Sabtu, 29 Maret 2008

Rafflesia and my Dedication

Rafflesia and my Dedication

5°58' 22" N, 116°4' 03" E
I dream to see this typical flower for long time. Never think that I would succeed in Kotakinabalu, the state of Malaysia in Borneo Island.

It's a kind of strange flower that bloom only 7 days directly from bud. Buds are on ground collect food for 6-7 months. It's noticed that these buds mostly found near to grape-like plant. In Kotakinabalu there is a research
Center for Rafflesia but the research lab is very big - in the true forest. At present, Rafflesia can only natural planted by NATURE.

As I go to research center so I didn't prepare for mountain hiking before. We had a forest man as a guide and climbed downhill for 45 minutes and slope was more steep till it was difficult to stand. We walked through the path full of moss and fern, moisted air and sound of stream flow nearer. I tried not to ask when we will reach it. I was soaking with sweat. Then the guide stopped suddenly and said it's was there on the left side. Even with 400 mm zoom len but it was there with dense plants around, so we walked carefully along the contour line to see it closely. The steep slope that we couldnot stand upright at all.

We had to pressed our foot firmly on ground not slipping down and grasp branches along the way.

Till we meet her near, sweat got into my eyes, with one hand grasped the instable branches and I passed my camera for my friend who stood in the position that could use two hands taking photo.

We were so near that we could touch. This type is small size and nmo bad smell. I didn't know I should glad or sad to find her instead of the huge size with bad smell, its reputation. However I found she was so lovely.

A flower growing out from small bud and blossom only a week. We met her on her sixth day. I touched her very lightly. Never think that I could go into jungle to find her family again any second time.

After that we climbed up for 1.30 hrs, more difficult with slope that's steeper than 45 degree for almost half way. I stopped to rest and drink water several times and said I could not make it any more. I need longer stop but we didn't want to waste the time of the forestry guide, so I tried harder. Even I felt I was biten by something on my leg but we didn't stop. I said maybe insect or snake, small and sudden pain for some seconds.

Its not a kind of normal trekking route but I go down into the rain forest chasm. Route seemed never-ending for me. Climbing up fast used lots of energy and I totally soaked with sweat like bathing. I said to my friend, this trip is specially dedeicated to her - the Rafflesia and I will never forget her and this route.

Till I could make it. We reached the top then I found my blue jean was filled with blood. we were biten by leech. It's my first time biten by leech. Normally I could feel the moment it will be bite and I get it out before. This time I felt before but I couldn't find a place to stop on that slope. Anyway glad to be biten, I wanted to know how to be biten by leech and never dare to.
So I conclude that

"This is just for her... I do for her...the Rafflesia. I will never forget you"

Borneo island is a very tropical rainforest location. Its average rainfall is 4000 mm a year and there are so many typical plants and animals there, one in the world. However rafflesia is found many locations around southeast Asia. In the south of Thailand, it is found too but I came to see this in Borneo island.

Location :
downhill forest
near to Rafflesia Research Center
Kotakinabalu, Borneo Island


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