Wednesday, January 14, 2009

SALAM FROM WATANSOPPENG

Wed 14th Jan

Salam Everyone,

Thank you for all the kind comments and wishes on the blog. I have only 2 days of cycling left before I arrived back to Makassar. I finally have access to the internet tonight, in Wattansoppeng. We left Pare Pare this morning and cut through a highland with beautiful mountains and cool weather. Pare Pare was in the news lately because of the ferry tragedy. Pare Pare was not on my visit list.

We arrived Pare Pare from Makale. Makale is in Tana Toraja and we visited the site where the Torajas bury their dead in the mountains. It was an experience and we have photos to share when I get back home to complete the full report.

We arrived Ujung Padang airport on Jan 4th at night. Our Day 1 ride following day started with a drizzle and we were expecting a wet ride throughout the journey. But the weather became friendly throughout the entire journey till today.

We overnighted at Takalar, Bantaeng and then to Bira where we stayed for 2 days. In Bira, Acid discovered a kampong guest house by the sea, in a fishing village. With crystal clear water at the doorstep, fanned continuously by the sea breeze, and having home cooked meal overlooking the wide open sea, it was difficult to put the butt on the saddle to move on.

But move on we did to Sinjai, Watampone and Sengkang. The ride to Sinjai was challenging as we rode through the kampongs with roads suitable for mountainbikes and some hills to climb. This was not the usual route to Sinjai. Acid with his sleek road tires found the going tough. On my semi-sleek, I could manage better. But the experience and views were well worth it. Pictures of-course will follow upon my return.

Up to now, most of the rides had been along the coastal areas and padi-field country and large areas of maize planting, i.e. until we arrived Watampone. We were also fortunate to witness a Bugis wedding, with full of traditions. In our cycling attires, we too became a centre of attraction of sort. They welcomed our questions, our curiosities and of-course our photo taking. We of-course refused their offer to join in the makan. We hope to share the colorful ceremonies later with you, hopefully with some short video-clips.

Then we swing hinterland to Sengkang. At Sengkang, Hardcore Hatim arrived and we dismantled our 2 bikes and put them in the Innova hired by HH. We headed for Makale, in Tana Toraja the next day, in the Innova of-course.

Tomorrow, we say goodbye to HH as he proceeded on to Makassar. For the next 2 days, we will cycle in the interior, a promise of great valleys, cool mountain weather and rolling hills which hopefully would be in our favor. We will overnight at Mallawa and will spend another night at Bantimurong. Bantimurong promises a great waterfall and I hope we will not be disappointed. From there, it will be a short 40km ride back to Makassar where we wait for our return flight.

Next report will most likely be in Makassar, Insyallah.

Till we meet again.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

safe journey , is it too late?
Waiting for your next entry, Anyway did u see the Torajan's zoombies? Toraja 'sohor' for it other than thier cofee

TJ

Don said...

good to hear fm you ! glad in that your tour progressing well as plan, & in good weather, too. enjoy yr final leg & all the best. cheerz mate.

don

aofuad said...

OP ARZ,
Glad that everything is all right there.
Cycle safe.
OP AOF

ARZ said...

TJ,

Never too late for well-wishes of-courses. Bought some Toraja coffee and Hatim bought the Toraja rice too. Didnt know anything about the zombies though

ARZ said...

Hi Don,

Looking forward to be back home. 2 weeks away cukup lah!

ARZ said...

OP Din,

Start planning your "balek kampong" trip. Can always accompany you, at least for parts of the way.