Maros, Where the Long Journey Begins

After completing our three-year contract working in Ambon as school teachers, we rewarded ourselves by traveling around for about half a month. Our trip began in Maros, Sulawesi. We had been to this island several times before, but for transit only at Sultan Hasanuddin Airport. In fact, the airport is the main gate to enter Sulawesi and also main hub for flights from and to eastern part of Indonesia including Ambon.

A remote village in the middle of karst area, Maros.
When we talk about Maros, the mainstream destionation is Bantimurung National Park. We browsed before we traveled, however, and found out that there are still many other lovely places with more promising natural views as you can see on the picture above.

Upon arriving at the airport, we called up the budget hotel where we would stay tonight, asking for their free pick-up service to come. The hotel was just at the main high road connecting Maros to Makassar, only ten minutes drive from the airport. Having rest a little bit, we went out the hotel and started our exploration. Taking an angkot-which is called 'pete-pete' here-for IDR 10.000 per person, we headed straight to  Bosowa T-Junction from which we could have walked to our first destination; Rammang-Rammang Pier. It was noon and very hot. So, we decided not to walk but taking ojek for IDR 7,500 per person (return). From the pier, renting a boat was IDR 150.000 (return). If more people had come with us, the shared cost would have been cheaper.
Dermaga Rammang-Rammang where we took a boat from.
Three of us on board.
It may look similar, but this is not Mekong Delta.
Traditional Sulawesi houses along the river.

Clear river water reflection
On the boat, we had to be seated to keep our balance. Moving our body too much would cause the boat drown to Pute River. So, enjoying the panoramic view around must be done in cool--means we could not pose crazy on board :D. Reader, please be reminded that it was midday and very hot. So we hid ourselves under a jacket while peeking around. Many things on the way caught our curiosity and many times we asked the boat driver about the things we did not get satisfying answers. I don't think he spoke English, even his Bahasa Indonesia did not sound very clear to my ears. Both of us could not really understand him speaking for most of the time. "No crocodile is living here". That was one of few sentences he said correctly in Bahasa.
We were not alone. Along the boat trip we met some people riding a small boat or a long boat.

Passing through a cave
Passing under a wooden bridge. Watch your head!
Another bridge
High rocks awaits ahead.
There was a group of visitors coming before us.
After about 15 minutes, we arrived at an isolated village called Berua. No road access to this village, thus it was far from noise pollution caused by motor vehicle. The scene in this area filled by rice fields and walled by green hills was so adorable. It soon turned cloudy as if the sky allowed us to blend ourselves right to the middle. We then took so pictures of this place and had difficult times later to choose which ones deserve to be uploaded here.

Keep walking around, we passed some villagers' houses. Only a few of those could be seen. It is always good to live with not so many people in one area. We tried to give our best greetings every time we met locals. They gladly replied with a warm smile and sometimes slightly bowed their head. Living here may look very simple but in another side can be very tough as well due its limited access and public facilities.

Berua Village
Me and the rice field

Live in harmony with the nature
A place to sit or even lay down while enjoying the 'painting-like' village.
However we did not sit here at all because it was not free of charge anymore to do so.
A little girl was playing with her toys next to a river.
Around 15 families were living in Berua village.

A slot near to pier as a place to hide ourselves from the hot sun.

Next to the 'house tree' was a simple shop selling drinks and snacks.
The man who drove the boat lived here. While we were around taking pictures, he had his lunch break at home. When we finished, he came out back to the pier. "Are you ready?", he asked us. Honestly, I was not ready to leave such an awesome place. I had been living too far away from nature. Even watching a buffalo and a group of ducks in this village was really entertaining for me. But there were still other things to do and we had to answer him with yes.

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OUR TRIPS (Based on Places)