A Moment in Bantimurung

An artificial giant butterfly at the outer gate of Bantimurung National Park
All was wet along the riverside due to the heavy rain that just passed by. My head came out of the window, immersing itself into the fresh air outside. "We've been arrived!" I shout spontaneously as I saw a giant butterfly. Yeah, after a quite long trip by pete-pete (minivan) from Maros town center, we finally entered the iconic Bantimurung National Park.

After visiting Berua Village in the hot afternoon, we returned to Maros city and treat ourselves with ice cream and cold drinks. Ironically then the sky turned cloudy. We rushed to a T-junction where we thought a pete-pete to Bantimurung would pass. But we actually went to a wrong one. So we rode a becak to get to the right one.

The pete-pete dropped us right at the parking area near to the entrance booth. It was hundreds of meters away from the giant butterfly outside, fortunately we did not have to walk there. The price to enter Bantimurung National Park was pretty expensive; IDR 20,000 for one local tourist. We had been this far already so we kept going in.
One side of the parking area was occupied by merchandisers
Not very far from the entrance, we found Kolam Jamala on the left side. The bluish color of this pond looked uncommon to us. The legend says this pond was for nymphs to take a bath so it is also called as Telaga Bidadari (Pool of the Nymphs). Its water is believed to have curing effect for various diseases, making easy to get mate and avoiding someone from magics. At least for us, the water from this pool really helped to refresh our dull face.
Taking some water from Kolam Jamala
Still nearby, there was a wooden bridge to Butterfly Museum. Butterfly is indeed the icon of this place. Bantimurung had been called as 'The Kingdom of Butterflies' for years. Unluckily, rainy season like today was a good reason for butterflies to leave their kingdom. Well, we did not come in a perfect timing. Only preserved and framed butterflies are able to see in the museum at this time. To enter Butterfly Museum visitors have to pay IDR 5,000 per person.
Guys, I was in the Kingdom of Butterflies
The wooden bridge to Butterfly Museum

Bantimurung Waterfall, which is not affected too much by seasons, has become the main attraction within the national park area. I would say this waterfall unique as most of waterfalls I visited were narrow and high. But this one's body was wide and short but its current was really swift. Many people were there to play water. Some others did not want to get wet by folding up their trousers. They were there only to take pictures with the famous Bantimurung Waterfall as its background.

Visitors may also enjoy Bantimurung Waterfall in bird's-eye view by taking the stairs just beside it. The stairs would also lead to some prehistoric caves. From the information we gathered, to enter the caves was indeed without any more tickets but it is compulsory to use a tour guide service and rent the flashlight if do not bring one. Having been wet, not because of the rain nor the waterfall but our own sweat, we decided to turn back. Lack of energy was one thing, but the day was also almost dark. We were afraid of missing the last pete-pete back to Maros. 
Bantimurung Waterfall

This path leads to prehistoric caves

Some of the merchandisers in the parking lot told us that there would not be any public transport getting inside the area at this time. If so, we had to walk till the giant butterfly outside. But we were lucky enough to still get a pete-pete right from the last drop point. This was actually an out-of-route pete-pete. It headed to another popular tourist destination; Leang-Leang Prehistoric Park.

The pete-pete driver was actually a local resident of Leang-Leang village. Recognizing us as tourists, he invited us to come along as he was about to go home. We decided not to accept the offer because we worried of transportation when returning later. So, we just left that place for the next visit. We alighted there with Bendung Batubassi on the left then switched to another pete-pete going to Maros town.
An old bridge to nowhere in Bantimurung National Park
Cottage is available

From the town center, we had to switch again to Daya lane. The main road connecting Maros and Makassar seemed to be always badly jammed every rush hours like now. This was the very road we had to go through. The bad traffic had made us even more tired. When we finally made it back to the hotel's front, we did not just go inside. Our legs brought us to a food stall across the congested street. A simple dinner with coto Makassar and buras was waiting for us. Thus, this long and tiring day was over. But it was just the beginning for the whole journey as the next day we would go to Makassar.

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