Day 5 – Ramkan Rumble
It was nice to get back to the little hotel in the paddyfields after a few days on the river. We had a nice shower and repacked the gear. We enjoyed the simple things. We decided to get up at 5am the next day. The river Beth had been dreaming about for some time was called the Lariang. This river was to be the crux of our trip. A very remote multi day mission. Our plan was to make our way to the Lariang via the Ramkan river (I’m not sure if I have the right spelling here). The Ramkan was a nice class 3/3+ which was more or less on our way. A good way to break up the journey. While at first travelling in the back of a truck seemed like such a fun and free way to travel, after a few days it also seemed like a good way to get sunburnt and bounced so much that we could feel our bones shake.
Amy Elworthy – Sulawesi December 2014 | Facebook

[image animation=”left-to-right” size=”dont_scale” align=”alignnone” alt=” pic courtesy Amy Elworthy” title=” pic courtesy Amy Elworthy”][/image]

    pic courtesy Amy Elworthy

Somewhere around this time (though I can’t recall exactly when) a guy on a motorbike who had been waving up to us overtook our truck and ploughed straight into another bike travelling in the opposite direction. We heard a loud thud and watched as both men hit the ground. As our truck kept driving away I could see the man who had been smiling up at us a few seconds earlier motionless on the ground as onlookers rushed to help. I’m not sure if he was alive but I don’t think he was. We said nothing. There wasn’t much to say.There still isn’t.

It’s very hard to figure out where the balance lies between rules and too many rules. If we hadn’t been in the back of the truck who knows what mightn’t have happened.

The section of the Ramkan river we paddled ran behind many small villages. The setting was tropical with big leaved trees and butterflies everywhere. We paddled past groups of naked boys playing and bathing in the river. They waved and smiled as we passed. At one point we were also joined by two boys, both just wearing shorts, who were travelling down the river on the back of a rubber ring. I felt slightly overdressed in my helmet and buoyancy aid and with the protection of my kayak while the two water nymphs smiled their way down all the rapids, bouncing over the rocks.

It was a day good kayaking with lighter boats. We were ready for the Lariang.