertaking since thick forests are not famous for being prepared for the casual tourist. Our simple plan is to take a boat up a river into the interior of the island and to do a few days' jurassic park trekking there among tree giants and ancient species. (The return trip? That's TBD - to be defined later.) We could find a WWF colleague who is going upriver at that time and we could arrange our trip together, so he can be of some help to us. All we know about him is that "his English is limited, but he is a very good and trustworthy man and he is accustomed to Western tourists". That's at least reassuring and we feel our destination at our fingertips.

The name of the river (Sungai Kayan) is not too well known at home but it's not a tiny one: it's 800km long and it will take 2 days until we reach our destination village.

That's it for now, next time maybe in 2 days from Hong Kong.

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