Monday, April 02, 2012

The Kalimantan Adventure Part 3

After looking at Part 1 and Part 2, i hope some of you have a good or better perspective about what will be in store for you should you decide to venture to that part of the world. These blog entry are mostly to educate. When i was doing research for the trip, i could not find anything relevant or close to representation of what to expect. The "The Kalimantan Adventure" serves as a written travelogue or reference, hopefully for anyone searching for information relevant. Enjoy the 4minutes video of a portion of the ride below. If you have queasy tummy, i suggest you load up on motion sickness pills and take a few during the journey. You will need it.

The trip there has been an eye opener in many ways. For example, not many would had seen a real life tug boat such as the one below, up close.
Marine Creature
The tugboat above were barged at a large river in South Kalimantan and was used to pull and move a huge barge. It was by far the largest barge i have seen within arm's length. So, i was a bit awed there. The barge seen was a BV class and measures at an impressive 300 feet (length) by 80 feet (width) by 18 feet (draft). It is capable of loading up to 7500 tonnes. How huge is the barge? Below is the photo from the front, with a 400series excavator sitting right at the top of the barge, moving stones and gravels onto 5 tonne and 7 tonne trucks.
300x80x18 BV Class Barge. HUGE.
Without the excavator at the top, there is no comparison in sizes and the barge will not look as it should. Below is another comparison to 5 tonne trucks going up the ramp.
Like Lego Set.
With a wide angled fisheye (8mm Samyang) lense, here is how the barge looked like from one corner.
Driving those 5 tonnes or 7 tonne trucks up and down the barge requires skills. One can't just drive up slowly. It has to be driven fast and without hesitation. If you miss the ramp, you might end up in the river. With a draft of 18feet, the river is potentially up to 20 feet or more deep.
Here is a video of how hesitation almost cost the driver some truck-pride.

Kalimantan Selatan surely is land of unknown adventure. There is an average of one accident per day i was there, thankfully, non-fatal. They are more of an annoyance where roads are blocked off (like in Part 1) and there is no difference on Day 3 we were there where two trucks blocked off the main road in the estate.
Thankfully, our Supir knows the inside and outside of the estate and with a bit of detour through very tight village road, we managed to find another exit, detouring by almost 5km (or an hour). Sounds like a better deal compared to being stuck for hours.
that waterbody, it is actually a small stream...with bridge under water.
It is quite natural that many of us were not looking forward to the journey back to Balikpapan the next day. It will take another 12hours - if there is no major blockage to the main KalTim-KalSel link and if everything went smoothly. But it has been raining every evening without fail and the road back will only get worse.
Wait up for Part 4 to find out the next adventure.


  1. Dafuq?!?! Where's part 4 bro? :P

    1. Elvin - good question. I think it is still in my DRAFT! :D TIme to finish them up! got you hooked up with KalSel?