For our school trip, we went to Telunas Beach Resort on Sugi Island in Indonesia this year. The first day, we took a 30-minute boat ride to a nearby village. Most of the village houses were on stilts over the water. The area wasn’t too mountainous so I assume that the houses were built this way to minimize the amount of bugs. We walked for 5 minutes inland to the school for our community volunteer project. When we reached the school, we helped the Indonesian middle school students build a wall around their school. First, we dug a trench and then we mixed cement and poured it into the trench. After, we laid bricks to build the actual wall. The Indonesian students helped us, although they mostly seemed more interested in taking our photos with their mobile phones! Most of the kids, mainly younger ones, didn’t have any shoes on and many wore soccer shirts. The wall we helped built was supposed to keep the students inside the school so they couldn’t run off during recess! I thought this was a bit strange, but that was our community project in any case. The schoolyard was a large mud
pit. Perhaps next year our school could help pave this for them instead.
On the way back to the resort on our boat ride, we could see the lights from Singapore glowing in the sky and there was really cool lightning storm on the horizon over the ocean.
We settled into our “Deluxe” chalet also on stilts over the water. It had fancier restroom with our own shower with hot water and four beds. Some of our classmates got assigned to the dormitory style chalet which didn’t have hot showers and shared bathroom. I lucked out on my room assignment! Day 2
In the morning we climbed the low ropes. The ropes weren’t too tricky and they were only about 2 feet above the ground. The first rope was a bunch of ropes attached to two hanging ropes. You had to step on the ropes and hang onto the ropes to get across. The second rope was a grid rope. The third was a log. The fourth was two ropes hung between trees, you had to hang onto the top one and put your feet on the bottom one.
After lunch, we took a boat
trip to the trailhead, which was located up a river. The river was wide at the mouth, but tapered down until the trees were directly overhead. Then it got so narrow and shallow that the boat couldn’t go any further. So they had us transfer to a smaller boat. We continued up the river for 5 minutes until the smaller boat couldn’t go any further and got stuck in the mud. So we had to jump off the boat and continue by walking in the river in our shoes. I wish the teachers had told us to bring our water shoes, instead, I think my tennis shoes got ruined, I can still feel river mud in them today.
We walked in the river for about 30 minutes until we got to the trailhead. Then we started walking on the trail up to the waterfall. The trail was mostly flat and we past through a few villages. In the villages, there were lots of chickens and cows wandering about. There weren’t any crops; instead they grew fruit trees in the areas around the villages. Then we walked further until we entered what the guide described as a failed British rubber
plantation. The local people were still tapping and selling the rubber from the trees though. Then it started raining but luckily the path was reasonably solid, so it didn’t get muddy. I was also wearing my swimsuit which was fortunate.
After it stopped raining, lots of mosquitoes came out. Everyone had a cloud of mosquitoes around them despite putting on mosquito repellent. After about 30 minutes, we arrived at the waterfall. The waterfall wasn’t as big as the ones in the U.S, but it had a 20-meter deep pool that you could swim in. We jumped off the cliff into the waterfall, a nice reward for the crazy hike through the river. But I’m not sure if it was worth all the effort and mosquitoes.
After we swam in the waterfall, we hiked back to the trailhead. Luckily the tide had gone up again so we could take the boat. We saw a mangrove green snake curled up in a tree above us. He was pretty thick, maybe half a foot in thickness! The guide said the snake wasn’t poisonous if he bit you, but if you ate him, you would get sick. The boat took us past
the resort to the campsite trailhead for our overnight jungle trekking and camping. At the trailhead they had all our equipment organized. So we just took a bag and headed up to the campsite.
Once reached the campsite in the jungle, we had to hang our hammock. We were using hammocks because crawling bugs and critters would get into a tent on the floor, but couldn’t get into a hammock. It was dark out, so we had to use flashlights to hang up our hammocks and it was a bit difficult to hang our hammocks. First we had to choose an area between two trees. Then we had to hang a tarp up between the trees, after that we had to hang our hammock up. Then we had to hang the mosquito net over the hammock. This whole hanging hammocks in the dark exercise was exacerbated by the fact that bugs would zoom into my flashlight and hands as I was working. So I really didn't want to use the light much, but didn’t have a choice. The trouble with camping in the jungle I concluded is that you can’t see the stars because the trees were dense and
This clam eats things that float by. It sucks the food into the hole with the tentacles.
blocked the sky and you can’t have a big campfire because it could attract bugs. Those are things that I like about camping, so it was a pity. It was all the work of camping, without the fun of camping!
After we hung up our hammock, we ate a dinner of cup noodles. This spoiled kid talked about how it reminded him of first class in a Chinese airline that unbelievably served cup noodles! We also joked about a hypothetical North Korean airlines and what it might serve such as an advertisement saying the “food was edible” not that it was tasty. On this hypothetical airline, we presumed you had to watch propaganda of Kim Jong as inflight entertainment. Then we went to bed in our cocoon-shaped hammock, draped by tarp and mosquito net. There were lots of different noises in the night but you couldn’t see any animals, although I was pretty sure there were plenty of animals watching us in the surrounding jungle. Luckily, this was an exhausting day with the hiking in the river and hanging hammocks in the dark and I fell asleep quickly. Day 3
After we woke up, we ate a breakfast of cup noodles again, and packed up our hammocks and then hiked back to the resort. After we had lunch, we played beach games such as Boche Ball and generally had restful afternoon of lounging on the beach. Day 4
After breakfast, we did jetty jumping. There was one 8 meter tall jetty and one 4 meter tall jetty. I jumped off the 8 meter one 3 times and the 4-meter tall one 10 times. When you jump off the 8-meter tall one, the height is suddenly magnified by 2 times and it feels a lot taller.
After lunch, we conducted a mangrove study with a marine biologist. Some interesting critters we came across: a type of clam that looked like a clam with tentacles coming out of its mouth. Also, there was a fish that had a unicorn on its head, so predators with small mouths couldn’t eat it. On Day Five, we returned home after playing games on the beach and packing.
Tot: 2.683s; Tpl: 0.051s; cc: 10; qc: 52; dbt: 0.0509s; 2; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb