Sorry for the lack I updates lately, Internet has been pretty hard to come by in Sumatra. But it's been a busy couple of days. After landing in Medan I spent the night in a shabby little hotel room before heading up to Bukit Lawang as quickly as possible. Which was a great call, it's a sleepy little town right next to a river on one side and the jungle on the other, a perfect place to get away from the city for a while. The main reason the town exists is as a jump off place for multi day jungle treks . And the trek was amazing, I decided to only sign up for a two day trek but on the first day we hiked across the jungle, following animal trails through up and down and around the hills and ridges and valleys. I swear I have never been as sweaty in my life, I could have jumped in a pool and there wouldn't have been a difference. We saw tons of orangutans, including some young adults and babies still with their mothers, two kinds of gibbons, tucans, monitor lizards, Thomas monkeys and a bunch of the macaw? monkeys. We finally stopped for the night and set up camp right by a small waterfall with a great little swimming pool. The next day we did a little bit more hiking and finished the trip with an hour long raft down the river back to where we started.
Right now I'm on an island called Palau Weh off the northern tip of Sumatra. It was supposed to be a two or three day stop to do a little diving before heading over to Malaysia but once I got here and realized just how good the diving was, and that the beach front bungalows (the picture below is from my front porch) cost five dollars a night, I decided to add a couple days here and get my Advanced open water dive license. I went on three dives yesterday, including a deep dive and my first night dive, and it was stunning. Schools of fishes swarming around, eels poking out of rocks, lion fish, scorpion fish, we even saw a manta ray on the afternoon dive and an octopus, two cuttlefish and tons of lobsters on the night dive.
After I finish here I'll probably fly over to Malaysia for a couple days before working my way up north to southern Thailand. We'll see what actually happens!