Sunday, October 9, 2011

Bung Hatta Nature Reserve

Saturday was a pretty crazy day. I finally made it to Bung Hatta nature reserve. I've been trying to get there for ages, but every time I went to what I thought was it, it was locked. So I connived some couchsurfers to go with me. It turns out I was right about the location, but the place is just always locked. However, they managed to get us in anyway.

They had been rather disappointed with my eagerness to see plants. "Boring...." Well when we got in, we discovered the place was full of little paths to go wander around and everyone started to think this might be fun. We found one in particular that just seemed to disappear down. Of course, we have to find out where that one goes, right?

So we start down the path. Slowly the way got more and more difficult. First the neat path got a little broken, then it got a lot broken. Then we reached a few points where trees have grown up and thrown the path off a cliff. We started to wonder how long it had been since someone else took this path.

Eventually the stones disappeared and we were on a trail. But the trail itself got less and less obvious and eventually we were just bushwhacking through the jungle headed down. There were definitely some parts that qualified more as "sliding" or "mountain climbing" than "hiking." We all agreed that we were not going to make it back up so we needed to find a better way to come back.

At the bottom we found an adorable little river. Unfortunately we also discovered a lot of leaches -or rather they discovered us. So we went from excitement at finding the bottom of the park (who knows if we were still in the park?) to paranoia as we started jumping at every little itch, staring intently at ants walking past and so on.

Unfortunately we also realized that there was no other way out of this little area other than down the river (and the leaches put paid to that idea) or back where we came from. So we started back up, terrified we were going to be lost in the jungle after dark and/or never find the "path" again.

It turned out to be easy to find the path. The minute we started back up, it started to rain.
Not a little drizzle, but a real rainforest downpour. And it became clear than the path we were using was not a path for people, but a tributary of the river. So all we had to do was hike up a few miles through a waterfall (while checking each tingle to see if it was a leach).

We fortunately made it up before dark, exhausted and drenched, but alive. The couchsurfers seem to have decided that Susan's suggestions are never boring -no matter how boring they initially sound.


  1. I love your tales of your adventures, and here you said you had a very unexciting weekend.... take some salt with you next time - that makes the leeches let go. I hope you are not going to take us where there are leeches...

  2. Yes I know about the salt, but who thinks of packing a little bag of salt when they go out? ;)

  3. I find it odd that you both know of a home remedy to get rid of leeches. I had no idea of how to git rid of them, and would prefer to have never known (it implies one is planning to go a leech-infested place!), but now I am also worried Susan will take us to leech-y places!