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Travel Pictures - INDONESIA - 1992

All images Ron Miller

          During all of my travels, the tropical archipelago of Indonesia was about as far
     from Tennessee (in several ways) as I could get. The highlights of my visit included
     relaxing at the travelers enclave at Bukit Lawang (Sumatra), observing orangutans
     in the wild (Sumatra), the un-earthly landscape of Mt. Bromo (Java), and the verdant
     landscape and bizarre culture of Bali. The only negative I encountered was the
     constant harassment by aggressive vendors (the most aggressive on the planet).
     Although I intended to travel the chain of islands beyond Bali to Flores, I was worn
     out from stomach problems that first began in Nepal.

My innovative, travelers guesthouse that provided guests with "liquid" air conditioning -
Bukit Lawang; Sumatra, Indonesia

Orangutans do not run through the trees like small monkeys; they move methodically through the canopy with the cleverness
of a seasoned chess player. Traveling from tree to tree, they navigate through the jungle by swinging on vines or by
using smaller trees that they sway to an fro like an upside down pendulum until grasping the next tree or vine.
It is mesmerizing to watch them skillfully move through their aerial gymnasium with the grace of ballerinas -
Bukit Lawang; Sumatra, Indonesia
At times, orangutans seem "more human than humans"; the feeding platform for orphaned orangutans at the rehabilitation center -
Bukit Lawang; Sumatra, Indonesia
Pass the coconut milk, please -
Bukit Lawang; Sumatra, Indonesia
Notice how the orangutan skillfully hangs horizontally using only its feet (the hand is not really gripping the tree) -
Bukit Lawang; Sumatra, Indonesia
This jungle ballerina was either enjoying a snack or cleaning his/her teeth -
Bukit Lawang; Sumatra, Indonesia
This curious, young male is moving in for a closer look -
Bukit Lawang; Sumatra, Indonesia
Orangutans are intelligent, curious, and observant and, unlike any any other animal, will calmly
look deep into your eyes and methodically observe your entire body and clothing -
Bukit Lawang; Sumatra, Indonesia
A female orangutan hanging comfortably with an infant clinging to her abdomen -
Bukit Lawang; Sumatra, Indonesia
This female orangutan urinated directly overhead giving the human visitors an unexpected, warm shower!
I wonder if the orange pacifist was delivering a subtle message about the
destruction of the orangutans' natural habitat?
Bukit Lawang; Sumatra, Indonesia
My jungle trekking group and our host family. For protection from leeches, we tucked our pants
into our socks in addition to soaking our socks in an acidic solution of tobacco juice -
Gunung Leuser N.P.; Sumatra, Indonesia
Jungle pioneers and their vicious pet monkey (under house, lower left); perhaps that monkey was angered
for being tied to a post for the entirety of its life, but all that creature wanted to do was bite me -
Gunung Leuser N.P.; Sumatra, Indonesia

After three days trekking through the Gunung Leuser N.P., I arrived in this rural community. These Sumatran children may have never
seen anyone with European features and, while curious, they were also cautious and maintained what I call a "cannibal-safe" distance -
Gunung Leuser N.P.; Sumatra, Indonesia

This typical Batak house would traditionally have housed eight families - and without interior walls! "Batak" is a collective
term used to identify a number of ethnic groups whose heartland is in the Lake Toba area. The majority of the "Batak"
people are Christian and represent the largest church community in this Muslim nation. The Batak people were
introduced to Christianity by the German Lutheran missionary Ludwig Ingwer Nommensen (1834-1918)
who translated the New Testament into the native Batak language -
Sumatra, Indonesia

Batak-style tourist huts on Lake Toba, a vast water-filled caldera that is the largest volcanic lake in the world.
The lake is 3,000 feet above sea level and more than 1,600 feet deep. Volcanologists say that the eruption that
created this vast caldera sent more than 2,000 times more material into the atmosphere than Mt. St. Helens
and deposited ash up to 20 feet deep on the Indian subcontinent nearly 2,000 miles away! -
Sumatra, Indonesia

Sipisopiso Falls plunges 360 feet off the rim of Lake Toba's vast caldera -
Sumatra, Indonesia

My wonderful travel companions for Sumatra -
Bukitingi; Sumatra, Indonesia
Jakarta is one of the world's largest cities as well as the capital city of the fourth most populous nation (can you find McDonald's?) -
Jakarta; Java, Indonesia

This view from the barren summit of the active volcano Mt. Merapi (9,560 feet) and toward the lush green slopes
of the dormant volcano Mt. Merbabu, vividly shows the creative and destructive powers of nature -
Mt. Merapi; Java, Indonesia

Lush farmland and highly fertile soil in the saddle between Mt. Merapi and Mt. Merbabu -
Selo; Java, Indonesia
The un-earthly landscape of the Tengger Caldera including Mt. Bromo (smoking crater at center) with Java's highest peak,
Mt. Semeru (12,060 feet), in the distance, which threw out a large puff of smoke every 20 minutes -
Java, Indonesia
Indonesian tourists at the "Stairway to Heaven" that accesses Mt. Bromo's smoking crater -
Java, Indonesia
Me on the crater rim of Mt. Bromo -
Java, Indonesia
The true essence of earth art; these terraced rice paddies are both beautiful and functional -
near Ubud, Bali
I stopped my motorbike to capture this image of a young boy tending the rice paddies -
near Ubud, Bali
After becoming lost, I stopped to look at my map just as the nearby school let out. These Balinese children were rather mesmerized
at the site of their foreign visitor. Although the girls remained at a distance, the young boys moved in to pinch the hair on my arms
and legs! Initially, I didn't understand their fascination until realizing that the Balinese, including the men, have little body hair.
I wonder if, on the following day, they suggested to their teacher that the missing link had driven by on a motorbike? -
near Pedawa; Bali, Indonesia
Another day, another festival - or perhaps a funeral? In Bali, it is difficult to tell the difference -
Ubud, Bali
I met these lovely ladies on their way to a banquet -
Ubud, Bali
My favorite people-picture in three and a half years of travel -
Ubud, Bali
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All images Ron Miller
For authorized use of these photos, please contact Ron Miller at TheHappyCannibal@gmail.com