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Into the Jungle

Last minute changes again (I love not having a schedule). I flew with Ranny to Sorong. Along the way she told me about some guests she was having the day we arrived. They are reptile lovers and had plans of trekking into the jungle in hopes of finding snakes. I’ve been itching to see the jungle and the creatures within it. Most people visit Raja Ampat for its underwater beauty. I was curious to see if the beauty continued above. So off we went, on a three day trek into the unknown, with three local guides.

It was so hot, and I didn’t have the proper gear, but made do with what I had. We trekked for two hours until we made it to one of the guide’s houses; this would be our base camp. After dinner we set out to complete a night hike. I sure am glad we did.

One tree looked like it had Christmas lights on it. It was filled with fire flies. The canopy floor was also lit up with other insets. We saw a tarantula and numerous other interesting insects. The highlight of the night for me was seeing “glow in the dark” mushrooms. These mushrooms were a neon green colour… absolutely amazing.

The next day we hiked to a cave with hopes of finding some snakes. The cave entrance was about 4-5 meters high, so to get there I had to climb up some vines (sorry mom). Once we made a bit of noise, we heard this loud commotion. We looked up and saw these massive bats flying above us. At first I assumed they were fruit bats because they were so large, but no, they were just huge bats. My guess is their wing span was around 3-4 feet.

Arriving inside the cave, we saw a very small species of another bat. Because we are on an island, most creatures are normally smaller than their mainland relatives; small, but stunning. The amount of colours and diversity is mind boggling. For instance every tree has its own eco-system. I saw a number of spiders with horny shells – go figure.

Our base camp was situated along a river which was perfect for bathing. At night the river filled with large shrimp. You can see their eyes glowing beneath the surface. We never did find any snakes and as half of them are deadly, I didn’t mind too much. Once the jungle trek was over, Ranny joined the American couple at a nearby homestay. I am now off to Waisai where I can get situated, and find a place to call home for the next two months.

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