Garuda Indonesia Colours Magazine March 2019 - Page 104

102 1 Travel | Sebangau By sunset, we are back to the comfort of the Spirit of Kalimantan. The next day, our boat resumes its smooth journey up the great Katingan River, and we again readily adjust to its slow-moving pace, lazily taking in the variety of ferns near the riverbank and marvelling at the sight of a beautiful hornbill swooping across the sky. The following morning, our boat anchors near Baun Bango, a Dayak village lying right on the edge of the national park. Once ashore, we go in search of our Dayak host, Pak Alwi. There is only one main village road, and his house has been there for over 140 years, so it is not hard to find him. Alwi is sitting on his verandah waiting for us. His beautiful bark house features ironwood beams and original wood flooring; it looks as if it could last another 100 years. Alwi, who was born in the house and has lived there all his life, invites us inside. After a few bedtime Dayak tales from our host, I drift off to a sound sleep, dreaming of the adventures that might lie ahead the next day. 2 A row of two-stringed guitars, called kecapi, lean against one of the walls. Pak Alwi immediately picks one up and gives us a big smile. “I made this kecapi,” he says enthusiastically and immediately begins to play a Dayak song for us. Then, as the lilting traditional music begins to take shape, our young Dayak guide sings along in her native language. It is a beautiful moment. The harmony of these two voices melding together, the old Dayak with the young Dayak, casts a spell on us. In the evening we are treated to a magnificent meal of forest greens, vegetables, rattan soup, local tahoman river fish, steamed rice and marinated bean curd. We are invited to sleep in the village, in a homestay, but also have the option of sleeping on the boat. I opt for the homestay. After a few bedtime Dayak tales from our host, I drift off to a sound sleep, dreaming of the adventures that might lie ahead the next day. The economic pulse of Palangkaraya's traditional markets. Palangkaraya has become the gate to explore Sebangau National Park. The Borneo forest hugs the river as it snakes its way through this beautiful Central Kalimantan wilderness.