Irian Jaya,  February 2001 with Bernd and Christian                          ( catalogue )    ( back )
some pictures courtesy of Bernd and Christian

In Jayapura, the provincial capital of Irian Jaya, Christian welcomed us with a small Cessna waiting and after arriving on the airport we flew directly  into the mountains to a place you can't find on any map. We got the coordinates later and somewhen I will be able to point it out on a map. The name was Abmisibil and it was said it was just 100km from the Papua far East.
After a one hours flight south towards the cerntral monntain ridge of New Guinea  a wall of clouds piled up in front of us the mountains inside. Just in front he turned 90 degree to the right to check the entrance into a specific southbound valley. Between the clouds there were always some shapes of slopses  to glimpse. Finally he found what he thought was the right one and we flew directly into the Total White. Really scary!!! AfterThe airstrip was a mud hole and I was lucky that we didn't stuck into it. In Abmisibil we found an English teacher (from Sulawesi) - there was a middle school- and arranged 7 porters plus one guide to accompany us to a place called Bime, 8 days away. We maybe made the mistake to take the shortest possible route, because after 3 day there were no settlments for another 3 days. So we had to camp in the primary forest. This strech was the worst. The way was was just some not so dense forest. Rain for at least 12 hours a day, crawling rootstairs steep up or down, wading through holes of mud to your knees, balancing over moss covered giant trunks was the rule. The absolut exception was something you could somehow call a path. Some rivers had "bridges", often made from rotang. Looking down would had been a fatal mistake. Bernd once slipped in a stream and got soaked to the nipples...falling was normal. A step just 5 inches too far off the "trail" often resulted into sinking into the nothing between a net of branches and roots, because the terrain was so steep. You stopped sinking when the leg ended. Feets were allday wet of course, all of us had blisters. Of course Christian enjoyed it except for some really dangerous parts, when we f.e. had to pass a stretch, an absolut steep former landslide...The surface of the earth was hard- soft would had been no problem, through those you can walk easily no matter how steep. So if we would have fallen, we would have done this for 200m, no plant to stop you -and that was no fun. Of course no path, but every meter an unreliable step, size of a small fist....This for some hundred meters, what means 30 minutes. I was in a state without getting any adrenalin shock any more, just only thinking to get through. My brand new Addidas trecking boots finally got wholes in the middle of the leather. In Bime Bernd and I complained that this was not the kind of sports we were looking for. Whole day we were only looking down where to step, outpowered of ability to concentrate after 7 hours. The villages and people were nice, but there weren't so many ??? And of course it was pretty dangerous and hope for rescue in the forest is Zero. You also cannot be carried in this terrain by another person, absolute impossible. Bernd once nearly broke his leg when he fell and his leg was blocked between some trunks. So we dicided to order a Cessna to Bime to pick us up. While waiting two days for the plane, a wound at my shin bone - I got it already 5 days before - but I fell quite often onto the same spot- got more and more infected, till to the day the plane came, I couldn't walk any more. Standing was incredible painful. So back in Jayapura I went to the hospital, but the circumstances there made me clean the wound myself just using their sterile equipment. I was sure I couldn't  treck for another 5 to 7 days. So I told my two friends to fly to the central valley of Wamena without me which was the original plan for all of us. After two more days in hotel in Jayapura I finally took a Garuda  flight home. Even that day it was hurting so badly I was not in the mood to plan any visit to Bangkok or a stop over in Bali.
I was quite happy to be homes afely….


above the waters around Irian Jaya the three of us in front the Cessna, that will bring us to Abmisibil an island in a lake near Jayapura, the capital of Irian Jaya seen from the plane the forest is like a green carpet) with our guide and porters before we start a lady dressed in the traditional bast skirt our first overnight stop: Sabin the locals watching us
 the locals watching us as always, mist in the trees in the morning our porters had to construct this though standing on a slippery trunk I had to portrait this guy the result on the trail we met a hunter carrying a bow the bow and arrows were beautiful made a huge
Chris not too fresh any more sometimes we felt more like an acrobat to get along with the trail when there were bridges we were lucky the village of Borban, our second place for the night a view over the roofs of Borban that shed was the Borban is quite a picturesque village a lady that we could only recognize as female by her skirt
a boy in Borban man becomes small in comparison to the forest this  sort of insects were very common as Chris wore blue socks and socks and feet were wet all day, that is what came out. But I said it would look more like a drowned body... Third night in Kirimu, we camped in a shed again, that was used to breed chicken. Nevertheless the villagers joined and were watching us for half the night. next morning the village was a mudhole again just to show the difference in height it's agreat view when the smoke of the fires penetrate the roofs
the trail was more a mudhole than a path I think this are my feet, but Chris claims those are his...difficult to find out!!! this is not a pond but the trail beautiful ferns the really hard to recognize trail is going right through a trunk the first camp in the forest, no village, no shed, no shelter to put up the tent first the porters had to flatten the terrain by digging the mud not in a too good mood
the three of us in front of the fire waiting for the water to cool to get a tea, see bernd with the tea bags like a miracle, that night it hadn't rained we often had to  surpass obstacles like fallen trunks or a rock like this  the only wild mammal we saw was that dead one that was hung across the trail for some reason a kind of praying mantis on my air matress the second night without shelter was like in a paradise. We camped close to a river in tall grass, smooth and not muddy. Our porters slept in that abandoned farm house this was one of the ropebridges made of some metal ropes but mainly branches a rest next to the river, first washing since 5 days of fighting the mud
a man  with his penis quiver in Bopp, where we stayed the next night I am sure he felt much more uncomfortable than me the traditional way to sloughter a pig is to shoot it with an arrow we bought a pig to get some meat after a vegetarian week the pig was cooked for us and we had to wait a long time, but in the end we got some meat this guy really loved his dogs- and they were not for eating like in Cina without asking for it two guys that wore T-Shirts before suddenly showed up in warrior costumes though getting pretty close with the camera they had fun too
Bopp in the misty morning behind Bopp the forest beeing less dense we were allowed more views down to the river a guy we met on the path one of those plants that normally grow in Mom's living room this blossom was incredible a rare phenomena, a so called halo, a rainbow around the sun when you have rain in high altitudes me with my favourite porter, the only one who liked my licorice sweets I brought along...all the others thought it was a terrible taste our porters took the trunk as a shortcut, we better went through the riverbed
the only real bath we had for the whole trip, but this one in a stream was great arrival in Teli, the last stop over before Bime a man from Teli early morning mist in the forest a man with the traditinal penis quiver another one with a rattan belt interesting his ear piercing the last bridge shortly before Bime was the longest we had to cross
a fruit  -I don't know the name- with a very hard surface the people live from any tubers that grow in kind of gardens the left overs of my diary the radioman in Bime trying to get a Cessna for three days Bime at late afternoon the boys of Bime line up to watch us and watch us playing cards without Bernd's help I wouldn't had made it to the plane
that's how my leg looked like in the hospital of Jayapura