Tentena


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Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tana Toraja
July 14th 2011
Published: September 2nd 2011EDIT THIS ENTRY

After arranging for the bus to collect us from the hostel sometime between eight and nine, waking up at 7:55 wasn't the best start. But I managed to have time to get ready and have my last breakfast at Wisma Maria - homemade bread with homemade jam and smoothie - so good. The bus finally arrived to pick Hylke, Joszi and myself up just after nine and it looked alot more comfortable than the one we arrived on! Joszi forgot her mp3 player so after telling the driver she had left her passport he returned to the hostel. The bus gradually filled up with men, rice, rice and more men and after we asked them not to smoke it was a not very eventful 13hr trip to Tentena.
The roads are in such a bad condition it makes you wish for roadworks and they never go straight. Not good when you get travel sick. The countryside is amazingly beautiful going through the mountains and the rice paddies is spectacular, its all so green. The locals are so friendly and happy to help you learn the language. But spending 13hrs on a bus becomes uncomfortable and I was glad to arrive.
The bus dropped us about 3km from the hostel but the locals pointed us in the right direction and after only a few minutes a guy on a scooter stopped to ask if we were booked in at Hotel Victory. Bags an all I got on the scooter to the hostel and another two picked up Hylke and Joszi. When we arrived they made us pancakes and tea but it wasn't long until we all went to bed.
After having a wash at the mandi in my ensuite a much more popular alternative to a shower in Indonesia, we organised scooter hire for the day to see Tentena's highlights.
Anton arranged accommodation for me on the Togean Islands and after a breakfast of pancakes we all headed off on the scooters. Hylke and Joszi on one and Anton our guide and me on the other. The roads are covered in potholes and loose gravel so I was glad I wasn't driving, but I do want to learn! At the market we bought mangos then drove upto the waterfall. We drove through the colourful Bali village (Hindus) and the Togean village. After the conflict finished in 2006 Christians now live in the mountains and Muslims by the coast but things are calm and people have moved on and the locals will talk about it in passing.
Arriving at the waterfall Hylke's bike had somehow managed to work after the key had fallen out so as we headed up the waterfall Anton went back in search of the key. The waterfall was amazing much bigger than I had imagined. We sat and ate mangos at the bottom stupidly biting of the poisonous top before taking a knife to it but they tasted great! We all walked halfway up the waterfall some of the steps covered in water. The rocks that formed the waterfall were enormous and so smooth it made it look even more spectacular. It was a bit too cold to swim in it though! The steps coming down were hard work, all uneven and different sizes.
We then drove to a hostel by the lake and went for a swim, the water not as cold as the waterfall but at altitude it certainly wasn't warm. The large lake is surroundered by mountains and rice paddies and the beach isn't too bad. We then made our way back to the hostel but 10mins after I had arrived there was still no sign of Hylke and Joszi thinking they had just got lost I went to shop and met Lara. When I got back to the hostel Joszi was there and they had had an accident on the bike so she had to gio to the hospital. Hylke returned shortly after and went to the hospital too. Lucky they were only minor cuts so they were bandaged up and back before long.
We then went to the cafe next door owned by the same lady as the hostel. They had chips! Although served oddly they tasted good finished off by chocolate pancake.
I debated over plans most of the evening with too many options I just didn't know what to do! In the end I took the car to Poso with Lara at eleven arriving about one in the morning at a rather nice hotel. The road though was by far the worst so far, think I'm going to get through the travel sick tablets quick here.





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