The weekend we walked around the valley below Mt Matebian, the mountain of the souls, site of much turmoil during World War II, a rebellion in 1959 and devastating attacks during the late seventies by the Indonesians. The floods on the news were in evidence there. We crossed rivers which were quite high for the season with caution. Down the valley in the morning and up around the rim back to Baguia, avoiding the big rivers below, crossing numerous tributaries above. The goal was to connect the two old administrative posts of Baguia and Uatocarbau, thereby tracing the retreat of the thwarted ‘rebels’ of 1959.

The approach to Baguia, followed by rainbows. It had rained for 12 days straight prior to our arrival; we brought the sunshine!

The fort, the old administrative “posto.” Ruined in under 40 years more than an English castle in 300. Currently occupied by the police, soon to be a guest house for travellers coming to climb Matebian.

Local children stare at us, bedraggled after crossing the river, the first of three big ones.


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