After my previous raftings on the rivers from all 8-km-peaks and from the highest peaks of all continents, there remained one mountain only, to descend on the river, flowing down which, I aspired - the highest peak of Oceania Mt.Jaya (5,030 m), located in Irian Jaya - the western (Indonesian) part of New Guinea island. But it was required to put very many efforts to carry out this expedition. It was the most expensive travelling. To get on New Guinea island, to have rafted there and to come back home, it was required more 3,000 dollars.
On July 7 (Friday), 1995 by flight of Aeroflot I have taken off to Jakarta. Making the intermediate landing in Dubai, we have arrived to the capital of Indonesia on Saturday about at 17-18 o'clock of the local time. I have bought beforehand the ticket for the flight Jakarta-Biak of the Indonesian company "Garuda" for July 9 (the start at 21.00), and I was going to spend one day in Jakarta. Therefore I have tried to learn from the compatriots, flying with me to Jakarta, about a cheap hotel, but it has appeared, that all of them are the "new Russians" and go to have a rest at 4-5-star hotels for about 100-150 dollars per day. In particular, I had the opportunity to spend the night with the tourists, the rest of which was organized by the Russian tourist firm "Discovery" and Indonesian firm "Blue Swan", at the hotel "Horizon" on the bank of the sea, but such pleasure would cost me 135 dollars. I could not to allow to self the such magnificence. Therefore I have been interested in the aircraft at the neighbour-Indonesian, where are in Jakarta the cheap hotels. He has told, that near the bus station Gambir in the Jaksa street. I have reached Gambir in one hour by the regular-route bus for 3,000 Rupees (on July 8, 1995 one American dollar was equal to 2,200 Rupees) and have then reached Jaksa in a taxi (truth is, it has been taken from me 7,000 Rupees, though this pleasure did not cost more than 3,000, but in Jakarta there has come the night, and I had not the choice). I have stayed at the hostel "Borneo". Here the room costs 25,000 Rupees per day only. The toilet and shower – of the common using. The water in the shower, truth is, is cold only. But for me it was main, that I pay for room 11 dollars, instead of 135. And the contingent at this hostel was suitable - the young guys from America and Western Europe.
The aircraft from Jakarta to Biak had to depart on Sunday at 21 o'clock only, therefore I could devote a large part of this day to the search of the detailed map of Irian Jaya province (the Indonesian part of New Guinea island) and the acquaintance with Jakarta. I succeeded in finding the map, not very detailed, but it was nevertheless better that one, which was available at me. I have then decided to visit the familiar tourists at the hotel "Horizon" and to examine its neighbourhood. It has appeared, that this hotel was arranged in the magnificent rest-park with the huge amount of special attractions, especially on the bank of the sea. Here is also the aqua-park, which I with acquaintances have visited. The main entertainment here were the "water hills" – the descent from hills on troughs with running water. Earlier, when I saw this show on TV set, it seemed, that the lowered person felt any poignant sensations. Alas, the reality has disappointed me. The descent from this hill cannot be compared with the overcoming of rapids on the river, even easiest. Because of the bad quality of the seams between the separate sections of road, at descent I thought only about one - as though to don't tear my slips over these seams. But for the little children in the aqua-park there is the magnificent rest.
At 20 o'clock I have arrived to the international airport, named Sukarno, to take off to Biak. The service on the internal distant avia-lines in Indonesia has pleasantly amazed. It is not lower the level of Aeroflot, when that serves the international flights.
I have flied to Biak on July 10 at 5 a.m. By 7 o'clock I managed to receive at local police the permit for visiting the Kemabu and Darewo Rivers. And at once I have purchased the ticket for the flight Biak-Nabire of aircompany "Merpati".
To make successfully for 2 hours these two things - about it I could dream only. Everything was perfectly, but... But there has come a large strip of bad luck. After arrival to Nabire it lay ahead of me the last flight Nabire-Sugapa to the Kemabu River. This flight also is carried out by "Merpati", moreover two times per a week only - on Tuesdays and Fridays. But now it was Monday, 7 a.m. It meant, that if I depart to Nabire at 11 o'clock, I shall have arrived there at 12 o'clock and shall have time, perhaps, to purchase to self the ticket for Tuesday for flight Nabire-Sugapa and to be noted at the local police. I have even tried at the office of "Merpati" in Biak to purchase the ticket for this flight, but I was told, that Nabire-Sugapa is the local airline, and the tickets for it are sold in Nabire only. But then the trouble began. "My" aircraft (which should fly from Biak to Nabire) has broken, and the flight began to be postponed, postponed and again postponed. Eventually it was put off for the morning of Tuesday, and it meant, that I am late for the race Nabire-Sugapa on Tuesday. But it has turned out more yet offensively. When we at 9 a.m. have arrived to Nabire, the aircraft to Sugapa still remained here because of the non-flying weather in region of Sugapa. But the free seats in it already were not. I was advised to address to the pilots of one more aircompany - "Trigana", but this company also for the nearest days did not plan the flight to Sugapa. I have already become reconciled to an idea, that it is necessary for three days to "stick around" in Nabire (it is small ordinary town-ship, in which there was the unusual for me only the fact, that here, in basic, Negros-Papuans live) and have gone to the agency "Merpati" to buy the ticket on Friday. But here the new impact waited me. From this Tuesday "Merpati" has gone over to one flight Nabire-Sugapa per week, namely - on Tuesdays. Taking into consideration, that I should be in Indonesia for three weeks (to change date of the return flight from Jakarta to Moscow for later term I could not, as had the PEX's ticket with the unchangeable date of flight), and from these three weeks it is necessary during one complete week to stick around in Nabire - this idea has wildly upset me.
Then I was advised to address to the small private aircompanies MAF and AMA, which make the irregular flights both to Sugapa, and to other settlements on the Kemabu River (in particular, to Pogapa and Bilai). For the next day the aircraft of AMA will fly to Bilai, but for this flight all tickets were sold also. And till Saturday AMA was not going to fly to Sugapa or Pogapa, or Bilai. There remained the company MAF. Here I have got to know the Americam pilot Dwite Fibley, working on the aircraft of this company.
To the point, just from him I have learned, that the settlements Pogapa and Bilai are just on the Kemabu River, because the perfect map of Nabire-Sugapa region was not in Nabire at the office of aircompany "Merpati" even. Fibley has told me, that in the morning on Thursday his company plans the flight Nabire-Timika, but if at this time in Timika there will be the fog (that is there frequently), he will fly on the route Nabire-Pogapa and can take away me with self. For this variant I began to hope.
Meantime I have received the permission for visit the Kemabu and Darewo Rivers from the local police also, but for this purpose it was required to go to the police office twice.
It is necessary also to note, that in Nabire I have stayed at the hotel "Nusantara". Depending on a class of rooms, the cost of stay at it (with four-time food) varies from 26,000 Rupees per day up to 80 dollars about. I, naturally, stayed in the room for 26,000 Rupees (truth is, it - for three beds, so anybody could join up with me yet). The room is good, however in the house with such rooms there is no shower in general. But very much meal is giving, and it is tasty. To the point, on territory of the hotel there grow the fruit trees "jambu", their fruits have the rather pleasant taste.
In Biak and Nabire I have seen the threemarans of the local residents. These ships consist of the basic hull (usual boat) and two additional floats (usual logs), "carried out" for some distance from the boat.
In connection with my new knowledge in geography of the region of the Kemabu and Darewo Rivers, which I have received from Dwite Fibley, I have a bit changed the strategy of my travelling. Originally I planned, having arrived to Sugapa, to have rafted on the Kemabu River (after the confluence with the Dega River before settlement Bilai it is called by the Darewo), and then on foot to come back to Sugapa, from whence by air to come back to Nabire. Now I could in principle depart back also both from Pogapa, and from Bilai, if there will be at this time the aircrafts of companies MAF and AMA. But beforehand (one week ahead) it was not known, where and when just will be the aircrafts of these companies, and whether will they arrive to Pogapa or Bilai in general. But from Sugapa regularly (on Tuesdays) the aircraft "Twin Otter" of company "Merpati" flies, however, to use it, I should in addition trek with a rucksack and pipes 60 km about, that is should lose for this three days yet. Therefore I have decided to carry out the trekking and rafting as soon as possible (to go at full speed from a morning up to an evening), to come back to Pogapa or Bilai (they are close by) and there already to decide (depending on the information about the flights of aircrafts of the companies MAF and AMA), is it necessary me to go back to Sugapa or to wait an aircraft here. However on Thursday I have not departed somewhere. The aircraft of the company MAF has not departed to Pogapa (though in the morning I have bought the ticket for it, my luggage was weighed, and the aircompany workers were even going to send me to Pogapa). Dwite Fibley has informed, that, perhaps, may fly to Pogapa on Saturday, but it is scarcely probable. In the company AMA I was told, that their aircraft will fly to Bilai only next week. I have been sad very much. But then, at last, I was lucky. It has appeared, that the aircraft of "Merpati" still will fly tomorrow (on Friday) to Sugapa, and one of the employees of the hotel was able still to take the ticket to me for it.
I managed to learn, that on following Tuesday an aircraft of the company MAF will fly from Pogapa, and on Wednesday an aircraft of AMA - from Bilai. So the question about the returning to Sugapa somehow no longer arose, and I intended to come back on Wednesday from Bilai.
In the evening at the hotel I have got to know the Australian rafter-and-climber Angus Finney. He showed me the detailed (of 2.5 km per 1 cm scale) map of the region of peak Jaya (Punchak Jaya). And then it has appeared, that the tourist authorities from Jayapura (with which I corresponded during 1.5 years) gave me the completely incorrect information that Sugapa is located on the Kemabu River. It has appeared, that it in general places the other side of the watershed between the basins of the Kemabu (Darewo) River and the Tariku (Mamberamo) River. And to the first (with the stream) on the Kemabu River settlement Ugimba it will be necessary to go 20-25 kilometres about, having overcome this watershed. Already it was 11 p.m., but next day at 5 a.m. the registration for "my" aircraft to Sugapa should be, therefore I have asked Angus to cut off for me a piece of the map with the image of the top site of the Kemabu River. The Ausrtalian made it kindly.
And on Friday in the morning I already flied to Sugapa. The laying below mountain massif (Maoke Moutains) has produced the huge impression on me. There are the young mountains obviously, with the numerous gorges and sharp ridges. And, as we flew up closer to Mt.Jaya, the ridges of mountains became sharper. Their sides were covered by dense forests.
One hundred persons about met our aircraft. Many people have come for the arriving load, but the majority - because of the simple curiosity. It is necessary to notice at once, that almost whole population of New Guinea island consists of Negros-Papuans. They became to meet in Biak already, in Nabire them - the majority, and in Sugapa and in general in all region of my rafting the Papuans live only. The several tribes dwell here. In particular, the Papuans from tribe "saya" helped me to carry a rucksack (at least, they named self so). During my trekking and rafting I have not met any person, speaking English. The Papuans did not understand me absolutely, and in this connection there arose for me the problems of different sort.
I do not know, are whether those Papuans, which I met, cannibals, but they were friendly rather with me. At least, anybody has not undertaken the attempt to eat me. However in one of villages there have stolen from me the waterproof trousers and jacket, in which I should raft. And also there have stolen practically all my meal products, except for tea and sugar partially. And to understand (but not to justify) this act it is possible: there around the small children with swollen from hunger stomachs. There is almost nothing to eat, except "ubi" (it is something like the sweet potatoes) and similar fruits.
The majority of Papuans-men (and practically all boys of 8-16 years old) go constantly with a bow and arrows, and also with a large knife (with its help they quickly plane new arrows), and shoot at everything, that moves (a bird whether, an animal whether). The reaction at Papuans is sheer magnificent. At me my porter-Papuan has almost killed the flied near us bird by the log, launching it as a boomerang.
Many Papuans-men go absolutely nude, but with pipes, fastened from the front.
I slept some times in their huts, having the basis as a circle. The nights in mountains are cold, therefore in middle of the hut there is the hearth, and at night on the same place a fire from large logs is made up, which burns during all night almost. The people sleep, settling down radially, by legs to a fire.
At one of villages the people went, whole smeared with dirt, and smeared by this dirt each other. Probably, there was any holiday.
So, I have arrived to Sugapa. With the help of one of policemen I have employed a porter, which (as it has appeared subsequently) was a policeman (but about it I have found out already in Ugimba). He somehow has agreed to carry my rucksack up to Ugimba for 10,000 Rupees (and I shall drag the pipes – the basis of the catamaran frame). Both policemen escorted me to police, where have required my permit. Having seen it only and making in it the mark about my arrival to Sugapa, they have calmed down, have fed me with rice and did not detain. The truth is, they recommended me to take one more porter, but I have refused. Nevertheless, when we were set out, the second porter was still tagged along with us.
The trail lead sharply upward (I have at once recollected Nepalese trails), and soon my porter got tired. The second porter has taken from him my rucksack, and they have gone further, replacing each other. I was compelled to agree with such variant.
The trail still lead upward. We crept so during half-day and, at last, have passed the pass-point and became to be lowered downward (but, as it has appeared hereinafter, it was not yet that, watershed, range, after which we should get in the Kemabu/Darewo River basin). It has rained.
It is necessary to tell, that the weather on the route was for me the largest unexpectedness. In Big Soviet Encyclopaedia there was absent the table of the precipitation (depending on each month) on New Guinea island and in all Indonesia. Therefore for a basis of my reckoning up of weather in Irian Jaya I have taken the data (from this encyclopaedia) of Darwin town, which is located in the north of Australia, that is quite near Irian Jaya. From this table it followed, that rains begin to pour at the beginning of autumn, and in a spring and in a summer the precipitation are minimum. But in reality, as things turned out, it rains in New Guinea in July each day, and there are frequently the downpours with thunder-storms. Due to this and clay ground, the trails in Maoke Mountains in July don't dry up practically. And here, when we have begun abruptly to be lowered from the pass downward (I already mentioned above, that the country here is sharply broken, it is necessary to overcome very abrupt ascents and descents), the trail has become ghastly. The wet clay and wet roots of trees (directed, as out of spite, along the trail) did not "held" me, and I "left" downward some times. The porters went barefoot and, due to this (they clung to ground and roots by all fingers of legs), fell less often, than I. And then we have got in general in the wild jungle (to the point, I shall note, that for two days of the trekking up to Ugimba nobody has met us on the way). We fell down up to knees in liquid clay, in several places the trail leaded through the dense webs of roots. Frequently for crossing the falling trees were used. And sometimes around us there was the real bog. Besides it is necessary to note, that thanking to the round-the-year positive temperature and the abundant precipitation, here the trees are very high, and their crowns block each other practically. Therefore we crept in any twilight. Yes, jungle is not a place for pleasant walking. It is necessary to tell, that lower Ugimba (with the stream of the Kemabu) the trail will become a little bit better. But there, because of the most powerful downpours, we shall frequently go directly on the streams up to the waist in water. And lower Selemama only the trail will acquire the more-less decent character.
According to the map, between Sugapa and Ugimba there are in a bee-line twenty kilometres about. I even thought at first, that one day will enough for us to reach Ugimba. But because of the bad trail (besides it looped very much) to reach Ugimba for a day it was not possible. We have spent the night near any small river before the beginning of ascent to the pass on the watershed range. The Papuans-porters have brought lots of firewood for the night and slept near a fire. The night was on the whole quiet, though from time to time someone went around us, and shouts whether birds, whether animals rang out sometimes.
In the morning of next day we have continued the trekking. All unpleasant things, that was on the eve, have repeated. But, eventually, we have still reached Ugimba. And here I have seen for the first time the Kemabu River.
Now I shall tell, what the Kemabu represents itself. On that site (between Ugimba and lower Bilai), where I have visited, the river has the average slope about 30 m/km. The rafters know, that it is the rather large slope. Here the Kemabu is the river of 5-6 severity grade, more correct, 5 sg with the numerous elements of 6 sg. In several places the river is literally buried by stone boulders, though, in basic, the obstacles have jet character (and they become complicated during rains).
But it is not the most dangerous. In the former-USSR only I leaded and participated in ten raftings of the maximum sixth (tenth as in the USA) grade. But the Kemabu was dangerous by that it was practically impossible to reconnoitre it normally. The trail frequently goes far from the river, and the bank is the impassable jungle. It is impossible to examine the more-or-less extend site of the river ahead, that is during the rafting it is necessary to pass the majority of obstacles without the previous reconnaissance. But another thing is still worse. In case of turning over, if you have broken away from the boat, you lose practically everything - as the catamaran, as all things. Besides your life finds in danger: you see, it is extremely difficult to get out to the trail through the impassable jungle and bogs, in addition the trail at times move aside from the Kemabu for about kilometres about. Besides, as it is emphasized in all reference books about Irian Jaya, the numerous poisonous snakes and spiders, after a bite of which the person dies in a few minutes, represent the large danger for the people.
Eventually I have decided to raft without things on the sites of the river, where the trail goes not so far from it (and I shall check up this beforehand). But I shall carry the catamaran over other sites. This strategy, correct for my conditions only (it was possible to essentially change it in case of two or three participants), has required the additional efforts, as at first it was necessary to pass on foot some site of the trail, to be convinced, that it goes not far off from the river, in the most convenient place to descend to the river and on the bank to leave any easily discernible mark (for this purpose I used my brightly-red jacket). Besides I was accompanied with a porter with all my things, except the catamaran. Then I came back to the catamaran and rafted on the river up to the bright label and porter.
By such way I have rafted on the site of the Kemabu just below Ugimba, the sites before settlement Emondi and before Bilai.
During the rafting the special incidents with me did not arise. On Tuesday in the afternoon I already was before the bridge over the Darewo River (the Kemabu turned into it earlier a bit) between Bilai and Pogapa (Bilai - on the right bank of the river, Pogapa - on the left, and the trail after Ugimba went on the left bank). Tomorrow in the morning an aircraft from Bilai to Nabire should fly, and the abrupt ascent from the bridge to Bilai lay in front of us (me and porter) yet, therefore I hastened, but have decided, still at last, to pass in the catamaran two sites of the river yet - this time already before the numerous spectators, assembled near the bridge. I have overcome the first site without problems, previously reconnoitring it. But time was not to reconnoitre the second site. Unfortunately, the gondolas of the catamaran let out an air strongly. Besides, the return valves of gondolas (for their pumping by air) were of an extremely unsuccessful design, and a lot of time it was required in order to pump up the gondolas, but I had not this time. Therefore I did not become to pump up the gondolas of the catamaran, though they have very drained the air. Probably, the syndrome of the finish mood had an effect also, when in thoughts you have already finished the rafting and relax. In short, in one of "holes" the whole air in the gondolas has left in the bow part, and the catamaran over the stern has turned over.
I have seized by one hand the paddle, and by another hand have grasped the catamaran. Then it has draged us into the next severe rapid, but I am tenaciously kept for the ship and have not allowed to tear off myself from it. Just after the rapid I have turned over the catamaran, have got on it and wanted to moor to the bank, but already had not time to make it, as we have been breathed in the next difficult (of 5 or 6 sg) rapid. It was necessary to pass it. I was afraid most of all, that the drained gondolas will have let me down again, and I left from all "holes" in every possible way. Fortunately, everything ended safely, and after the rapid I have quietly moored to the left bank.
The trail has appeared not far off from the river. As soon as I have risen up, three fellows-Papuans have run to me. We together have lowered downward, I have disassembled the catamaran, and these guys have carried it to the bridge, where I was met by the crowd of aboriginals, looking at me with bewilderment (and even with disappointment). As it was found out later, someone has told them, that I have perished, they have already discussed my death and have calmed down, and here suddenly I put in an appearance. We were already late strongly. Therefore I have quickly laid gondolas into the rucksack, have connected the catamaran pipes, and we went to Bilai. When it became to darken already, we have reached this settlement. There the Catholic pastor-Papuan, speaking English, has met us. The pastor has invited me to spend the night in his house. I, certainly, have accepted the invitation. The kind owner was called Jack Takimai. He had the wife and three children. For my question, as is it possible for Catholic tutor to have the wife (as far as I know, it is not allowed - we know many tragic histories about the non-realized love of the young Catholic priests), the pastor Jack has answered, that for the radical inhabitants of Irian Jaya the exception is made. To converse with the pastor Jack it was very interesting. His wife is the teacher at local school. They have one son and two daughters. They enable to the son himself to choose future, but from three variants only - pilot, doctor or pastor. The son is four years old, and while he has not chosen his future occupation finally.
Except the pleasant conversation, a shower (truth is, cold), clean bed and, the great thing, tasty European food and coffee were suggested me. The fact is, that the problem of meal has arisen already at the beginning of the rafting. In Ugimba there have been pilfered from me all grocery reserves, except tea and half of sugar. To the point, in this village there live forty persons about, not more, and for the local policeman (which my porter on the site of the way from Sugapa to Ugimba has turned to be) it will be no trouble to find out, who made it (I have asked him to return me the stolen things and products). But he has not made it, moreover has taken from me 35,000 Rupees for spending the night in the cold shed without windows (such rest in the shed is called by him "bisok").
In general, as it has appeared (however, it was possible to foresee), the local policemen did not miss me from sight. The truth is, I thought, that (as liaison-officers in Nepal) they (or their people) will simply accompany me. However in Irian Jaya the policemen voluntarily and unconditionally turned into porters and carried my rucksack. Moreover only on their territory, from their village up to the following one. Thus six porters were changed. Besides not I changed them, but they informed me, that from there such-and-such a person will be go. And the closer we advanced to Bilai, the more the requirements of these porters-policemen grew. If to the first policemen I have given 15,000 Rupees, to the last – already 30,000. But I digressed a bit from the problem, connected with meal.
Since the practically all grocery reserves have been stolen from me, I have become to starve - at local villages the people ate only culinary roots, and there was not hint at a shop even. The truth is, I was given 2-3 potatoes per a day (it is norm of feed of Papuans), but it was obviously insufficiently for me. I deadened hunger by tea (at first with sugar, and then - when it was terminated - without it). I drank tea in plenty as in the morning, as in the afternoon, as in the evening. And after 4 days of such starvation in the pastor house here are offered me coffee, tea with sugar, and then - excellent dinner! And everything is in a very cultural manner: forks, spoons, knifes, napkins. To the point, in Indonesia (including restaurants) food is ate with the help of a spoon and a fork simultaneously, without a knife. Moreover, a spoon is kept in the right hand, and a fork - in the left.
The aircraft to Nabire should depart in the morning. And here it has appeared, that the pastor pluralizes as the radio operator at airdrome and as the seller of airtickets. Moreover the transmitting-and-receiving set and the booking-office are located in one of rooms of his two-floor house. Towards the end he has given me the visitor-opinion's book about the region and about the reception in his house. I have written, that I am pleased very much. And I was going already to leave, but then have noticed, that the pastor waits something. I have guessed, that the friendship is a good thing, but to pay for the shelter it is still necessary, and have asked the pastor: are 50,000 Rupees the normal payment? He has answered, that quite. I have parted with this sum without the slightest regret - you see, after that I have tested in jungle, the rest in the house of the pastor was the sheer paradise.
The aircraft has arrived to Bilai in the morning at 7 o'clock, and at 7.15 we have departed back. The young fellow from Wales piloted, working under three-year contract with aircompany AMA. He was very pleased with the conditions of work, but complained of local kitchen. During the flight the pilot pointed me by hand to the mountain Punchak Jaya (Karstens), the highest peak of Oceania. It was surprisingly beautiful.
In Nabire it was possible to get the ticket to Biak for 11 o'clock. But... This time the aircraft was in serviceability, however there was not pilot. He has appeared (has flied from other populated area) at 14 o'clock only, and we arrived to Biak at 15.30. I have rented a room for 52,000 Rupees at the airport hotel "Iriani" (at which already stayed the night) and have gone to police.
Here it is necessary to stop on the very important strategic moment in my expedition in Indonesia. During the almost two-year correspondence with the tourist authorities of Irian Jaya they offered only one variant of the rafting from the mountain Jaya - on the Kemabu and Darewo Rivers, as all other rivers are almost inaccessible and difficult to reconnoitre. The map of Irian Jaya (truth is, bad), which confirmed the above, was sent me. But as this map was bad, in Jakarta I purchased another, more detailed, map. And suddenly on it I have seen the road along the Ajkwa (Otomona Tamur) River, running down massif Jaya southward from settlement Tembagapura up to Amamapare and flowing near the airport Timika. It has surprised me: what has the road made in jungle for? And then during flight from Jakarta to Biak the magazine "Garuda" for July 1995 hits in my hands, in which there is the article. From it follows, that southward from the peak Jaya in region of the mountain Grasberg the huge reserves of gold and copper are found out. Under the statement of the author of the article Kal Muller, the mountain Grasberg harbours the largest over the world reserves of gold and the third over the world reserves of copper. Here is the famous Freeport. And centre of this region is town Tembagapura. In the magazine its photo was even present. And, it turns out, there are actively worked the "greens", environment defenders. They do everything so, that the extraction of gold and copper renders as small as possible harm to an environment.
It became clear, why the Indonesian authorities have constructed the road in jungle in record terms. I was inexpressibly delighted this information. I have decided, that after the rafting on the Kemabu and Darewo I shall do attempt "to break" (but officially!) to region Timika-Tembagapura and during if only one day (between these populated areas - 50 km about) to have rafted on the Ajkwa River.
Then, already in Nabire, looking the detailed map of Angus Finney, I have seen, that Tembagapura is located a little at a certain distance from the Ajkwa River, and it is the most convenient to begin the route from the automobile bridge over the Ajkwa between Timika and Tembagapura. Just during one day I can have rafted without things, leaving them in Timika.
But there was the main problem - whether will the police in Biak give me the permission for visit Timika-Tembagapura region, the more so that there found out gold and copper (and I can be ranked to Russian spies). Besides in the visa, which I have received in Moscow, under my request the places of my visiting of Irian Jaya were specified: Nabire - Sugapa - Kemabu River - Darewo River. On the basis of this record in the visa the police of Biak has given me the permit for visiting the above-stated places. About Timika and the Ajkwa River, naturally, in the visa it was nothing, and the police of Biak without fuss could not allow me to visit this region. Therefore I have decided, that at first I shall rafted on the Kemabu and Darewo Rivers, and then shall return to Biak and try to ask the policeman, being concerned with the permits for visiting Irian Jaya of the foreigners, to have type additionally in my permit the words "Timika - Tembagapura - Ajkwa River", so that he will not carry to the chief of Biak police for the signature the second permit with my name. I shall tell at once, that I succeeded in the realization of conceived plan. The policeman has still agreed and has typed the necessary words in my permit. The aircraft from Biak to Timika would take off on July 21, and I was going on July 23 to depart from Timika (either to Ambon, or to Ujung Pandang). Therefore the policeman has typed for me the date of the departure from Timika - July 23. But the next problem has arisen here.
Two days before the flight Biak-Timika for it there were already no free seats. The next flight should be only on July 23, that is on that day, when the specified in my permit term of my stay in Timika expires. Therefore I have decided in every possible way to try to depart there on July 21.
Alas, on Thursday (on July 21) anything was not solved. There were so many those who wished to depart to Timika, that even talk about me was not, as before me on the "waiting list" of "Merpati" there was almost a hundred people. Moreover, it has appeared, that till August 1 the free seats in aircrafts on the line Biak-Timika are not present.
At the hotel I have moved into the cheapest room - for 29,000 Rupees per day. Also I made a trip to the police and have asked policemen to prolong me the term of stay in Timika till July 27.
And on Saturday I succeeded in reserving the seat in economy class for the flight Biak-Jayapura on July 25 and in purchasing the ticket on July 24 for the direct flight Biak-Timika (but this flight is additional, "extra", and whether will it be, or not - anybody for the present did not know precisely). In addition, I had chances to depart on July 23 to Timika, but they were excessively small.
By the evening the wounds on my legs, received at the trekking, became suddenly inflamed, the temperature has unexpectedly risen, and the fit of shivering became to "beat" me. "Whether have I really caught in jungle any infection? ", - I has thought. Urgently I became to "eat" different medicines, which were in my first-aid set. Not knowing, that can help better, I have eaten both aspirin, and sulfadimetoksin, both paracetamol, and citramon. By the morning the temperature abated, I have felt self normally. But in the following evening the history has repeated. I have done the same procedure, as on the eve. Again by the following morning everything was normalized.
On July 23 I could not again depart from Biak to Timika, but have departed on July 24 by "extra"-route. In Timika it was raining. But it was petty trouble in comparison with that was farther. When I was marked in Timika police, it has appeared, that just higher this town there begins the special zone "Freeport" of Indonesian Ministry of State-Security, for penetration in which the special permission of government is required.
The word "free" sounded derisively as regards me, as I was not admitted to visit this zone. Moreover, when I have been brought from police to the airport branch of "Freeport security", the local state-security man not only has not permitted me to get to Tembagapura, but at once has xerox-copied my permit and my biographical data and has sent out by fax to many-many addresses. There was the impression, that he really assumes, that I am the Russian spy.
The state-security man became to ask me, why the words "Timika - Tembagapura - Ajkwa River" are typed by the typewriter with other tape (these words were printed less brightly, than previous). And who did it type? Really the question sounded so: whether have I typed it? It's a good thing, I did not make it, and not I corrected the earlier specified in the permit date (July 23) of departure from Timika for July 27. Naturally, at once there was sent the fax to Biak for confirmation that it was typed at the police of Biak. I expected the similar "fuss" in Tembagapura, but not in Timika.
In short, it was forbidden me to go to Tembagapura, and it remained only one - to raft on the Ajkwa River from Timika. And I started preparing for it. But at first it was necessary to move in a hotel. The airport state-security man has kindly informed me that in Timika, except one superhotel ("lux"), there are only two hotels, where I may stay - "Serayu" and "Amole". At "Serayu" the cheapest room cost 47,000 Rupees, however the free such rooms were not, and there was only one room for 160,000 Rupees per day. Naturally, this was inconvenient for me. Fortunately, at "Amole" there turned out to be free the room for 35,000 Rupees. Here I have stayed.
Though the rain poured continuously, I have gone for the investigation. As I have understood from the arrangement of numerous roads, going frequently almost in parallel each other, and from placing of the check-posts of state-security, in the region of Timika the roads of three types are - for cars with usual people and visitors (like me), for machines and people, working in the zone "Freeport", and, at last, for lorries with ore (or other strategic load), rushing at large speed. Between Timika and the river the roads of different type are located. Moreover, the road of the second type was directly before that channel of the Ajkwa River, where I was going to begin the rafting. And simply to move from the first road to the second one it is impossible, as between them the channel with water is. And there, where these roads join (it is already above the airport), the state-security check-post is located.
For the following day (on July 25), when the driver, employed by me, has tried in a car to drive me (with the pumped up gondolas and assembled frame of the catamaran) to the river through this crossing, I was almost arrested - you see, I "tried to get" on the strategic road of the second type. I have ordered the driver to go back, and already self (alone) have carried the gondolas and frame to the river over this, of the second type, road. This time anybody from state-security agents has not paid attention to me, and I could to raft on the Ajkwa River.
On the Ajkwa River from Timika the obstacles are not severe. The truth is, at the beginning of the right channel of the Ajkwa it is necessary to jump from the dam and to pass through the standing roller, the size of which varies depending on a level of water in the river. And then there were the simple shallows. In several places the right channel (on which I went mainly) made the way through bamboo thicket. The fast sites alternated with slow. I rafted so during a half-day. And, at last, at 15 o'clock about I have found myself in a trap in the dense bamboo bushes near the right bank.
The water flew in the channel rather quickly, but the whole space above the channel was blocked by dense bamboo bushes. That's all, I have arrived. The rafting was finished, but it was necessary yet to go out on a bank. A half of hour has been required for me to reach, at first, the hard ground, chopping the pass through this bamboo thicket, and then to carry the catamaran to the bank. Further, previously disassembling my ship, I have gone out on a road and in a truck have reached Timika. So, I succeeded in the rafting on the Ajkwa River nevertheless.
And on the eve I, at last, was lucky with the air ticket – the employee of the company "Merpati" has sold me the ticket from Timika to Jakarta (through Denpasar) not for July 27 (as it was reserved earlier), but for 26-th.
Thus, on the Ajkwa River I have rafted and tomorrow shall depart to Jakarta. The my mood has risen. Besides, I went to look at the other, flowing near Timika (but as distinct from the Ajkwa, being west of Timika), small Kalga River. On its bank the excellent base of rest (with small houses in the Papuan style, bar, restaurant, beach, mini-zoo) is located.
It was the base of club of swimmers and yachtmen of Timika (I, truth is, mentally have been sarcastic about the yachtmen in overland Timika; however, they can hold their yachts on the sea in Amamapare). The employees of the base invited me to stay there, but I understood, that the residing at the base obviously is more expensive, than at "Amole", therefore have refused.
So, I should tomorrow in the evening arrive to Jakarta, and I shall have in a reserve two days up to the start to Moscow.
July 26 was the day of flights on the route Timika - Biak - Ambon - Ujung Pandang - Denpasar (on Bali island) - Jakarta. The last flight (Denpasar-Jakarta) was in the aerobus DC-10.
These flights have taken 9.5 hours plus more one hour to reach the hostel "Borneo", where I stayed the night in Jakarta earlier. Fortunately, there was yet the free room for 23,000 Rupees per day. Here I was going to stay two nights before departure to Moscow.
On July 27 I have visited Directorat of Tourism. From the officers of this Directorat I have learned, that usually the foreigners rafted in Indonesia in two places - on Sulawesi and Kalimantan. It had to be not less than four persons in a team.
There is the very little money left at me.
On July 28 I have purchased the souvenirs (t-shirts and pens), and the money came to its close. Therefore I have decided to spend the day, left up to the departure, at the hostel.
On July 29 by the flight of Aeroflot 566 at 18 o'clock I have taken off from Jakarta and on July 30 have landed in Moscow. That's all, my Indonesian expedition on New Guinea island was finished.
I succeeded to have rafted (moreover for the first time obviously) on the Kemabu, Darewo and Ajkwa Rivers, running down Mt.Jaya (Karstens, 5,030 m) - the highest peak of Oceania.
Thus I have finished also the series of raftings from the highest peaks of all continents and Oceania, and on the whole the superseries of raftings from the highest peaks of the world (8-km-peaks and the highest peaks of all continents and Oceania). The largest dream in my life came true.