Could it be fatigue or just a blow less well, the first few days in Sulawesi are difficult. The night ferry trip went relatively well, however, despite the unsanitary berths (cockroaches, smells, etc.) and the length of the journey (18 hours at sea), we appreciated the company of a French long-term traveller and the air bowls on the deck of The huge boat.
Makassar, visibly urbanized and congested, appears around 7pm on June 5th and we hasten to find a pete-pete (minibus) heading to the North Terminal to get a connection to Rantepao. Goal achieved and 2nd night in a row in transport.
We arrive in the early morning in Toraja country in the rain. The typical houses are beautiful but the atmosphere is gloomy. We quickly understand that the climate has not been good for 1 month and probably that tourism is following the trend. In short, we ride an unreliable scooter and leave for the traditional villages around.
The roads are bad (chicken nests, mud) and we get had in a tight corner: slide and slight percussion against the car crossing. More fear than harm, we get away with a few scratches. Two passing Dutchmen stop and give us valuable assistance: antiseptic on wounds and discussions in Indonesia with the locals to assess the damage. The scooter is well damaged and we have to have it repaired urgently before returning it to the renter… we get away with cheap and a few hours of patience. This experience leaves us a little disappointed not to have been able to explore more the Toraja region which has beautiful assets such as rice fields and imposing buffaloes that patulate before finishing sacrificed for funeral ceremonies and then decorate atypical huts with their horns.
We’re keeping our spirits up and heading north. After almost 2 full days of bus in a thick jungle and a pleasant stop in Tentenan, an ostensibly Catholic village on the edge of a lake full of eel (it looks), we reach Ampana on June 8th.
Soon the Togean Islands that we wait with great hopes and will represent our last Indonesian adventure!