Trevor Frost is a hard man to keep tabs on. One week our adventure travel guide is in Australia’s Outback or the Sahara tracking the last true navigators for his dead reckoning project. Then the next week he checks in while filming orcas hunting seals on the beaches of Patagonia. But our latest dispatch from the high-mileage man arrived, with a submission of incredible photos, straight from the jungles of Borneo while on top-secret assignment for National Geographic.
His itinerary this summer includes trips to dive with humpbacks in Tonga, explore the vast remoteness of Australia, stroll deep into the Rift Valley of Ethiopia, and then a safari to see the gorillas of Uganda. We’re just happy he keeps sending these incredible images every time he stumbles across good wi-fi in some remote corner of the globe. Below is his dispatch from deep in the Indonesia jungle. —LYA Editor
Top: Trevor Frost traveling by boat up a tributary of the Kapuas River in Central Kalimantan on the Island of Borneo, Indonesia. Above: Large pools of water on the forest floor, a typical scene in the peat swamp forests of Borneo I am exploring for Nat Geo. There is no way around them, so we are often soaking wet, which makes fast-drying Travex gear critical.
Images, Captions and Dispatch by Trevor Frost, except fourth image by Tim Laman
Dispatch, Borneo: Three months in the rainforests of Borneo, the world’s third-largest island, a place that seems forgotten by the rest of the world, is a dream assignment. I’m here for National Geographic and we are traveling the length of Borneo. We are moving by boat, plane, truck, and on foot to get as far away as possible.
Thus far, the rivers are my favorite part of the experience. I suppose it is the ease of travel and the fact that rivers move through all ecosystems and touch every culture, giving you a chance—on one line of travel—to see so much. Already we’ve been up the Kapuas River in the Central Kalimantan province. There, we rode in old canoe-like boats with two-stroke lawnmower motors. The boat had two speeds: slow and flat out, which our driver controlled by pulling a string. The engine was loud and annoying, but the wind in my hair and the lack of bugs made up for it, especially considering we were about to spend three weeks living in a peat swamp forest renowned for mosquitoes and the amount of water on the forest floor.
There wasn’t a day that I was dry. At times even the trails, which we walked on only 10 percent of our time there, were flooded with water. Walking became like a game of chess, standing at the edge of a pool of water and mapping out your route in the hope that you wouldn’t sink knee-deep in mud. Some of the people I was with sank so deep in mud and water that they couldn’t get out on their own. Now I’m in West Kalimantan Province, preparing for another journey into the forest. We will be traveling by boat again, which excites me, and the forest we are going to is a primary tropical rainforest, meaning it is intact, has never been cut down. The chance to visit places like these, especially this one, which is enmeshed in so many levels of bureaucracy that fewer than ten tourists visit each year, overwhelms me with a sense of privilege.
Above: Trevor Frost and Wahyu Susanto walk back to camp just before nightfall. Image by Tim Laman
Above: My home for three weeks, a research camp in the peat swamp forests of Borneo. We lived in a simple wooden structure and I set up my Stargazer Tent inside to keep me safe from the bugs and snakes and spiders
Above: A local Dayak man helps us shuttle our gear from the research camp to the boat that will take us to our next destination
Above: A field of ferns on the edge of the peat swamp forest
Above: A few tall trees in the peat swamp forest of Borneo
Above: Traveling by small motorboat up a remote tributary of the Kapuas River in Borneo, an island famous for its mysteries
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