Written July 13th
We have just started our bus ride to Halimun, so I have decided to dedicate the time to pen my next post. The last few days, we have spent time in Palangkaraya and Bogor. Palangkaraya was pretty relaxing because half the day was travelling back from Tuanan. The night held our major event for the day, because after dinner, most of the group went to karaoke. It was awesome to let loose and belt out classics with the group.
Bogor was also a treat. Our hotel was quite fancy, even for American standards. There was a pool, which of course we utilized right away. The pool area was shaded, so the water wasn’t too warm, but no one was complaining after our time in Tuanan.
Our first day in Bogor was short because most of the day was lost to travel, so our second day was jampacked with events. First we went to a museum where we learned about the history and ecology of Indonesia. Our next stop was the Bogor Botanical Gardens. Fun fact: The president of Indonesia (who I think looks a lot like Barack Obama) lives in the palace at the botanical gardens. The gardens were beautiful, full of many native Indonesian and other beautiful exotic flowers and trees. Some of the trees were gigantic and the orchid garden was gorgeous. We also got to see a large colony of giant fruit bats that roost in the gardens. Besides the views, it was also refreshing to just walk around outside in a shady place, enjoying the breeze. Our last stop was to the cultural village, where we learned traditional dance, martial arts, and music.
The last few days of our trip were significant for the change of pace. We spent our time in cities and civilization as opposed to deep in the forest. It was great to have amenities because it led to my favorite moment from these past few days.
The first morning in Bogor, I went to shower, so I turned the water to the hottest setting to heat up before I adjusted to the correct temperature. Well, the water in this hotel gets way hotter than the water in the US and in seconds the room was filled with steam. The water could “boil a chicken” as I so eloquently put it to my roommate Jon.
Later, Jon and I had the brilliant idea to make our bathroom into a sauna. We also were hungry and knew a McDonald’s was next to our hotel. So Jon and I ran down to Mickey D’s, each got a burger, headed back to the hotel and turned on the shower. Jon had not seen how hot the shower could get because I warned him that morning, so seeing his face when he opened the bathroom door was priceless.
Jon and I laughed and laughed as we sweat out the toxins of the burgers we were consuming at that moment, and the rest of the group laughed at our stupidity the next morning. All and all, the last few days were a great reset before heading back into the forest at Halimun.