Day 5: Encounter with a Python

Log – Antoine

We woke up as usual at sunrise, with the sound of the river and the lignt. We pack our stuff and eat rice and noodles We’re always a bit slow at the beginning, we take a long time to get ready. The morning was quite slow, we were always waiting for one or two people. We alternated between forest and river.

We were beginning to smell quite a lot of carrion, and we came across a dead python about 6 metres long. We could see its skeleton, with thousands of worms inside and lots of flies on it, it was quite impressive to see. The day before, we were walking through the river at night, so we thought wow, we’re alive…

Python

We headed up the Latoma river and arrived at a crossroads after hours of hard work. It was very slippery, Evrard fell and I fell too. Fortunately, we managed to make up for it each time, but Evrard still has a big bruise.

We stopped, but didn’t have lunch as we didn’t have enough food, the porters ate a bit of rice, and we ate our snacks. We set off again to climb to the other side of the pass. We started the climb with a lot of prickly plants. We have a very good opener who cuts with his machete, we follow but we still get a lot of spikes, and a lot of leeches.

We climbed a lot and came across a sort of cavity with traces of shingles. We sat there for 15-20 minutes waiting for the latecomers. On the way up we were caught in a huge torrential rain, so we spent about half an hour under tarpaulins. We even collected rainwater for drinking.

Evrard had taken 13 litres of water at the bottom of the first river before the climb, so he still had to carry the 13 litres of water for the evening camp, because we weren’t sure we’d make it. The original plan was to cross to the other side of the pass, but as we weren’t sure we’d make it we camped on the pass.

The openers cut down a few trees to make their tent. Then we started freeze-drying food, which was a nice change from rice and pasta. Just afterwards, we were lucky enough to come across two anoas, which came quite close to the camp. We watched them with the lights, we saw their eyes. They stayed close to the camp because we heard the sounds of foliage, so they were not very shy.

Porters’ camp

It’s 9.15pm and we’re already in the tent. Tomorrow’s a big day, as it’s the last day with the porters. They have to go back to their families and their families had asked them not to go any further. That was the initial agreement, so tomorrow we’ll be doing our own thing!

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