18 Sep - 20 Sep 2011 Toro

Republic of Indonesia
Central Sulawesi
Toro (c. 790 m above sea level)
Adequate twin room with shared bathroom (bak mandi) for only INR 50,000.- or US$ 5.90 per night. Three delicious, sumptous vegetarian meals per day for INR 45,000.- or US$ 4.95 per person; many thanks, Rajab.
Cap Tikus of sorts available for INR 25,000.- or US$ 2.75 per litre.

Click below for an interactive road map of the Rumah Storma Guest House in Toro and for directions:

Listening to Satchmo's "What a Wonderful World" and deciding to increase our chocolate intake in order to support the people of Indonesia after we had seen how teams of selfless agents of virtue, mainly hopeful young scientists and students from government-financed German campuses, studied very hard the surely sustainable and socio-eco-politically correct way to grow cocoa in tropical agro-ecosystems under the conditions of the "stability of the rainforest margins" in Indonesia (a benevolent, taxpayer-funded project with the meaningful acronym/name Storma), all this, of course, solely with the noble intention of (i) helping the local peasantry, (ii) boosting science and (iii) saving the planet.
"The most terrifying words in the English language are: 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"

Exploring the scenic, almost bucolic kampung of Toro, meeting a bunch of very friendly and hospitable villagers (many thanks, Kiki, for your down-to-earth kindness) and noticing the three major lines of business in Toro: (i) cocoa (in Bahasa Indonesia: coklat) - a seemingly endless number of cocoa trees from where the villagers can earn up to INR 25,000.- or US$ 2.75 per kg of dry cocoa beans, (ii) rice - a great many of carefully irrigated paddy fields in this fertile side valley of the Sungai Palu, and (iii) souls - a diversity of about two dozens of different Bible-thumping churches (with the local troops of The Salvation Army leading the way).

Flagging down an ecofriendly, almost non-polluting oxcart for the first kilometer and hiring thereafter two earthy Honda motorbikes for the rest of the trip (20 km, ¾ hours, INR 30,000.- or US$ 3.30 per person and per ojek, respectively) from Toro to the village of Lawua/Gimpu, the end of the passable road and a sure-fire cul-de-sac; hard luck!

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

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