Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Phantoms fading by the jewels in the crown of the Harau mountain

I woke up last night at 3 am, read my book for a while, wrote some lines and got back to sleep at 5: 30 after seeing a wonderful dancers slide show with famous passages on "life" that my cousin Yvonne sent me. After 3 nightmares that I had to escape by not letting the dream go through by waking up, and my stomach feeling funny possibly due to a delicios Tamarella juice I drank last night (don't know which water they used for it), I had a shower, covered myself in sunscreen and mosquitoe repellent and went out to find Arman.

Arman could tell I was not happy,  he has been so nice to me, but I have been very reserved. Ghosts and demons chase you wherever you go.... I am not going to fight with them, if they come, they come and I will deal with them, but I know they will not stay long.

We drove thorugh Minangkabau villages and got to the Harau valley. Enormous monolite rocks similar to Yosemitee, form a canyon.  We started walking through the forest, slowly, saw some long-tailed small macaques on the way, one especially posed for me nicely...

We climbed all the way to the top of the hill, Arman had not been in that forest for more than 11 years. It was tough, very steep areas. One of the things that have surprised me that I have not mentioned is the beauty of the insects. Butterflies the size of our Colombian Morfos, but of many different colours, red and black, geen and black, yellow, orange, the millipeds most of them black but the "peds" of different colours, bright red, yellow, green, orange and beetles and ladybirds of silvery colours that I had only seen few in Panama.
After about 2 hours of climbing we got to the top! As expected, a wonderful view.  Arman said, would you like to see some strange flowers that grow here? We call them "condom flowers"???!!!  As I got close to check them, Wow! a pitcher plant!!!! Various species of pitcher plants grow in this hill top, I had never seen them in the wild, only in Kew, NYBG and in the Academy os Sciences in San Francisco. And they there where, just hundres of them clinging on the trees, growing on the ground!  However people climb all the way up to collect them and sell them in town. Fortunately they take the whole plant and sell the plant itself.
These were plants again that where in my list of "must see in my life", I think even David Attenborough chose some of these for the front cover of his book "Private life of Plants", so I was not expecting them at all and seeing them was a fantastic surprise.

We were not that lucky with the animals though, we only saw macaques, the siamangs and gibbons didn't show up... that is the disadvantage of wildlife watching, is not like visiting the Eiffel tower that never moves from it's place.  But I have been very lucky, I can't complain.

We walked for about 5 hours, so I am horrendoulsy tired.  This is my last night in Bukittinggi. Wonderful place, that as my friend Ingacio says, will make good bed night sories for my grand children.  I hope this latter dream just as the ones fulfilled in this unique place, would materialize some day.

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