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near Baliem Kamp, Papua (Indonesia)
This strip is doable without a guide. There are local people willing to help with directions every 20 minutes but you need to have a basic level of Indonesian. Absolutely no English is spoken there.
In Wamena find the open market called “pasar Missi" in the very South part of the city. From there take a bus or a moto taxi to Kurima. It takes an hour to arrive to Kurima. Bridges have been damage, you will have to cross some rivers by foot.
At Kurima cross the hanging bridge and turn right. Follow the river for about 20 minutes and stay on the path which turns left to go steep up the hill for an hour. You then have a beautiful view of the Baliem valley.
Continue for 2 hours on the path towards the Papou village of Hitugi. Ask people for a place to stay and eat. You'll spend your first night there. We paid 200 000 Rp for the food and accommodation for 2 people.
There is 4 to 5 hours of walking. Plan to be at Hitugi no later than 4pm.
Continue the path downhill towards the Est. After 2 hours you'll arrive to the village of Yuarima. A little bit less than a kilometer after the village cross the hanging bridge.
Before crossing the bridge and if you feel like you have time you can push a little bit further in the valley and find a spot to swim.
So after the hanging bridge continue for an hour on the path uphill. It's very steep and you have to use your hands to climb the path. You'll cross people coming back from there fields with bags full of Ubi (a kind of sweet potato).
Then follow the path towards the West for another hour and a half. It's very narrow and you'd better not fall, it's very steep on your right! The scenery is absolutely beautiful, probably the best of the whole trip.
You'll then arrive to the village of Sykama. Ask for a place to stay and to eat. We paid 200 000 Rp for 2 people.
Walk back to Kurima
There is water everywhere: springs, small rivers… We had 1 liter water filter system each and it was enough.
No electricity or cellphone coverage anywhere. You're on your own!
Bring food to share with villagers when you arrive to their village. It's a nice way to introduce yourself to the community. We had peanuts, it takes time to pill so it gave us time to discuss. We also shared cigarettes.
We brought cereal bars for our breakfast and tuna cans for our lunches. It's frugal but it worked for us. There are no restaurant or any kind of shop anywhere. You have to keep your trash and bring it back to the main city, there is no trash can.
Nights are cold and we were lucky it didn't rain during the day. I don't know if you'll be as lucky as us …
You can ask people to visit their villages in the places you stay. They'll be happy to make the visit and share anecdotes about how they leave. It can lead to very funny discussions. But don’t expect them to speak english. Indonesian only.
People are Christian there: Catholic or GKI (a form of protestantism).
This hike is inspired by this blog: https://www.travelsauro.com/hiking-baliem-valley-papua-budget
The only detailed map available for this region is openstreetmap. You can use the following offline map: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mapswithme.maps.pro
Details of our trip: https://umap.openstreetmap.fr/en/map/3-days-and-2-nights-in-the-baliem-valley_167294
Bus or taxi from Wamena to Kurima
Start and end of the hike