On the Kinabatangan River, Malaysian BorneoWe woke before the sun came up, stumbling to put on our over-sized gumboots that were already caked with mud from a jungle walk the day before. Making our way down to the small boats, torches in hands, the anticipation of seeing wild orangutans or perhaps even crocodiles and elephants was enough to keep our eyes wide open, a better stimulant than coffee.
After miles and miles of river, after hearing the distant calls of monkeys and other creatures, we finally spotted those lovely and endangered apes, the gentle and intelligent orangutan. We all just sat in the boat for ages, staring up into the treetops to watch them eat their breakfasts. None of us spoke, none of us moved. And when it was finally time to head back to camp, to eat our own breakfasts and to take a river-water shower behind the huts, we all were filled with a great feeling of respect, of sadness, and of luck – luck to see these beautiful animals while we still could.