Jour 3 : First trek

Today, Antoine takes hold of the logbook.

The first day of trekking is being prepared this morning from the first base camp. We spread out the boats and bags, then we dive gently into the forest just after taking a group photo. We are moving at a good pace, especially in the early hours. There are small gaps between the members of the group, but we all arrive at the different break points at about the same time.

The first is by the river, we are surrounded by an impressive amount of bees, we did not expect it at all. Further on, we come across a snake, a Pit Viper, very poisonous. We were able to take some very nice pictures.

Pit Wiper

We stopped to eat in a very nice place. In front of us, a very large rock with green water passing underneath. A water that can be found in different places of the massif. There are lots of mini waterfalls, they are very small, from a few tens of centimetres up to 6m high. They come from the concretion of limestone tuffs. It’s very beautiful, it forms very nice barriers with a pond behind it, then a kind of weir on the limestone concretion, and below it, turbulence.

We have a breathtaking view of the forest. Bees are still very numerous, there are small and very large. We get stung several times. Evrard has 5 stings in his list.

Bees

We continue our way through the water, which reaches our height. Sometimes, when we can, we go over the sides and cling to the roots, which earned me a nice dive (the second one because I had already made a fall earlier in the day, trying to do acrobatics on a tree trunk). Luckily, all our stuff is in waterproof bags.

Ime and Antoine

I got lost after the second break: I thought I was following Evrard who was actually on a different path. I found myself stuck with vines all around me. For half an hour I struggled with the vines and, without lying, it was really very breathless not to be on a classic path (normally, even if you are in the jungle, you follow a route that may have been taken by other people already, with some honey hunters camps that you use for lunch or in the evening).

We also came across a typhoon: a natural formation where water is sucked into the rocks and comes out a little further into the river, creating a kind of whirlwind and making a pretty magical sound.

With some people on the team, we don’t always have the same pace, so we can’t get to the camp we originally planned but we’re only less than 2km away. Always the same: same meal, noodles and rice, a nice swim in the river and we set up the tents. We’re pretty lucky because it hasn’t rained yet!

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