|“Arrived as a tourist, left as a friend!”
I did a two day trek with three girls and Omano as our guide. It was infact not the first time I had been into the jungle in search of orang-utans, nor my first time in Bukit lawang. I was first in this lovely village for 9 days and had to come back as I simply fell in love with it. After 6 months travelling South East Asia, and usually spending no more than a week in one place, I was shocked to finally find a place which had this affect on me. The locals, the scenery, the wildlife, nothing came close.
Despite this being the second trek I had done, I enjoyed it every bit as much! Omano was extremely knowledgeable and we all learnt a lot from him. He knew everything about the jungle and was clearly very passionate about it. Over the two days we saw countless orang-utans and other animals including a black gibbon and horn bills. As far as comfort went, Omano and his team found us a great place to camp next to the river. Perfect for a shower after a good day hiking through Sumatran jungle. During the night we chilled out under the stars, played cards and had a fantastic meal. Who knew food could be so good in the middle of the jungle? I had also brought along a small chess board as I knew Omano was a keen player. I only ever won once against him but Omano was happy share his wisdom and help me improve my game. After a surprisingly good nights sleep, we were free to relax in this amazing place before Omano took us to a lovely secluded waterfall. We had the place to ourselves! Unfortunately after that, the time had come to head back, but there was one last treat for us to enjoy. We were going to drift back to the village on an inflatable raft which had been brought tube by tube and assembled at camp. With Omano and another member of his team stearing us down the river, it was a very pleasant trip, leaving us to sit back and take in this incredible environment. A perfect end to a perfect tour.
I stayed in Bukit lawang for around 10 more days after that, and Omano and I became very good friends, regularly meeting for a chat and a Bintang.