Riina’s blog is back!
Last four months I spent living one of my dreams, traveling. I was going to blog something On The Road, but soon it became clear to me, that the internet connections were too rare and slow for me to be able to put the effort for any blogging. So I decided just to enjoy. Right now when I’m back home (for a few days) I’ve been wondering what should I write here. I feel astonished of everything I saw and everyone (people and animals) I met on the way. There is just too many stories to tell. Probably everyone who have done any sort of “round the world” -trip, has the same problem.
Besides, I need to go on, in a few days I’m heading to Norway to educate myself in the shoeing and shoemaking business, (that is what I usually have to do for living :D) , so I decided not to write any long novels about adventures in a remote places in the world, even though I love writing, but I will just publish a parade of holiday pics. (You know, those holiday pics that no one is truly never interested to see :D) But as a reader of a blog you are free to choose whether to look at them or click yourself onto another site ;D
Well, I let the pics speak. I want them to be a hallelujah for trekking, hiking, tramping, camping or whatever you call it. That’s a way to travel (and live) for me. I think it’s important to be ready to bargain of the level of comfort. I want to see the places where my legs can bring me into. I’m not interested in luxury hotels, or the feel of the “security” of masses of other tourists around me.
I want to see the beautiful nature, the beautiful planet we’re living in and the best way is to take your own legs, walk into remote places and be ready to feel sometimes cold, dirty, fear, thirst etc. In the end that’s nothing compared to the beauty and adventure you’ll be rewarded.
In this post I’m going to take you to Borneo, in the oldest forests of the world, 130 million years old, and Australia, where the nature and animals are something completely different from the rest of the world, and last but not the least, to Vanuatu. A country in the Pacific Ocean, where many people still can live happily with whatever they collect from the nature. I felt privileged to be able to camp in a jungle with Ni-Vanuatus who were amazingly fit and skilled people and also willing to share their knowledge of their surroundings. Anything can be turned into something useful: food, medicine or construction material.
Oh and then I’ll have something from Nepal, but that country made such an deep impact to me, that I’ll make a separate “Nepal” post out of it…
And here is a place for warning: Lots of Cute Animal pics ahead!
Orangutans are the stars in Danum Valley conservation area, that is the other one of the only two primary rainforest area in Sabah, Malysia. Another one is the Maliau Basin “The Lost World”.
On a morning walk while hunting the gibbons we bumped into researchers. They had found a big orangutan male a couple of hours earlier and now they were patiently writing down every minute what the orangutan was doing. The researchers will follow the orangutan until the evening when he builds a nest for himself and goes to asleep and after that the researchers will walk back to the research center to take a short sleep as well just to be back before the sunrise to continue the watch when the orangutan wakes up again and leaves his nest…
Spiders, lots of beautiful spiders. In Finland we have only small spiders and none of them are truly poisonous and first it was quite difficult to meet all these creatures. But during the winter I got used to not to be shocked of even finding a big spider in the same premises I was sleeping in.
Huge trees in the rainforest. Strangling fig.
There was an old graveyard on the hill. The tribe that used to live here, carried the coffins of their dead ones onto a hill over their village and buried coffins inside the holes in the rock. One coffin had fallen out perhaps due to an earthquake, but the remnants were lifted nicely beside the rock. One of our guide’s customers had asked: “why aren’t these brought to a museum?” I thought exactly the same as our guide: This is a burial site, this is were the remnants were meant to be, and taking them out wouldn’t be a honoured thing to do. (I can’t stand seeing mummys in the museums, I think it’s blasphemy to stare at corpses robbed from their graves)
Red leaf monkey
…And then to Australia!!!
Australia is full of funny animals. This one is quokka, living only in couple of islands on the west coast of Australia.
Woods in the Blue Mountains
Kangaroo in the mist.
This guy appeared behind my back while we were preparing dinner. Luckily he was still a bit shy and when I noticed him lurking behind me and I stood up, he decided to back up. …And climb onto a tree. Sh*t. I was troubled to think how will I protect my food bag during the night from this two meters long Goanna lizard. Usually I hang the food bag onto a tree, but this time it didn’t look like a good idea.
The PLATYPUS!!! I was a child, and I read about this strange mammal with a ducks’s nose, body of a beaver and which lays eggs. And on the top of it all, it is venomous. I never, ever thought I’d be able to see this creature that sounded only like a fairytale. But there it was, difficult to spot in the wild, but we were lucky :)
And then well move again to one kind of Paradise on the earth!
Vanuatu. An avocado tree had fallen into the river and there were ripe avocados available, so they were taken with us while on a canoeing trip.
The avocados ended up on the shore
Swimming in the paradise.
Some more swimming and riding in the paradise.
We made an overnight camping trip into the jungle with horses. That was to become one of the most amazing experiences of my life so far. Here we are on the way, crossing one of the numerous rivers on the way.
In the jungle, entering a cave a river was running through. In the end I had to carry my backbag over my head, because the water was waist deep and it was running fast…
Ni-Vanuatus know a lot of ways to use coconut. Here is demonstrated some of them.
First pic: Drink the water (on the right laplap that is a traditional food, with coconut sauce)
Up right: Cut a end of the coconut as a spoon with which you can dig out the pulp.
Middle left: If the coconut is a bit grown already, no problem! There is a soft “thing” inside, mavara, and that tastes good as well. And the green sprout is from the inside also nice and soft to chew.
Middle right: You can do a nice bag from the leaves.
At the bottom: Or you can even build a roof of the leaves.
Kava. A root that has a calming effect. From these were prepared a drink that was enjoyed in the evening on the campfire in the jungle.
Berry was opening the way into the jungle with a machete.
During the night prawns were collected from the river. They were stuffed into a bamboo stick that was closed with some leaves. That worked as a kettle and the prawns were cooked on the campfire.
The breakfast is ready!
Indonesia. Mount Rinjani. Picture is taken from the Gili Meno island, where we were able to relax, have fun and snorkel with turtles days and nights before moving from the tropical warmth to Nepal to see the mighty Himalayas! I hope I’ll be able to make a post from there!