A Short Trek in Palangkaraya

3 min read

We were visiting Palangkaraya just before Christmas this year for my sister-in-law’s graduation. It was only for a few days but in that time we had a spare day for sightseeing that we used to go for a short look round Sebangau National Park.

It was great! My sister-in-law had a mate who organised things (I think she works for the orangutan conservancy or something like that… I can’t remember the name of the organisation though) so we drove down to somewhere I don’t know the name of about 40 minutes out of town and set off. The sun was absolutely roadting when we got out of the car to buy snacks but by the time we got to the river the clouds had started to gather. We were in these thin little boats going down the river when it started pouring with rain - luckily though the boat guy had some waterproof blankets to throw on so we only got slightly drenched by the time the rain let up and we arrived at our first stop.

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We walked through the trees to a tall wooden structure that I think is used for observation by the conservation group (maybe?) and climbed up the steps, which was pretty terrifyingly swaying in the wind the higher up we got. I mean you could really feel the whole thing moving in the slight breeze. Got to the top though, so that’s good, but I didn’t stay long at all.

After piling back in the boats again we stopped at another little hut on the river, like one of them bird watching sheds get in wetland centres here in the UK, for a bit of lunch. Jumped in the river for a swim; the water was weirdly red. Finally we had a trek through the jungle with the guide following the occasional ribbon tied round a tree. Absolutely drenched in sweat after that.

Back on the boats, back to the village we started from, blue sky all the way. Then we drove to a second spot on the river for a second boat ride just as the sun was starting to set which apparently was where those orangutan charities send the rescued apes to get them used to being pretty much on their own in the jungle. This serves as their final training before being released back into the wild. I suppose the major clue that these were somewhat domesticated orangutans was when we saw one of them fall out of a tree he was climbing about in. He seemed perfectly fine you’ll be pleased to hear, which makes me feel better about the fact that it was pretty hilarious.

Anyway, we saw some orangutans, it got dark while we were on the boat, we drove back to town for some bakso. Oh and we saw some proboscis monkeys jumping about in the trees too. All in all a good day!