The long day

Trip Start Jan 12, 2013
1
6
7
Trip End Jan 28, 2013


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Flag of Indonesia  , South Sulawesi,
Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Our day began by boarding the small motorcoach at 7:45am in Pare Pare, on the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia. We welcomed the airconditioning, as our ship's AC has been down for a few days.

We had been briefed that the bus journey would take 4.5 hours. This was all on a winding, mountain road. Not switchbacks, but hugging the side of the mountain. Constant short, sharp turns in the road, to the right, to the left, to the right, to the left, accompanied by bouncing up and down. The compensation for being tossed around in the bus was the spectacular views. After 2.5 hours, a quick rest stop at Puncak Lakawang for washrooms, a stretch, a cup of coffee or tea and a piece of fried banana.

Another 2.5 hours on the bus before we reached Lemo and Londa. Both of these are burial sites where coffins are hung from ropes and mounted on platforms built into the cliffs. Crypts are carved into the rocks and lifelike wooden effigys stand in balconies also built into the cliffsides.

This all led to the visit to Tana Toraja (tor-AH-jaw) a UNESCO heritage site. The Torajan people live in houses shaped like boats on stilts and practise unusual burial customs, as noted above.
Unfortunately, we were soaked in a true torential downpour at this site and probably missed getting a true sense of the culture here. In true rainy season style, the rain didn't last more than 30 minutes, but by then, we were back on the bus to start the 5 hour ride back to the ship. 

7:45am to 9:30pm was a very long day ending with a very late dinner, but that's what it takes to get to and explore these remote sites. 

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