We looked through TripAdvisor reviews in advance of heading to BL and noticed that a person called Adi, popped up quite a lot. We enquired with him via email regarding accommodation and a two day trek. His blog has a lot of useful information and confirmed that he was a professional guide. Adi was waiting for us when we arrived at BL. He took us to his homestay in the next village, where his sister lives with her son. We stayed here the night before our trek and his sister cooked us a lovely chicken curry for dinner and a tasty breakfast before we left for our trek in the morning. We set off on our trek at 9am. Adi was very knowledgeable of the plants as well as the animals in the jungle. We were really lucky to see around 10 orangutans in the morning. Adi is also very conscious not to feed or interact with the Orangutans as they can suddenly turn aggressive (they are wild animals after all!) - not like some of the guides who were continually feeding them - probably to ensure they got a good tip at the end of the day. We stayed in a hut away from the main camp, which is just outside the national park (hence the reason why they have been able to build the hut). It is a perfect location with great views of the jungle - several orangutans had just gone by before we arrived. We had great food and played cards for hours - Adi taught us a card game called Joker which was good fun. The next day we went on a morning walk and in places it got very steep, but Adi is a very good guide and we felt assured he knew what he was doing. We ended up back at the river and headed down on the tube raft back to BL. We stayed one more night in the homestay - it is very basic, there is no a/c or mosquito net but you get to interact with the locals away from BL. Adi’s sister is a great cook and made us some of the best meals we have had in Sumatra!
Overall, it was an amazing experience and Adi made us feel really welcome. We would definitely go back and spend more time with Adi and his team.
As an aside - Adi also runs a volunteering programme for teaching English to the local children. Volunteers stay at the homestay where the teaching takes place. Adi is a very genuine guy who really cares about educating children so if you are looking for a volunteering opportunity in Sumatra - I would definitely recommend this.
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