Recently Jonathan and I came back from a three and a half week whirlwind trip across Indonesia. We spent way too much money and too many nights on the move. We managed to cross Sulawesi completely on land and water from Makassar to Manado. Travelling over 1200km in less than two weeks took a toll on our psyche but it was all for a good cause; to see what Sulawesi had to offer. In the course of three and a half weeks we managed to take more than 1600 pictures, shot over 60GB of GoPro footage and bankrupted one Indonesian airline.
Needless to say, we saw a lot of interesting stuff. Once I figure out where to start I’ll write about a few must-sees in the area. Beware, there will be a lot of posts about diving since we splurgeg and spent five days in one of the best diving spots in the world in addition to diving in the Togeans. Without further adieu, here’s a little preview of what is about to come.
Death in Torajaland
Tana Toraja is an anomaly in Sulawesi. Life in Toraja centers around death and everything one does in their daily life is to better prepare themselves for the afterlife. Hundreds of pigs and dozens of buffaloes are slaughtered at funeral ceremonies. Hanging graves litter the landscape. Not only is Toraja unique in its culture but it’s weather patterns are off the wall. Unlike the rest of Sulawesi, Toraja does not really have a rainy season and thus harvests rice three times a year. While Makassar and Manado were being pelted with rainfall, Toraja had not seen rain in weeks. While this made our motorbiking journeys quite enjoyable, it proved for a very tame rafting trip.
Frolicking in the Togean Islands
Not needing to wear shoes for four days and only worrying about your air intake underwater pretty much sums up the time spent at the Togean islands. Oh well, there was an occasional scorpion in a wet suit but he probably also wanted to go diving. This is also the site of a WWII Bomber which lies fully intact in the saltwater crocodile infested mangroves.
Diving in Raja Ampat
This was the best place I have ever dove. Raja Ampat is so full of life, biodiversity and happy fish. My diving expectations are now incredibly high and I can no longer dive just anywhere. I have essentially ruined diving for myself unless I spend the big bucks to go to Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea or Isla del Coco.
Over the entire trip we spent at least five nights on some sort of transport or in transit. You may think that I am just a cry baby but it was gnarly. It is especially unbearable on winding pothole Sulawesi roads balancing on the brink of nausea trapped in a tiny seat.
I finally got back on the ol’ motorbike for the first time after I ran myself into the pavement. This time there were no causalities. There was just incredibly scenery, washed out roads, dodgy detours and a breathtaking sense of freedom.
Stay tuned! There will a lot more to come. I do apologize for not being diligent with the blog.