Break From the Law travel blog

View from Mama Siska's Homestay early in the morning.

Mama Siska's Homestay.

Me and Mama Siska, proprietor of Mama Siska's Homestay

View of the highlands near village of Batutumonga.

View of a traditional village in Tana Toraja.

Small mausoleum seen en route from Batutumonga to Rantepao. This sat in...

Effigies of the deseased in front of their mausoleum, seen en route...

A mosque in Rantepao.

A church in Rantepao.

9 p.m. Well, Vikki and I just returned to our hotel here in Rantepao, the Duta 88, from dinner at Mart's Cafe, a popular local restaurant. Tonight I tried Tana Toraja's best known culinary specialty, called pa'piong. Essentially, pa'piong consists of pork with cabbage cooked in a coconut-based sauce inside a bamboo tube. As the dish takes several hours to prepare, I had to leave my order with Mart's Cafe 3 hours before dinner. I can confirm the wait was worth it: pa'piong is a delicious dish!

We left Mama Sika's Homestay in Batutamonga late this morning, catching a ride in one of the mikrolets, the passenger vans which ply the back routes here and pick up passengers on a pretty informal hop-on, hop-off basis, back to Rantepao and returned to our original hotel, the Duta 88. Upon our arrival back here, we spent a fair chunk of the day making our onward travel plans out of Sulawesi. Because this week is the end of Ramadan, many people originally from Sulawesi are home on vacation but will be returning to the other islands in Indonesia where they live this weekend. As such, we had to spend a good deal of time finding an overnight bus for tomorrow night to Makassar's airport. Unfortunately, none of the deluxe buses plying the route had any spaces for tomorrow night to Makassar, so we are going to have to ride on one of the regular passenger buses. I just hope that our bus at least has shock absorbers! After finding a bus, we proceeded to book our flight to Bali on Lion Air for the morning of the day after tomorrow.

Tomorrow being our last day in Tana Toraja, we plan on checking out some of the tourist highlights which lie south of Rantepao. To the extent it works out, we'd ideally like to rent bikes and ride out to see the sights. If the local guidebook for Tana Toraja which we purchased is any indicator - local guidebooks are surprisingly often plagued by inaccuracies - , taking in the sights can be done in a nice loop. Perfect for a day's cycling excursion before yet another overnight bus trip!

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