Maros, Where the Long Journey Begins

Right 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 only for transit at Sultan Hasanuddin Airport. The airport is indeed the main gate to enter Sulawesi and also the main hub for flights from and to eastern part of Indonesia, including Ambon.

A remote village in the middle of karst area in Maros.
When talking about Maros, the first tourist destination comes to most of the people's mind is Bantimurung National Park. We intensely browsed before we traveled out, however, and found the facts that there were still many other lovely places around with less visitors and more 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 at that night, asking for their free pick-up service to come. The hotel was just situated at the main high road connecting Maros to Makassar which was only ten minutes drive away from the airport. Having a little rest for a moment, we then went out the hotel and started our exploration. At the main road, we flagged down a 'pete-pete' (or called 'angkot' in the rest of Indonesia) and paid for IDR 10.000 per person. It brought us straight to  Bosowa T-Junction from which we could have strolled down for 800 metres to Rammang-Rammang Pier. But since it was noon and very hot, we decided not to walk but to take ojek for IDR 7,500 per person (return). From the pier, renting a boat cost IDR 150.000 for a return trip. If more people had come with us, the shared cost would have been cheaper.
Rammang-Rammang Pier 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 might cause the boat turning upside down. So, we gotta be cool when enjoying the cruise along the Pute River--means we could not pose crazy on board :D. To tell you again readers, that it was midday and very hot. So we hid ourselves under a jacket while peeking around. Many things we saw on the way raised up our curiosity. And many times we asked the boat driver about those things, we did not get any satisfying answers. I bet he was not an English speaker, even his Bahasa Indonesia did not sound very clear to our 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 very clearly 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. Filled by rice fields and walled by green hills makes this area was so adorable. It soon turned cloudy as if the sky allowed us to blend ourselves right to the heart of the environment. 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 by some of the villagers' houses. Only a very few habitants 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 the locals. They gladly replied with a warm smile and sometimes slightly bowed their head showing their respect to visitors. Living here may look very simple but in another side can be very tough as well due to 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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