Fresh from the hustle of Jakarta we flew to Medan. Wow. although a city similar to Jakarta, Medan is very different. The first thing to hit me was the heat - very consuming. The hastle we got in Jakarta seemed like p**** cats compared to the horrible claustrophobic intensity of the hustlers in Medan. Luckily we didnt have to stay there long and travelled (for 1 pound) the 4 hours to utter paradise - Bukit Lawang. Oh My Gosh this place is paradise. Tropical climate, friendly locals and a resort the wipes the pants of Centre Parcs!! We stayed at the Eco Lodge, a sustainable tourist enviroment where your money directly helps the Orang-utans. Oh and the Orang-utans are out of this world - one of my most treasured experiences to date. We first went to an organised feeding session where keepers of the forest give them milk. No real reson for that other than it attracts them and the Sumatran Orangutan Projects are able to make well needed fundingt from tourists wanting to seee them. One was caged and although this was upsetting to see, her story was even more upsetting. She was taken as a baby from the forest (which meant her mother was slaughtered) to order for a very rich family inb Medan where she was kept in a small cage until early adulthood when the (F##ckers) no longer wanted her. the SOS resucesd her and although they have tried several release attempts, she craves human company and until further rehabilitation will not survive in the national park. Next was a 5 hour trek in the jungle where we saw 5 Orang-utans living as they should in the wild - well a protectrd National Park anyway. This was incredible. 1 meter away from me at times and their beauty was indescribeble. check out the pics. After a gentle ride on the river in an old infalted truck inner tube we bade farewell to Bukit Lawang and made our way to Laker Toba where I am writing this. Im having an incredicle time - one I shall never forget and 1 that I can truely say has changed the focus of my life.
More tomorrow - the others I am with are going to experience the local Mushrooms - if you get what I mean and I want to be there as Official Photographer to the madness!!!
L:aters, Si xx