The plan for Day 4 was to hike 2 km to the camera site. I was nervous but hopeful that I would not get as dehydrated on this hike – that maybe I’d adjusted to the heat.
We took down the camp and ate breakfast to the sound of gibbons woo-woo-woooping in the background – one troupe to another, laying territorial claim. Eventually the snarls and buzzes of distant chainsaws drowned them out.
It rained again in the morning, and a pair of rubber tree farmers sought shelter with us under our tarp until the rain passed. The man was dark and leathery with a black and salty mustache. His cheeks were thin and the veins on his temple prominent. He smiled often and was talkative with the team. His wife wore a round, pointed woven hat, rubber boots, and lipstick. She had strong teeth that showed as her eyes crinkled when she smiled widely. They got to talking harimau – tigers. Tigers were recently spotted in this area, and the farmer said he sold his bull to avoid it falling prey to a tiger. Elephants had been seen in the area, too – he said they’d started using human roads.
After the rain passed and the farmers went on their way, we bathed fully clothed in the river. What started out fun, though, took a turn when some debris left a gash in one of the team members’ eyelids. We made a hasty retreat and got on the road – it was a three hour drive to the hospital.
At the hospital, they referred us to a local eye doctor. We waited about an hour for the doctor to return, and then our crew member got stitches on the eyelid. We drove back to the camp site, but because it was late, we sought shelter with the farming couple we’d met earlier that day who lived near where we’d camped.