Borneo is home to more species than anywhere else in the world. Armed with that piece of knowledge and little else, my husband and I traveled from Guam to Hong Kong to Bali then to Borneo to explore this biological hothouse for ourselves.
Exploring southwestern Guam in a dune buggy for Jungle Rules Adventure Tours has got to be one of the most fun photography jobs I’ve had. I took care not to spill out of the car as we raced over red dirt hills alternating between gorgeous sea views and otherworldly ‘lunar scapes.’ If the clay hadn’t been red I would have suspected we were on the moon, the earth looked so extraterrestrial — a sort of lunar desert, but with trees. The hubby drove with aplomb and we even threw our hands up (camera between legs) as we took hairpin turn after turn and caught air over blind dunes.
The trek to Shark’s Cove feels a lot like being a castaway. My wild imagination had me calculating survival techniques and glancing nervously at my diminishing cell battery. (Times like these I thank God I married a MacGyver type.)
Day two on the klotok allowed for two hikes to feeding sites. We ventured to the heart of Tanjung Puting, Camp Leakey, another half-mile walk through the singing rainforest. A large female orangutan named Siswi was tucked under a raised house in near slumber.
Kayaking through Palau’s Rock Islands by default feels like being a castaway in an undiscovered paradise. This was my second time to take this day trip and it was no less exhilarating than nearly two years ago.
Here you see the beaming face of a person just minutes away from zip lining over a waterfall in the remote Pacific island of Palau. Thrilling, gorgeous, awe-inspiring, yes. What you don’t see is this person falling flat on her butt just inches away from the waterfall! What a bruise, but fortunately the Canon was saved. So, yes, this was my first zip lining experience and there are no pictures of me doing said adventure only because I am a control freak of a photographer, so I wanted to shoot the view as I zipped! Those photos actually were not that interesting — just the tops of trees quite blurry. So, you see the hubs zip lining and looking like he’s hanging on for dear life, which he was (although I don’t know why).
Palau is really a magical place. Once the setting for a season of Survivor, this tiny Micronesian island chain is home to a gazillion kinds of coral, sea life, and breathtaking rock islands. This was my second visit and working vacation. Read my full travel story.
The island of Pohnpei is the largest and tallest in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). An abundance of rain falls on its rugged mountain peaks, streaming into more than 40 rivers that feed the upper rain forest. Its waterfalls range from pleasant to spectacular, some with large swimming ponds. Although mangrove swamps surround most of Pohnpei’s coastline, nearby reef islands boast beautiful sandy beaches.