Carstensz Day 3: Timika to Sugapa

Last night was an absolutely miserable one. I don’t know if it was the “pink” partially cooked chicken from yesterday’s lunch or the fact I made a rookie mistake in brushing my teeth using the tap water or from rinsing my face and mouth in the shower, but low and behold I’ve got a severe case of diarrhea that kept me up all night visiting the bathroom every 30 minutes. You would probably say TMI, I know! Luckily, I brought some Cipro with me.

Getting ready to board our plane at Timika airport.

Getting ready to board our plane at Timika airport.

Wake-up call was at 5 AM and after a quick breakfast, we were in the lobby ready to go at 5:30 AM. Our ride to the airport didn’t show up until 6:30 AM and were told there was a bit of a delay. Once we got to the airport, we waited for almost 1.5 hours for the plane to be ready and finally boarded a nice Cessna Caravan.¬†After a 35-minutes flight, we landed on what looked like a makeshift airstrip in Sugapa.

Landing in Sugapa.

Landing in Sugapa.

Immediately after opening the door and stepping on the ground, we were greeted by many locals trying to get jobs as porters or guides. It seemed the entire village of Sugapa was there. We unloaded our bags and headed straight to a major hut in the main village. It is here where our local Indonesian guides will negotiate and select a dozen porters to be part of our expedition.

Villagers and Porters in Sugapa.

Villagers and Porters in Sugapa.

We waited in the hut while the local villagers got into a very heated and loud discussion amongst themselves.I guess they were having a hard time deciding on who gets selected to go on the trip and make some money and who gets left behind. We later walked around and explored the village a little bit while negotiations were still ongoing. By the time logistics were sorted out, it was getting dark and took late to get on the move. We had no choice but to spend the night there. We ate a quick tasteless dinner of rice and some canned food before slipping into our sleeping bags and cramming seven bodies in a small hut.

Moni tribe members in their local outfit.

Moni Tribe members in their local outfit.

We are planning on waking up early tomorrow and officially starting our 5-day trek to Carstensz Base Camp.

Having a laugh with one of the villagers despite our language barrier.

Having a laugh with one of the villagers despite our language barrier.

 

Next Post:
Previous Post: