27 Sep - 29 Sep 2011 Bomba

Republic of Indonesia
Central Sulawesi
Bomba
Losmen Ningsih +6285241488000
Overpriced, small twin room with attached bathroom (Indonesian mandi) and with a nice communal porch, including breakfast and dinner for two, for INR 125,000.- or US$ 13.80 per night.
Duty-free but heavily diluted Cap Tikus aka Bada Valley Moonshine available from the neighbouring Islamic not-so-super supermarket for INR 30,000.- or US$ 3.30 per litre.


Click below for an interactive road map of the Losmen Ningsih in Bomba and for directions:










Hiking independently the beautiful and less travelled Bada Valley along the Sungai Lariang (Sulawesi’s largest river), meeting helpful and hospitable Suku Bada people, young and old, and bagging Central Sulawesi’s historical star attractions, its mysterious (always west facing) first millennium CE megaliths, large stone carvings along the lines of those on Easter Island: (i) the female Batung Langke Bulawa near Bomba, (ii) the female Batung Loga near Pada, (iii) the animal Batung Kerbau, the Buffalo Rock, near Runde, (iv) the animal Batung Oba, the Monkey Rock, near Lengkeka and (v) the super star, the king-size, male Batung Palindo near Bewa at exactly S 01° 51.57' E 120° 15.30'.















Meeting a small group of up-market tourists from Western countries and learning that the going rates for a local tour guide start at a gross price of INR 600,000.- or US$ 66.- per day (the guide comes with car and driver since a “licensed” guide worth his salt can’t use public transport), almost the price of a reliable and non-chattering handheld GPS receiver:




Taking the same rugged Pamonaraya bus +6281341175080 back to Tentena (65 km, 4 ½ hours, INR 60,000.- or US$ 6.60 per person), another bone-shaking bus journey with awful music and cramped seats through hell...
  
   
Facing Sulawesi
© Konni & Matt
         

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26 Sep - 27 Sep 2011 Tentena

Republic of Indonesia
Central Sulawesi
Jalan Yos Sudarso 22
Hotel Intim Danau Poso +6285340875152
Clean and spacious twin room with attached bathroom, Western breakfast for two and a great river/lake view, for INR 140,000.- or US$ 16.- per night.
Beer: 620-ml bottles of warm Bintang Pilsner available from the Chinese wholesale merchants on the northern end of Jl. Yos Sudarso, for a reasonable INR 22,000.- or US$ 2.40 per bottle.

Click below for an interactive road map of the Hotel Intim Danau Poso in Tentena, which we would recommend, and for directions:








Exploring independently the hospitable lake-site town Tentena with its landmark v-shaped eel traps north of the pretty 210-m long covered bridge over Sungai Poso and chumming up with a bunch of friendly natives: (i) with our friend Ram, the knowledgeable durian seller (three medium-sized lekker durians for only INR 15,000.- or US$ 1.65), (ii) with Simon, the relaxed owner of the Tandolala Cottages and the privately-run Tentena Visitor Centre (simonsonggo@asia-nusa.com +6281245273438, ice-cold Bintang for INR 25,000.- or US$ 2.75 per 620-ml bottle and useful intel for free), (iii) with Wawan, the clever IT guru from the reliable Shiawase Internet CafĂ© +6285255623130 (three hours wifi for INR 5,000.-) and with many others.
"When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable."


Leaving our backpacks in the hotel and taking the rugged Pamonaraya bus +6281341175080 from Tentena to Bomba (65 km, 5 ½ hours, INR 60,000.- or US$ 6.60 per person), a painfully slow and gruelling off-road ride into the Bada Valley which touches the southern border of the remote Lore Lindu National Park and is famous for its first millennium CE megaliths: mysterious stone statutes, vats and urns whose meaning and creators are still totally unknown.




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Facing Sulawesi
© Konni & Matt


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23 Sep - 26 Sep 2011 Poso

Republic of Indonesia
Central Sulawesi
Poso
Jalan Yos Sudarso
Losmen Lalanga Jaya +6285255449624 titien_mochtaris@yahoo.com
Clean, spacious and atmospheric double room, with a brand-new king-size bed, in a creaky stilt house, overlooking the sea, with attached bathroom (Indonesian mandi and Western toilet), a great terrace and a bottomless supply of kopi hitam (for Matt) and kopi susu (for Konni) for INR 125,000.- or US$ 14.50 per night.
Cap Tikus of Manado’s rocket-fuel grade available for INR 20,000.- or US$ 2.20 per litre of organically grown and lovingly distilled jungle hooch.


Click below for an interactive road map of the Losmen and Restoran Lalanga Jaya in Poso, which we would recommend, and for directions:









Relaxing on the creaky veranda of our atmospheric stilt-house hotel, the Losmen and Restoran Lalanga Jaya +6285255449624, built over the Gulf of Poso with superb views, and enjoying Taty’s and Titien’s fantastic hospitality.
“Too many people look at the hijab as though it has bizarre powers sewn into its microfibers. Powers that transform Muslim girls into UCOs (Unidentified Covered Objects), which turn Muslim girls from an 'us' to a 'them'.”


Exploring the coastal town of Poso, the main port and transportation hub for the northeastern coast of Central Sulawesi where enthusiastic shouts “Hello Misteeer” greet you at every turn and every time, visiting the nearby sandy beaches Imbo and Madale, located only a few kilometres east of town, noticing the many burned-out ruins of recent violent Muslim-Christian unrests (with well over 1,000 people killed on both sides and with many more displaced) and the tense presence of a peacekeeping police force, later cruising the turbid Poso River aka Sungai Poso upstream by means of an outrigger-trimaran, browsing thereafter through the central market and tasting five different exotic veggies from Sulawesi Tengah: (i) spicy jantung pisang (cooked banana flowers in a rich fish broth), (ii) bunga papaya (cooked papaya flowers, yellowish and very spicy), (iii) sayur nangka (cooked jackfruit in coconut cream), (iv) daun singkong (leaves of sweet potatoes) and (v) sayur terong (small white egg plants) - all this a vegetarian’s delight (...saya tidak makan daging).



Hiking Poso’s countryside south of town on a peaceful Sunday morning, exploring the Christianised villages of Lembomawo and Ranononucu, both renowned for their ebony carving, listening to the natives’ lovely voices during the Sunday morning service in quite a few different protestant churches and picnicking on hot lemang aka inuyu (glutinous rice, coconut milk and salt, and cooked in a hollowed bamboo stick lined with banana leaves in order to prevent the rice from sticking to the bamboo) and creamy fresh durian for dessert.



Taking a battered Mori Indah minibus +6285256199228 (65 km, 2 ½ hours, INR 20,000 or US$ 2.20 per person) from Poso’s Terminal Siwangi Lemba to Tentena, situated at the northern end of Indonesia’s third-largest lake, Lake Poso aka Danau Poso, and surrounded by clove-covered hills.



Click below for a summary of this year's travels
2011 Map Konni & Matt


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21 Sep - 23 Sep 2011 Palu



Southeast Asia
Republic of Indonesia
Central Sulawesi
Jalan Raden Saleh 50
Hotel Andalas +62451422332 liza_limarni@yahoo.com
Adequate twin room with attached bathroom (Indonesian bak mandi) and communal balcony for INR 100,000.- or US$ 11.75 per night, including a light breakfast for two.
Beer: 620-ml bottles of ice-cold Bintang Pilsener (c. 4.7 % alc./vol.) from Palu Mitra Utama store (Jalan W. Monginsidi 33) for a reasonable INR 23,200.- or US$ 2.70 per bottle.


Click below for an interactive road map of the Hotel Andalas in Palu and for directions:





 




Matt: Discovering an uninvited visitor from the rainforest in my left foot, a nasty blood-mining worm larvae (Cutaneous larvae migrans), which digs under my skin horizontal shafts of about 1 mm in diameter at a speed of c. 10 mm per 24 hours and consulting a medical specialist for dermatology (INR 25,000.- or US$ 2.75 for the consultation plus INR 50,000.- or US$ 5.50 material costs for the cryotherapeutic/antibiotic treatment of my “creeping eruption” with chlorethyl spray) at the modern polyclinic Rsud Undata +62451421270 in Tondo; many thanks, Dr. Nurhidayat, for hunting down, deep-freezing and eventually killing this parasite from the jungle: “Geronimo! - Over and Out”.



Securing two seats in a Mitsubishi express minibus taxi (220 km, 5 ½ hours, INR 80,000.- or US$ 8.85 per person, including the pick-up from the hotel) from New Armada Travel +62451429764 for the rough stretch from Palu to Poso, the main town and port on the northern coast of Central Sulawesi, thus passing many Balinese Hindu villages with their stylish family temples aka puram between Parigi and Maranda, the result of the transmigrasi policy of the 1980s, an attempt to take the pressure off Indonesia's heavily populated areas, particularly Bali, by moving people out to less populated islands like Sulawesi.


Click below for more blog posts about other entertaining medical issues

Click below for a summary of this year's travels


Facing Sulawesi
© Konni & Matt


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