Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Trips by speedboat are one of the perks of living in Central Kalimantan. Speedboat taxis regularly service routes to regional centres that are usually inaccessible by car, especially during the wet season, when roads are turned into mud baths. The boat trips can be as short as an hour, for a cruise on the Rungan River, or as long as 4 hours, to Tumbang Malahoi and Pegatan, on the Java sea, or even 6 hours if travelling upriver to Tumbang Hiran. These journeys are exciting and comfortable in the big boats, designed to carry 20 or more passengers under a tarpaulin. You can sit back and enjoy the passing river scenery through a cool curtain of spray. Just as some roads can be impassable in the wet season, so the levels of many rivers go down in the dry, hot season to reveal rocky rapids, sandbanks and fallen trees, and often closing the rivers altogether.