activism conservation travel

A drone, a few machetes, and a bit of rope.

Surveying the Land: by foot, by boat, and by air

… With our surveys, we watch the towns spread with octopus-like arms. We watch the expansion of the gridded plantations with their artificial lines and right angles – but we also get to glimpse the forests of Borneo as they were before.

When we’re lucky, having trudged in deep black water swamps, crawling along the streams that snake through the underbelly of the forest or flying with our drones near the clouds, we get to see a different view.

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… and now…

So I’m not at Danum anymore.

The second day there I started – and I swear I’m not making this stuff up and that I’m not a hypochondriac whatsoever – coughing up blood.

There’s some signs of ill health that you can easily brush aside as the cost of travel – an infrequent cough, a bit of extra fatigue, stomach cramps, headaches – and then there are some things, such as discovering that the phlegm coming up through your throat is an intense bright red color, that make you head for the nearest hospital and email your doctor.

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So here it goes – the jungles of Borneo, and the great red man!

I leave for Danum Valley in about an hour.Two weeks of trekking for orangutans and camping in the jungle!

I never did find a trekking partner – but instead of the Joseph Conrad style hacking through the virgin jungle with our food and water on our backs that I had pictured when I made plans to go to one of the most remote and pristine parks in Borneo, I’ll be staying amidst a variety of researchers and students at the Sabah Foundation’s camp site.

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