On the Road is a weekday feature spotlighting reader photo submissions.
From the exotic to the familiar, whether you’re traveling or in your own backyard, we would love to see the world through your eyes.
Good Morning All,
This weekday feature is for Juicers who are are on the road, traveling, or just want to share a little bit of their world via stories and pictures. So many of us rise each morning, eager for something beautiful, inspiring, amazing, subtle, of note, and our community delivers – a view into their world, whether they’re far away or close to home – pictures with a story, with context, with meaning, sometimes just beauty. By concentrating travel updates and tips here, it’s easier for all of us to keep up or find them later.
So please, speak up and share some of your adventures and travel news here, and submit your pictures using our speedy, secure form. You can submit up to 7 pictures at a time, with an overall description and one for each picture.
You can, of course, send an email with pictures if the form gives you trouble, or if you are trying to submit something special, like a zipped archive or a movie. If your pictures are already hosted online, then please email the links with your descriptions.
For each picture, it’s best to provide your commenter screenname, description, where it was taken, and date. It’s tough to keep everyone’s email address and screenname straight, so don’t assume that I remember it “from last time”. More and more, the first photo before the fold will be from a commenter, so making it easy to locate the screenname when I’ve found a compelling photo is crucial.
Have a wonderful weekend, and enjoy the pictures!
Today, pictures from valued commenter mainmata.
“Jayapura Bay”. That’s not actually the name of the bay (it’s named after an obscure revolutionary hero not even from Papua). It’s a beautiful bay but the city is actually completely obscured since it is directly underneath this giant cliff hundreds of feet above the city. The road from which the photo was taken is actually called “Skyline”. (I guess someone has been to Shenandoah National Park.). Photo taken by poster on International Women’s Day 8 March with his team, entirely composed of women (except me).
“Cyclops Mountain from the Cagar Alam” This is about 1000 feet above sea level. In the Cyclops Mountain Nature Reserve (Cagar Alam) and looking straight at the Cyclops itself (exception: actually pronounced Cyclops because foreign word). The Nature Reserve is entirely protected by the local ethnic clans who exercise traditional land use rights and who protect the land from being illegally logged by using the forest land very gently with
high value tree crops. (Next photos.) Photographed by poster 3/9/18
“Robert”. This buff looking guy is actually a soft-spoken, well educated park ranger who also raises choklat (cacao, which becomes chocolate) as part of his duties to prevent illegal damage to the nature reserve. The nature reserve protects the forest that provides all of the water for the city downstream and other uses. Most of the people of this province are Christians and thus have western names (some of those names are Dutch, like Juvenales, that are unfamiliar to Americans. Photographed by poster 3/9/18
“Chocolate 1”. Cacao is a pod that grows directly out of the trunk of the cacao tree. This pod is not ready to be plucked. The pod is filled with luscious seeds that still need to be fermented and processed before it ever gets to be any part of the chocolate we consume. Cacao likes indirect light being a jungle plant rather than harsh sunlight (remember that climate deniers). Photographed by poster 3/9/18
“Chocolate 2” is another view of the plant. Photographed by poster 3/9/18.
“Larry the Vanilla Man”. That’s actually what he is called. Educated Papuans know variable amounts of English but all of our conversations were in Bahasa Indonesia, the national language. The photo shows him sitting (he is suffering from malaria but gave an articulate presentation of vanilla cultivation). The other people are the members of my team looking slightly wilted in the very high humidity (but moderate temps – 70’s). His small plot will actually yield quite a high retail value. Photographed by poster 3/9/18.
“Vanilla 1” This is a vanilla plant winding up along its “nurse tree”. The
nurse tree has to be a fast growing species with no toxic aspects to either
its roots, stems or leaves. It is just a supportive medium for the vanilla
vine. There are no actual vanilla beans on these plants because it is the
wrong season. The plants need to be “married” (their term, which is more
than just pollinated but I’m no expert on vanilla (except I like to eat it).
Photographed by poster 3/9/18.
“Vanilla 2” Another view of the vanilla vine. The proceeds from the sale of these valuable vanilla pods will be shared with Larry but also his “marga” (his immediate clan) and a small amount to the management of the reserve. What’s going on here is letting people make use of a protected area so long as it doesn’t disrupt its primary functions a) provision of water from the watershed and b) protection of biodiversity, e.g. The amazing bird of
paradise (cenderawasih, locally)
Thank you so much mainmata, do send us more when you can.
Travel safely everybody, and do share some stories in the comments, even if you’re joining the conversation late. Many folks confide that they go back and read old threads, one reason these are available on the Quick Links menu.
One again, to submit pictures: Use the Form or Send an Email
Interesting about the cacao pods coming right out of the tree trunk; I didn’t know that. Thank you, mainmata.
Ah, my father was in a number of engagements there, including Hollandia ,Aitape, Lone Tree Hill, Morotai, Biak Noemfoor, Driniumor, Sansapor, Aitape-Wewak and Wakde.
We here in Norway are rather confused as to why we suddenly have our metal exports seen as hostile by the US.
@Mjaum: Socialists + part of the EU = bad (according to Putin’s puppet). It doesn’t really matter if you are technically part of the EU (which Norway is not), you just get lumped in with the rest. Ignorance. Malevolence. Insanity.
@cosima: EU is exempt. We’re not. (We’re in the EEA, not actually an EU member, as you rightly state and I edit to acknowledge :) )
Great photos — interesting insight. How is the project funded, and is it a test project, or does it take place in other areas as well?
@Mjaum: I’ve not been following the latest tariff insanity (too difficult to keep up). I don’t really understand, then, and would have to go with insanity, ignorance & malevolence. Also capriciousness? Are Norway & Russia butting heads?
@cosima Not so we notice. We do share a border, though, so who knows. Compared to our two principal exports metals do not matter *that* much, but it does feel like Trump is just attacking global trade in general, then thinking he “wins” by forcing countries to renegotiate on worse terms.
@Mjaum: There is definitely a reflexive anti-globalist position by this administration, b/c that’s what ignorant people support, isolationism, American exceptionalism, etc. From day 1 I took the (unpopular) position that as long as the malevolent orange man was in the WH that the positions taken would necessitate the rest of the world aligning against him. So far that is exactly how it has played out (TPP has been signed, but not by the US, the climate deal has been signed, again not by the US, NK has not been isolated completely, the Iran nuclear deal has not been abandoned by other countries, etc). I am an American citizen, so I don’t say that lightly — most of the people I love most in the world are in the US. However, there is an uninformed sector of US society (larger, in fact, than those who voted for him) who don’t seem to understand that the US is not omnipotent, or dominant, and has not been for some time — we are a globalist world, like it or not. So, as long as Norway, China, and other countries targeted by his trade wars do not try to renegotiate on worse terms, his approach, and that of his supporters, and those pulling his strings, will fail — that is the only way to reclaim a reasonable middle ground that benefits all countries.
Such landscapes! So lovely to see after this week’s news.
I can’t be the only one who had to do a little cipherin’ to figure out that these pictures are from Papua, the easternmost province of Indonesia (as the Google tells me), and that Jayapura is its capital city. Some of that information is scattered through the post, but maybe in the future it would be a good idea to reveal the location up front, if only for us slower or less caffeinated readers.
Alain the site fixer
@Steeplejack: the poster had form issues and was frustrated so I suspect that this case was less than ideal…
I never realized that vanilla grew as a vine! Thanks for sharing mainmata!
Major Major Major Major
Very cool, thanks!
Steve in the ATL
@Mjaum: @cosima: lots of good points here, but it really comes down to this: our president is a fucking moron and the republicans who control both houses of Congress are incredible cowards.
Great photos and informative text! I really wish more Americans could/would learn a non-English language and do international travel, and at a young age, so they see for themselves that US’ political system, policies, and lifestyle are not necessarily the best nor the most admired.
@raven: Biak, which is an aircraft carrier-shaped island (only much bigger) off the island of New Guinea but part of the province of West Papua was where MacArthur had his HQ late in the war. I recognize some of the other names. Boy, your Dad really got around in a region, which still doesn’t have many roads.
@cosima: This site’s activities are a part of a much larger USAID and Indonesia-funded project to support protection of terrestrial biodiversity, support sustainable economic enterprises, especially for forest peoples and guard against the impacts of climate change. There is a complementary one that addresses the marine and coastal environment (marine protected areas and fisheries). It is not a demo project but rather the latest effort of a program that began nearly 30 years ago (strategic partnership with the US on the environment). In fact, that’s why I am here right now: to do a retrospective study of what was achieved and not and the lessons learned looking to the future. The USAID Mission is hoping that Trump doesn’t even know what or where Indonesia is much less caring what happens here.
@Steeplejack: Sorry, you are absolutely correct and, as a serious scholar, I normally do provide that context. My bad. Papua (and its sister West Papua) are indeed the two easternmost provinces of Indonesia and share the giant island of New Guinea with Papua New Guinea. The island is extremely mountainous and partly volcanic like much of the rest of Indonesia.