Friday, October 3, 2014

INDONESIA - SULAWESI - TORAJA - RANTEPAO - 14 TO 20 JUNE 2014 - 'WEDDINGS, MOUNTAINS AND GOODTIMES'


Info

Hotel Indra Toraja – 04321583 www.indratorajahotel.com- 300 000R

Guide tour – heaps of guides around every hotel 800 000R for car, driver and guide.

Bagus Motor rental for a motorbike -70 000R

Tinimbayo - It had rooms downstairs for 100 000R with breakfast– mama wiwik – 082191984488

Car/driver Rantepao to Makassar - 1 050 000R

The journey

Today, we drove from Sengkang to Randepao.

The trip started well with lots of flat rice fields and the occasional dusty town. We stopped near a wedding and were invited into the VIP area. It was a lot of fun – the women looked so colourful and there was food galore on the tables. The scenery began to change from flatlands to hills and mountains with lush villages and windy roads. We stopped at some roadside stall for fresh goat cheese. It was so yum!




We entered Tanta Toraja through a large arch and the houses and general vibe seemed to instantly change. It was also the last day of school so there were a lot of kids running around coloured green.

On arrival at Rantepao, we looked at a few hotels. Monton was okay but we settled in at Hotel Indra Toraja. The hotel had a large foyer, a restaurant and a large, pretty, central garden courtyard. There were rooms on the ground and 1st floor which overlooked the courtyard. The room was small and cosy with an extraction fan to pump out the daytime heat.

That night, I went to Café Aras. It had good food, beer and we played guitar and sang (locals and I). I met Fred from Sydney and Dave from California who had just finished volunteer work.

It was pouring rain and I slipped on the tiles entering the hotel and banged my head on the floor. There was a lot of blood, a big cut, a fist sized lump and it hurt heaps. Later, I started shaking all over. It was a long, uncomfortable and painful night.

The next day, I was very tired from a bit of a painful sleep! I did nothing much all day as my head was throbbing somewhat. I had a massage - I was picked up by motorbike and driven through the town outskirts to someone’s house. Inside was a sitting parlour and further inside were the massage benches. It was a quiet and good massage – 100 000R.

The reception at the hotel was very nice. She put betadine over my cut and did so for the rest of my stay. It was very difficult to that myself because of the cut position.

Day tour trip day




We were picked up at 8am for a 9 hour car/guide tour. We looked at traditional village and houses, then walked a steep and muddy hillside to reach a funeral ceremony. We were there for a long time. It was interesting with the casket on display, hundreds of people, music and dancing, the carrying of the coffin on bamboo poles around the courtyard pass all the guests in a tug of war fashion, the sacrifice of the buffaloes.

 After that, we left and drove back to Rantepao for lunch.

We continued our tour past pretty, rural scenery while all of us were singing ‘Take me home county road’. We entered a traditional house then drove to a burial site where we climbed steps to look at open graves on the cliff face and then through a cave with various open graves.

A good trip that takes in a bit of everything that is to offer. 800 000R for car and guide.

The next day, I walked around town – the market, streets, bought a t-shirt, got a map from tourist office and visited Bagus Motor rental for a motorbike -70 000R.

Later still, I went for a walk to the hill top for a great view of the mountains and town I stopped at J-jive café for avocado juice which was excellent then back to hotel.

I had a traditional Torgean meal with my German friends and they boarded the bus to Makassar. I continued the night at Cafe Aras and listened to and sang songs.

The following day, I hired a motorbike for 70 000R from Bagus Rentals.




I did two rides.

The first was following the road towards the big hill. The road eventually became a mud track. It was a lot of fun with villages, water buffalo, rice fields and churches. On the way back, there was road works. The tar

The second ride was towards Sa’dan. There was a lot of traffic at first but soon became more rural. After Sa’dan, the traffic was sparse and I followed the rice field valley downhill and eventually turned back at a crossroad. A turn on the way back took me up a mountain and into the clouds. Amazing views and friendly people.

The next day, I rode the motor bike to the north.  There was beautiful scenery of mountains, valleys, rice fields. I stopped at an’ over the cliff top’ café for coffee – Tinimbayo - It had rooms downstairs for 100 000R with breakfast– Mama Wiwik – 082191984488. She was a character. She gave my camera and took a photo of me but she had it facing the wrong way. A classic photo!

Once at the top I transverse across the mountains and followed a muddy and badly eroded road to Tikkala and then back to Rantepao. It was the best bike ride!

I bought a bus ticket for Rantepao.

I met a nice Ukraine couple at dinner at Café Aras.

The following day, I changed my mind about the bus and opted for a car as my head was too sore.

I paid my bill, thanked the staff, especially Sophie, and off I went to Makassar.

 

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