A Travellerspoint blog


Oh, the humidity!

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large_5550_12562844786543.jpgFort Rotterdam ... strangely the fort walls were ridiculously low!
The sun rises very early in Makassar [Makassar-travel-guide-1318796], not quite as bad as in Manado [Manado-travel-guide-866704] but it is still very bright at five something. We had decided on an early start to beat the heat.

Out the door at 8am, it wasn't too hot ... but it within minutes we were drenched from the humidity. We went to Fort Rotterdam (Benteng Ujung Pandang) and had some noodles for breakfast and were back into the cool of the hotel by about 10am.

We made the most of our hotel room and asked for a late checkout before leaving for the airport at 2pm ... very early for our flight ... it was either waiting in the steaming weather somewhere or at the airport. At the airport, we paid about USD5 to enter the pay-lounge with food and drinks ... rather reasonable but it was also the hot corner ofthe airport!

You can't have it all ways!


Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

End of an adventure

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We took the bus back down to Makassar [Makassar-travel-guide-1318796] today. It was meant to be 8 hours but it took 9h40 ... allowing for one flat tyre, comfort stops and picking up passengers.

This is the end of my Tana Toraja adventure. It is one of the most interesting trips I’ve ever done ... normally everything of interest revolves something historical or relates to nobility like kings and pharaohs ... or both.

In Toraja, people are still living and breathing their traditions ... where in the world would you still find people keeping their departed in their home?!?


Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

Like a bull in a china shop; like a buffalo in a gift shop

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large_5550_12562218325510.jpgBelieve it or not, this is a big gift shop ... refer to the main text for details.
The market in Bolu (near Rantepao) isn't a weekly affair ... but occurs every six days. We were lucky to catch it even only with a stay of three full days.

In summary, people bring their buffaloes and pigs here so other people can come make their purchases:

1. The buffalo section is essentially a big gift shop ... people buy buffaloes not for food but as ceremonial gifts for special occasions.

2. Adult pigs are sold for short-term consumption and not for rearing. Pigs planned for sale on the day are bound up ready for transport (a bit sad for animal lovers) but any leftovers are left in generous pens until sold in the next few days.

3. Piglets are sold in sacks for rearing.

From there we proceeded to the Sesean Mountains (minus Kim who was a bit off colour) for a walk through villages, ricefields and the bush ... including a lunch stop for the panorama at Batu Tumonga.


Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

Funeral rites for infants

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large_5550_12562214056328.jpgBeautiful countryside.
We visited some more rock or cave graves today at Suaya. As it turned out the ones we saw yesterday at Lemo didn't have original statues - they had been replaced after being pillaged.

Moving on to something new and different, we visited the baby graves at Kambira and these proved to be most interesting:

1. When babies die before having any teeth, they are not provided with normal funeral procedures but are put into tree trunks. They must be buried within hours.

2. A hole is made in a trunk of a large tree (eg. mango or breadfruit). The dead baby is put into the hole in a foetal position and the hole is covered over by what seems to be bark fibre.

3. The hole will grow over eventually and will have a normal bark in about 30 years.large_5550_12562214053523.jpgTautau and graves in the cliff face.

4. It will be taboo for family members to consume fruit from that tree.

In the afternoon we visited the megaliths at Bori:

1. For the funeral ceremonies of important people, a humungous rock pillar or megalith is brought by hand from faraway places to the funeral grounds - this practice has not succumbed to motorised transport even today.

2. We saw a freshly prepared grave that had been carved into a huge boulder. It had taken over two years to slowly chisel a perfectly formed room without any safety equipment such as masks or earmuffs.

By the way, the Toraja language has some similarities to Sarawak Malay (or even Tagalog). Chicken is manok instead of ayam, it is also sukun instead of dukun and asu instead of anjing!


Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

Hallelujah! We can eat dogs!

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large_5550_12562225732730.jpgTautau (statues) and graves in the cliff face.
Our guide Yosep along with driver Nasan picked us up at 9am. We were running late due to the long day yesterday.

We started our day visiting Lemo where graves are made in the face of rocky cliffs, known as as cave burials. Society in the early days was stratified much like a frequent flyer programme ... Gold, Silver ... etc. People with Gold status are also allowed a tautau or statue on the cliff face.

Cave burials may be made into natural crevasses but since metal implements were introduced, holes have been made into cliff faces for this purpose as well.

We then went to a funeral near Ulusalu (see separate item).

After a bit lunch, we went to a hanging grave at Kete Kesu ... where coffins are placed on beams that had been stuck in to cliff surfaces.large_5550_12562225737962.jpgTautau (statues) and graves in the cliff face.These were used mainly prior to metal implements being available to dig into rock faces.

Driving through the towns and countryside our guide and pointed out shops which sold dog meat. These are indicated rather discreetly by way of cryptic signs and codes ... something I found strange as this was a Christian area and it seems like a god-given right that Christians should be able to eat dogs unlike their Muslim counterparts.

Our guide thought that the indications are all cryptic to avoid offending the Muslim minority and visiting Muslims from the rest of the country. As there's plenty of signage openly promoting the sale of pork, I didn't quite buy his explanation ... I thought it was more to avoid offending foreigners.

Anyway, there appears to be some perks to being a Christian:

1. You can eat dog.
2. You can embalm your relatives and leave them in your home for a few years ... no need to rush to bury them ASAP (or even same day) as required by other religions. Oh what luxury.
3. You don't need to have the tip of your willy chopped off!


Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

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