In Orange

Not everybody here seams to agree that “orangutan” comes from “orang” , meaning “person” in  Indonesian, plus “hutan” meaning “forest”. Not sure why. For me that’s pretty obvious tho, and I’ll go ahead with this assumption: they are the people of the forest. A legend says that orangutans are smart, so smart that they never learned to speak. If they ever speak eventually, well… humans will  capture and put them to work. So they decide to wear the funky orange fur and hide up in the canopy. It seams that they know more about humans than humans about orangutans. Even orange and green are in such a contrast, that’s strange,  one still need a trained eye and the knowledge about their habits, in order to spot them up there. We tried to find them in the first days. No luck, or not trained eye maybe?


The orangutan we finally seen was orange, of course. After eating some more insects, it finally decided to hide, disturbed by one of our orange shirt. Seams they don’t really like their own color, or maybe he confused us with one of the 800 tigers that still exist in the wild, in Gunung Leuser. I don’t really think so, our smell was definitely worst. Being back, tigers are their main predators. Even the Sumatran orangutan stays in the canopy all the time, that’s not enough. It is said that tiger’s roar make them fall down from the tree. The orangutans in Kalimantan, on the other hand, have no problems like this, there are no predators around there. They are bigger than the Sumatran ones and mainly walk on the ground. Being larger, some of them more then 100 kilograms, they can not really climb the trees and walk in the canopy. Even humans are affected by the sounds of the tiger’s roar. ” When tiger roars, we are losing energy and cannot stand on our feet” said the ranger.

The leopard was too fast for my camera. Even it jumped out from a bush not very far from us. it moved like a… leopard and vanished into the forest. The rhinoceros hornbill bird impressed with its SF look. The white gibbon’s scream was deep in the jungle somewhere, who knows. Getting rid of the few leeches was easy, the ones here are not so aggressive like the ones in Taman Negara- Malaysia. Lucky day.

Heading to the Gayo highlands, where the shitty coffee luwak ( i mean it) , the most expansive coffee in the world, can be found. The 150 something km road through the highlands took about 9 hours, and finally we arrived in Takengon.

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