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The Gibbon Photos

Tuesday, October 9th, 2007

So, I’m home. I’m unemployed. And I’ve got thousands upon thousands of photos to go through. Rather than bore you with more words, I’m gonna hit you with just a couple of those photos, because that’s what the kids love these days – travel blogs with photos.

Starting right here, with the Gibbon Experience…….. you remember the Gibbon Experience don’t you? Just click on the pics for a larger view…

On the way to the treehouses, having crossed the river in the 4WD, at some points we still had to vacate the car so it could make it up some of the muddier hills.

Zipping through and over the jungle – bloody amazing….. Notice in the first photo you can’t even see where the zip line started from it was that far away. And going through the clouds was breathtakingly surreal.
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The treehouse we got engaged in. If you look closely at the first pic you’ll see Bec standing at the bottom of the tree, below the treehouse. The first two photos were both taken whilst zipping through the air, the second one is on the way into the treehouse, the zip line being the only way to get there. It shows the split level – the main section being the loungeroom/kitchen/bedroom/entertaining area (as seen in the last photo), and downstairs to the left is the bathroom/toilet.
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Our guides. The first one was taken first thing in the morning, whilst we followed our black-clad guide through the middle of the jungle (making our own path as we went) searching for gibbons. And finally, a small sample of the scratches I ended up with after blazing that trail through the jungle
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I love this photo, as the somewhat blank look on Catherine’s face sort of captures the exhaustion that cancels out the amazement that I’m sure we were all feeling in regard to where we were and what we were doing. The legs belong to her husband Simon. They had got married only a month or two before, and this day was Cath’s birthday. Thankfully Simon had generously let Bec and I stay in the private treehouse……. as that proposal would have been all the more nerve-wracking if I had to do it in a treehouse we were sharing with four other people. This was taken in one of the treehouses – check out the piles of muddied boots scattered around in the background.

Getting around on foot….. through mud, creeks, and rivers. And finally, Bec and Tom, a friendly German, taking a well-earned break in a small village on the trek home. Notice the mud and grease all over Bec’s top, coming mostly from the splash-back of the grease from the rollers whilst zipping around.
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Once we buy a new computer I’ll get around to making a little movie of our time at the Gibbon Experience, because that’s what else the kids love these days – travel blogs with movies. Because who’s got time to read anything anymore?

Bokeo Province Jungle: Tracking Gibbons

Sunday, August 5th, 2007

We woke a little after 5am to the sounds of sirens floating through the jungle. That’s what they sounded like, the gibbons. Like sirens. Their beautiful singing was a continually rising and dipping note, that soared between the trees. We couldn’t see them, but they were close.

At 5.30am we heard the distinctive whiz of someone on a zip line coming towards the treehouse. It was our guide, bringing with him some fresh fruit to snack on before we hit the jungle floor and went tracking gibbons. For about twenty minutes we followed a narrow muddy track through the jungle, before the guide, a tiny man, maybe five foot three and dressed all in black, turned off the path and into the jungle proper. Bec and I followed as best we could, stepping gingerly, pushing huge leaves and branches out of our faces, grimacing when we reached out a hand to support ourselves and landed on a spiked stem. The guide stopped, and we listened for the gibbons’ call. This way, he pointed, and we raced through the jungle as fast as we could.

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In the Jungle: The Gibbon Proposal

Saturday, August 4th, 2007
If someone had told me ten years ago that I would propose to my girlfriend in the north of Laos, in the middle of the jungle, at the top of a tree in a private treehouse that could only be ... [Continue reading this entry]