The Expedition Begins!

Seeing Nepenthes in the Wild for the First Time!!

Are you ready to see a ton of photos? Because this blog post (and the ones that follow) are going to be packed full of photos from our trip!

Okay, so now what you actually came here for:

To begin the expedition, we had a two hour car ride through a more rural area. We saw lots of homes along the way. Below is a picture from the car (so I apologize for the quality) of a house we saw. Most of the homes in this region were on stilts. 

Along the way we made several stops to see several species of Nepenthes in the wild for the FIRST TIME!!! This was a pretty big moment for us. Even though we grow these plants for a living, we had never seen them in the wild.

It was amazing and nothing like what we expected. All the plants we saw on this day were growing in clay, rock, and sand. It was also incredibly dry because our visit was during the dry season. Most of the plants on the edges of the road were covered in a layer of dust. There was some water in the ditches on the side of the road but the plants were not confined to just the ditches. The plants we saw included N. ampullaria, N. rafflesiana, N. mirabilis, N. reinwardtiana, several species of ferns, and an orchid.

Here are some photos!

This was our first stop to see some wild Nepenthes. The landscape in Borneo is just breath taking. Also featuring, Dalton checking out some wild Nepenthes for the first time.

Of course I needed a selfie too! Because did you actually go anywhere these days if you didn't take a selfie??

Dalton checking out a N. mirabilis.

A close up of a N. mirabilis pitcher.

A more red N. reinwardtiana pitcher.

We also saw a TON of green N. reinwardtiana.

I mean, just so many pitchers!

 I had to get Dalton to pose for a photo with the N. reinwardtiana arch we found!

A closer shot of the green N. reinwardtiana.

It just carpeted the whole area!

A different view of the landscape.

A small N. rafflesiana plant.

A nice lower N. rafflesiana pitcher. 

A recently opened upper N. rafflesiana pitcher.

A mature upper N. rafflesiana pitcher.

 Tons of Nepethes seeds! 

A clump of N. ampullaria.

A very tiny upper pitcher on the N. ampullaria.

Some kind of terrestrial orchid I found.

The Hike to the Waterfall

After our car ride we had a 20 minute boat ride to the place where we were going to start our 'easy' hike. I quickly discovered what our guides considered easy just meant it was doable. Our hike included a lot of technical climbing and climbing straight up slippery roots and small ledges. 

Our first time in on one of the long canoes! 

The boat rides were among some of my favorite experiences in Borneo. (You will find out why later!) The motors they used had a long pole with a tiny little propeller at the end. The called the boats kating-ting because it is the sound the boat makes while running. It made an oddly metallic sound when running down the river and it bounced back off the banks so it was followed by a strange echo that made it almost sound like a mob of angry robotic birds. 

A little friend I made on our boat ride that hung out on my arm for several minutes.

We had to cross several of these log bridges on our hike. I'm a pretty adventurous person but it was a little unnerving because you could feel how every step you took made the log move.

Another one of the log bridges.

We also had to cross a lot of other logs along the path.

An interesting circular formation that the water carved out of the rocks.

A huge lovely birds nest fern. There were lots of these all around when you looked up into the trees.

A really cool insect! I got a little overly excited about this guy because at first glance I thought this was a trilobite beetle however, upon closer inspection it is just a type of millipede. A really cool millipede but not a trilobite beetle.  

One of the falls we passed leading up to the top waterfall.

Another view of the fall we passed.

An interesting mushroom we found.

Finally the waterfall at the top!

Obligatory selfie because we made it to the top!

Thank you for taking the time to read about our first day on the expedition!