Taman Wisata Alam Sorong

Before arriving back in Sorong, I googled ‘Trip Advisor Sorong’ to discover any suggestions for places to visit to fill in the 2 days we would have there before catching the ship back to Ternate. Trip Advisor claimed there were 2 things to do in Sorong!! On closer examination, it quickly became clear that neither of the ‘things to do’ are actually in Sorong! One was Raja Ampat! We even asked Ichal’s friends who also couldn’t suggest anything. So, on our first day, we rented a motorbike and headed out to explore Sorong. We drove for quite a while along the main road, stopping only briefly to enjoy a bowl of my newly discovered favourite food, es pisang ijo (hijau).

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I was feeling pessimistic about discovering anything interesting in Sorong, so I decided that I would just focus this post on quirky photographs. When I saw these by the side of the road, I knew they would be a good way to start my post.

20131028-094316.jpgKFC home delivery bikes!

We kept driving along and laughed when we came across this fellow:

20131028-095149.jpgCouncil workers whipper snippering the edges of the road and this man was prepared for the hot sun with his umbrella permanently attached to his backpack! He happily allowed me to photograph him and posed for the effect with a huge smile and salute!

Just passed this group of workers, we came across a sign pointing up a dirt track stating ‘Taman Wisata Alam Sorong – 14km’. We decided that it was worth exploring and after checking that it was ok to enter, we followed a couple on a motorbike. The road was being upgraded with a grader so was quite muddy so we slowly and carefully rode up the tree lined road. It was noticeably cooler in the forest and we suddenly felt miles from anywhere. We followed the motorbike in front of us which turned off and went down a smaller track and came across the following sight:

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After turning the bike off, we were surrounded with the sounds of birds and the distant squeals of the couple who had arrived before us and had headed off on the path to the right.

20131028-125438.jpgWe decided to avoid them totally and found another path which began with a set of steps. However before we set off, we were mesmerised by the millions of butterflies on the ground before us.

20131028-133050.jpg As we walked along the path, we couldn’t believe the numbers and variety of butterflies. The concrete paths weren’t well maintained yet were wide and showed clearly where we could walk. As soon as we got to the top of the steps, the forest stretched before us

20131028-131149.jpgand not only could we hear unusual bird calls high up in the trees around us, but there were even more butterflies. We tried for a while to spot the birds but they were so high up in the tree tops and without binoculars, were impossible to spot, so instead we focused on the beauty that was closer. As we walked along trying our skills at photographing skittish butterflies, we then began to notice other insect life. The forest was teeming with fascinating creatures. Here are some of the butterflies we saw:

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Look at these other amazing critters:

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