by Rob D'Eon
July 2018
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Trekking in the Baliem Valley: Garbage and Hygiene

It’s funny being a Canadian in a place like Indonesia. If you are like me, you find yourself walking the streets with a plastic wrapper in your hand for an hour or two, because there just isn’t anywhere to put it, other than on the ground. Well, that is exactly the situation in the Baliem Valley. There are no garbage (i.e., rubbish (UK)/trash (USA)) bins anywhere, even in villages. Anything you leave behind, whether it is in a house, or on a table, will almost certainly end up on the ground somewhere, as someone is forced to simply toss it out the door.

So, yet again, your call: leave it behind to get tossed into the forest, or just hold onto it for your trek. In Canada, we call it “pack it in, pack it out”. Because I just can’t get myself to throw a piece of plastic on the ground in the forest, we packed it all out. But really, how much does a wrapper weigh? Anyway, not telling you how to live, just sayin’, anything left behind will end up on the ground. So bring a garbage bag or something like that if you opt for the “pack it out” option.

In terms of hygiene, the obvious applies: bring all personal hygiene products you desire – for example, toilet paper and related matters.  There is no resupply out in the villages J

Hot tips:

·       Bring a plastic bag for garbage and pack it out (if you go that route)

·       Bring toilet paper and related hygiene products – there are none in the villages

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