Another two days in Kupang waiting for my plane to Makassar, the capital of the very large island of Sulawesi is so strange. The wait goes well in the company of Sue, an Australian meeting in Dili with whom I visit around by scooter.
For me, Makassar is just a transit point. The city is huge and modern with shopping centers, Mc’Do and even Carrefour.
The very evening of my arrival I take a night bus which must take me to Ranteipao. It is very comfortable, in the European standards. It is surprising to see this type of bus in Indonesia, it’s even the first time I see one in fact.
At 6am I arrive at Ranteipao. A pete fart dances into the Homestay that indicates to him. The pete is a scooter taxi that is only found in Sulawesi with a small egg-shaped cabin at the front.
Ranteipao is a pretty rural town of 30000 inhabitants I think. But it is especially the capital of the country Tana Toraja. Here the Toraja maintains a very strong and lively culture.
At the bottom, I rent a scooter as usual. Everything is green and lush. I cross beautiful rice terraces where I observe the peasants wash and buffalo their buffaloes with love. Here buffaloes have a real cultural and symbolic value.
Many villages are more beautiful than the others, the countryside. They are essentially beautiful traditional Toraja houses in the form of boats still built today as they were centuries ago. The legend tells that the ancestors of the Torajas would have arrived in boats that they would have pulled in the grounds to make their houses.
It rains a lot here and when the sun breaks, the sounds and smells of nature, the lights, the little hill roads that overlook the rice fields and the incredible villages of another time … Everything combines to create an atmosphere relaxing of pure zenitude.