… pondok was a welcome stop. Johan [the guide] pointed out the giants around us and spoke of ghosts, back when the area was populated with families. Fruit trees and oil palm planted more than a century ago… or was it a century and a half? No one knows for sure.
At the river, we rested under the shade of the canopy, feet soaking in cold water. Just as the last members of the team were trickling down a slippery path, a friend slipped and fell over the moss-covered rocks. With an injured knee and back, he was now our top priority.
From then onwards the trek took much longer than it should. We still had a few rivers to cross, and night was falling fast. Our headlamps showed the way – don’t try looking for it and the trail is right there; look too closely and imaginary trails will lead you astray. After 12 hours of walking, we finally reached the chapel. Exhausted, but spirits were up. Tried to go to bed early, but conversations by a wood fire stove with biscuits and a cup of hot coffee were too tempting to resist.