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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Family Trip to Lalut Birai (Part 1 of 3)

In case you're wondering, Tanner's lip is doing much better now.  

Two weeks ago our whole family (yes, including Joy and the younger ones) spent the weekend at Lalut Birai, the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) research station deep in the jungle, downriver from Long Alango.  You may remember way back in early 2009, when Britton and I and a couple other guys from MAF spent a few nights there.  I did four blog posts about that trip which you can checkout here (part 1), here (part 2)here (part 3), and here (part 4).

It's a fantastic and beautiful place where, back in it's hay-day, scientists from Indonesia and around the world spent quite a few years living here, studying and researching the plethora of flora and fauna that led to the creation of the vast Kayan Mentarang National Park.  Today the research station is abandoned, but the good folks in Long Alango are always more than excited to help arrange for an enjoyable jungle get-a-way for the adventurous tourist!

Of course, being a pilot with MAF, I know most of these folks, and consider many of them good friends.    So perhaps that puts us in a bit of a different category than the "average tourist."  Indeed, no less than about 30 people from Long Alango came along to make sure we were well taken care of, and had plenty of friends and fellowship.  That's how they do it here! :)

Well, after flying into the village airstrip, taking a 10 minute boat ride downriver to the village and stopping for coffee, and then another 25 minutes downriver, we arrived at the mouth of the little Enggeng River.

From there we began the hike into the research station, first by crossing the suspension bridge.

Of all the places I've hiked in the jungles of Borneo (and I've covered a lot of miles), this is by far the nicest trail.  It reminds me of the Appalachian trail, only with more leeches! 

After a 45 minute hike we arrived at the old research station.  This is the little building that our family slept in, overlooking the little Enggeng river out the back, and the rest of the property out the front.

Like the last time we were there, this time we also brought along a jug of butterfly bait...which is basically rotting bananas, sugar, molasses and a few other "special" ingredients.  And sure enough, we drew in a bunch of ants, bees and moths that evening.  Here's a few.

Oh, and I have a special UV flashlight, which works great for hunting scorpions (you can see a picture of that in one of the posts from 2009).  But this time I used it to shine on a white towel, b/c apparently moths like the intensity of UV light better than regular incandescent light.  To the human eye, it just has a bluish-purplish look as seen below.  (If you do this at home, be careful!  UV light is harmful to your eyeballs!)

Switching from UV light to regular flashlight, here's the exact same moth, sporting it's pretty green color.

Well, there's a whole lot more to show and tell, but I'll save some for the next time.  Check back in a few days to see what else we saw and did.


grammy and papi said...

Looking forward to the next 2 parts.

Have a God Filled Day

Karina said...

very cool!

BlessingCounter said...

I saw this article and thought you and your wife might enjoy it...