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Wild Sumatra
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Adventures in Kerinci, Sumatra
Adventures in Kerinci, Sumatra

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Kerinci is so, so beautiful. But today, I don't think I've ever seen it so ugly, especially this early in the season. I'm afraid to see what October will bring. And I'm horrified that we don't even rate as "Moderate Haze" on the haze map (). I can't imagine the situation in Jambi or Pekanbaru where it's rated as "Dense Haze." Endless consumption of natural resources = death. #IndonesiaBurning

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An important part of a Kenduri Sko festival in Kerinci is the display and cleaning of ancient relics and heirlooms, like the sword the man is holding, known as "benda pusako." The practice of safeguarding heirlooms from the past has led to a rich preservation of history in the valley, resulting in the discovery of the oldest known Malay manuscript, from the 14th century, being kept safely in the attic of an old home.
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At the foot of Gunung Tujuh are the Rawa Bento wetlands, a destination point for migrating birds from as far away as Russia. Canoeing through the wetlands makes a great half-day trip!

From the village of Jernih Jaya, you can take a canoe on the Sangir river upstream through the swamps to their starting point in Lake Bento. Keep an eye out for monkeys, birds, and other wildlife along the way!
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One of Kerinci's favorite native foods is Dendeng Batokok. Unlike other dendeng found in Minangkabau cooking and elsewhere, these strips of beef are soft and tender, having been boiled and tenderized before being grilled to perfection - with just the right amounts of seasoning and salt. The most famous and delicious dendeng batokok is found in the village where it originated - Siulak Deras - although branches in Sungai Penuh also produce mouthwatering morsels.
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Greater Flying Fox (Pteropus vampyrus)

Despite their scary latin name, Flying Foxes solely feed on fruit, flowers, and nectar. One of the largest bats in the world, they can have wingspans of up to five feet, and look like large eagles when in flight – quite a primordial sight to behold. Frequently in the evening in Sungai Penuh and other parts of the valley, large numbers of these megabats can be seen flying high overhead – so keep an eye out! They are a vitally important part of the ecosystem, pollinating a wide variety of fruit trees (including the famous Durian).
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