Today, we welcomed Hatim and his Indonesian driver Saiful to our group. Pre-arranged prior to our departure, Hatim arrived Makassar on 9th Jan when we were in Sinjai. He stayed a night in Bira on 10th Jan and yesterday he checked in to Sengkang. In a motorised vehicle, he made the journey in double quick time. He would later re-think his touring style!
From today though, we would give our bikes a rest, packed into the van and head for Tana Toraja, 170kms away. But before we leave, we planned to sight-see a bit.
Sengkang boasts of two attractions.. One is Danau Tempe, a freshwater lake. We planned to take a boat and explore Danau Tempe and visit the floating village found in this lake. Do the folks here produce "tempe" hence the name of the lake? No.
As pre-arranged, the boatman came very early to the hotel. He told us that the heavy rain last-night had raised the water level very high and strong wind was blowing. It would be dangerous. We thanked the boatman and decided against venturing into Danau Tempe.
The other attraction in Sengkang as reported is their silk-weaving industry. On our ride yesterday, we saw a few silk-weaving activities under the houses of some Bugis dwellings. We did not stop as the activities were similar to that found in Kelantan.
But this morning, we decided to visit the market. Acid wanted to buy some gifts to bring home to his family. Ladies would probably spend more time in this market. Men will always be men. Shopping is not our cup of tea.
We also wanted to try Coto Kuda, a delicacy of Sulawesi. Unfortunately, the shop we patronised only have Coto Sapi. Coto is similar to Soto.
With nothing else to do, we left Sengkang and proceeded on towards Tana Toraja. Our first stop was in Sidengreng, where Saiful the Indonesian driver was born. He brought us to his uncle's house. Saiful was obviously proud of this uncle. The house is now occupied by the uncle's aged parents. The uncle lived in Jakarta to manage his numerous businesses. The uncle must surely be a succesful businessman.