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The lights of the boat dimly shine through the blanket of fog covering the river, whether it's a trick of the mind or not, you can not tell. Standing with you on the meager jetty of logs anchored to the river bottom with rocks are entire families, some from Sulawesi, some from Samarinda, some from villages in the jungle not even Livingston could have found. They carry their entire lives with them on this journey and as you watch the boat approach and feel the water churning beneath the swaying logs you stand on, you can't help but wonder what kind of lives these people lead, that they find themselves here at this hour, on this river.
The boat pulls up, silently beckoning you and your fellow mariners aboard. Only one man steps off the boat, he wears a shirt that might have once been a bright red but now has faded and darkened to something more akin to blood than anything else. On his waist he carries the weapon of his people, an intricate Mandau of Dayak make, his arms are covered in tattoo's, depicting his status among his tribe as well as his deeds, what those are, you can not tell.
With 17,508 islands Indonesia has it all: bustling cities, green rice paddies & glorious beaches. Read all about it in our Indonesia travel guide.
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