Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Night Hiking in the Jungle of Arfak mountains

Two days ago I guided two Spanish tourists (Expedito and Maria) on 1 night/ 1 day hiking tour in the forest of Arfak mountains. We left Manokwari city by car at 21.30 for the jungle of Arfak mountains in the territory of Warmarway village. When we arrived in the village, my smartphone clock showed 22.30 so I offered an overnight stay in our guesthouse that was being built at the beach. They said that they preferred to stay in the jungle. Maria wanted to see cuscus possum. So, we continued our trip to the stop point where we would go hiking in the jungle. Night hiking was more dangerous because the slopes were very steep. We walked slowly. I held my battery powerd LED lamp higher to give light to all of us. Each of us carried heavy bag on our back.
After passing the steep slope, we stopped for a while. Yunus, the villager from Warmarway village, who guided us in the jungle would try to call Cuscus Possum. All of the flash lights and my LED lamp had to be turned off. Yunus began to imitate the sound of female cuscus to attract the male one. We sat on the ground for approximately fifteen minutes waiting for the cuscus to come. He did not come.
Cuscus possum in the jungle of Arfak mountains of Manokwari
I told Yunus to continue walking again. We stood, turned on the flashlight, pick up our bags and then continued our night hiking again. It was getting late. The dark forest around us was full with the sounds of insects. They became our natural music that sooth our minds. So relaxing music. We made the second stop in the jungle and turned our lights again. Yunus made his second call imitating the sound of femail cuscus. The jungle was very dark but we could still see some light at tree tops. The light from starry nights. After calling for 10 minutes, we began to hear the sounds of braking twigs and the movement of tree branches. The sounds were getting closer above our heads. Suddenly, Yunus asked me to turned my lamp on. I did it and there it was - the cuscus possum in the branch of a tree. I opened my waist bag and took my camera out of it. It was a Fujifilm HS50EXR. I aimed it at the cuscus and made several pictures. Maria, one of the tourists, looked very exited to see the cuscus. She turned on her camera and took some pictures of the cuscus. Then we walked again deeper into the jungle.
Yunus still made another call but no cuscus came. We finally arrived in our base camp. We boiled water and had some hot chocolate drinks. We went to bed at 02.20. All of us were happy with the night hiking trip that we had just done. written by Charles Roring

If you are interested in visiting Arfak mountains to see butterflies, cuscus and the forest environment and need me as your guide, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com.

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