Saturday, January 16, 2010

Traveling Inside the Tropical Rainforest of the Table Mountain of Manokwari

Traveling inside tropical rainforest is a great way to appreciate the natural beauty of Table Mountain in Manokwari of West Papua Indonesia. Today I and my friend Paul accompanied three Russian tourists visiting the Table Mountain that is located several hundred meters from Penginapan Kagum. It is a cheap hotel for tourists who come to this town. In Indonesian language the mountain is called Gunung Meja. It is a protected forest that is located near Manokwari city. Their names are Inga (the girl), Mike and Dima (the young men).
russian-toursts-manokwari.jpg
We walked inside this forest from 02.00 p.m and to 6.30 p.m. We saw various kinds of plants, mushrooms, insects and birds and lizards. We also went to Japanese War Memorial which has been badly damaged due to the poor maintenance. We didn't stay there for quite long because we had to continue our trip to a natural cave that is located several kilometers away. The journey to the cave was very interesting because we could take a lot of pictures. There were unique mushrooms, various green plants that are used by the indigenous people to cure malaria. When we were near the cave we saw an owl on the ground. Perhaps, one of its wings was hurt. The bird could not fly. It was sleeping when we took some pictures of the owl. It was raining and all its feather is wet.
Inga showed her interest in insects while Dima was keen to find cave bats. Mike brought a digital camera equipped with long distance lenses. These young Russian eco-travelers who were walking with us did not complain about the mud or the mosquitoes. They just enjoy walking inside this jungle.
It was 05.00 p.m when we arrived at the mouth of the cave. It was a natural one that was covered with trees. Big corals hampered our way into the cave. Slowly we climbed them and crawled into the cave. It was very dark. I forgot to bring the flash light. We had to use the view finder red light from our digital camera to guide us through the chambers of the cave.
Dima was happy because he could find the small bats that were hanging on the walls. There were striped lizards. Inga held one of them and let us take some pictures of it. This time it was Mike who was very busy taking pictures of the bats and the lizards. For me, I was more interested in taking pictures of these Russian tourists who were happy to explore the natural beauty of the tropical rainforest in the Table Mountain or Gunung Meja Manokwari.
After finishing our exploration in this cave, we decided to go back to the Penginapan Kagum because it was getting dark. When we had reached the asphalt road leading to Sarinah, a "taxi" (a minibus that the locals use as public transportation) passed. Paul asked the driver to stop. The "taxi took five of us to the inn. Inga paid Rp. 10,000 for the ride from Table Mountain to Toko Buku Xavier. Mike said that they would continue exploring the jungles of Papua in the Nuni area tomorrow. by Charles Roring