I don’t know about you, but I know I am in love with a place when I wake up with a smile on my face. And yes, even when travelling with children.
When you wake up and see this flower outside your window; when you smell the breakfast cooking metres away; when you know you are going caving and you hope your knees won’t fail you. All of this, and smiling.
One of the many activities offered at Kurakura Homestay includes jungle trekking. Since Lars and Liza also have young children (at the time, only Froya), they made sure we could participate as a whole family. In fact, Lars was quite impressed with our backpack and set-up. It is far easier than you think, to travel through the jungle with children.
We started with a short boat ride up the river, where we were faced with an almost vertical climb up the muddy bank to the “path”. Don’t let this term fool you – this is a light path, due to the tread of past victims to Lars’ reassurances.
Although not much problem climbing up (even with the backpack carrier and N), we knew that somehow B had to make it back down the steep, muddy, slope with N on his back when we return.
Our trek took us through the jungle for about 30-45 minutes. Even though we could see the path, it was easy to see how lost you could become within minutes.
Trekking with Lars is both educational and entertaining. He is so patient and will stop to explain anything along the way. For example, never touch young bamboo with your bare hands. It has tiny fibres (like fibre-glass) that will stick in to your skin, risking infection and a hell of a lot of pain.
And again, amazing with kids. Although N was in the backpack carrier most of the time, S really was in his element. He was observing all around him; looking, learning, asking questions. And Lars would happily stop and show him things. Like flowers. And old bamboo sections (which S still has in his souvenir collection to this day). For a 5yo kid, it was a big trek – but Lars made it a very enjoyable journey.
Eventually we reached a cave with a small rocky stream running through. With torches, we followed Lars through the cave as he showed us frogs, millipedes, centipedes, fish, and even a bat. The water was cool in the dark but we soon came out the other side to a beautiful small swimming hole, hidden away in the jungle. Here we stopped for a swim and some delicious morning tea, prepared by Liza.
During the march back to the boat, N dozed (heat and excitement) while S powered on. He was truly amazing during this trek! There were times where Lars helped across a log or down a small slope, but never once was S treated as a hinderance. On the contrary, Lars made this trek as much about the kids as it was about us!
Now don’t get me wrong – it is not a “little walk” like Lover’s Way in Cinque Terre, or even the beach walk along Bondi in Sydney. This is still a jungle trek, albeit an easy jungle trek. There are slippery slopes, and vines, and fallen trees. It is hot and muggy. But you are safe. And you are guided. And you are at your leisure. It was an amazing experience, with both S and I sliding a few times. Of course, B remained ever diligent with N on his back – until THAT slope at the boat.
Within sight of the boat, B slipped straight over, muddying himself greatly – while keeping N safe and clean. Dad of the Year, right there!
It was worth the laugh, even from B – the first highlight the kids shared with Liza back at Kurakura.
More photos are shared on our Facebook page.