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Rendra (my son) and I want to share through cycling, with like minded people, our love, knowledge and experience of Indonesian life and culture.

We’ve planned this trip to include a good variety of terrains and scenery including palm fringed coastal plains, traditional rice growing villages, and spectacular mountain valleys and waterfalls. The route includes the ‘musts’ of South Sulawesi such as

• Makassar, the spice capital of Indonesia
• Tana Toraja, the home of an ancient ancestral animistic religion overlain in recent years by Christianity
• Sengkang, the centre of South Sulawesi’s silk industry
• The waterfalls and butterflies of Bantimurung
• Bulukumba, the centre of Indonesia’s wooden sailing boat building industry It also includes lots of out of the way places such as
• the coastal cliffs at Bunta Matabing
• the traditional houses of Batu-batu
• the beaches of Bira
• the hot spring pools of Lejje and Camba.

The route will cover a distance of nearly 1200 km / 750 m with an average of 62.5 km / 39 m per cycle day. A gradated build up starting on the first day with a short ride (35 km / 22 m) on the flat, building up to longer pedals (70 km / 44 m) and day-long mountain climbs towards the end. For the most part the route will take us over smooth, uncrowded but fully bituminised roads. The only really busy segments will be exiting and entering the city of Makassar, South Sulawesi's one and only large city.

Drivers in South Sulawesi are generally more respectful towards cyclists than their Australian counterparts. Away from Makassar, the drivers are mostly commercial drivers who know the roads and how to behave on them.

The people in South Sulawesi are welcoming towards foreign visitors and are especially friendly towards cyclists. You may have read about sectarian based violence in Sulawesi. What violence that occurred did not occur anywhere near our route and in any case such violence is now a thing of the past.

There are three major ethnic groups in South Sulawesi - the Buginese, the Makasarrese and the Torajas. They each have their own language and culture. There are small numbers of Chinese in the bigger towns. The major religions are Islam and various denominations of Christianity and there is good harmony amongst them.

We will provide group members Infopaks containing useful information on Indonesian customs and taboos and Indonesian language. We will provide participants with informal on the spot talks about various aspects of the culture as the trip proceeds.

The price includes breakfasts (these are mostly included in hotel tariffs), cycle day lunches (participants will be too busy cycling to have time to find suitable eat spots) and evening meals where participants would find it inconvenient to find their own food. In stops where dinners are not provided, such as in Sengkang, participants will be able to easily find suitable restaurants or warungs. Food in Indonesia is generally tasty and often chilli hot. Food in Sulawesi is no exception, the difference being that it features lots of fish and a local beef casserole dish called Coto. The chillies can be avoided if they don’t agree with you and in Makassar and in Tana Toraja some western food is available. Along the way you will often come across (usually) young women and girls at fruit stalls selling fruits in season, such as mangoes, watermelons, rambutans and durian. Bottled water is available in most places.

We’ve planned a 27 day trip through the culture and countryside of South Sulawesi. We plan 19 cycle days and eight rest and recreation days in places that ‘deserve time’. Of the 19 cycle days

• two will be very light
• three will be light
• six will be medium
• eight will be heavy

The full r’n’r days will be in

• Bira where swimming, snorkelling and diving is available
• Sengkang where you can see the floating villages and silk weaving
• Tana Toraja where rafting, trekking and peaceful scenic off main road cycling is available in mountain valleys where traditional animistic lifestyle, intertwined with Christianity, flourishes

Light days have been planned for our stops at the hot springs of Lejje, the falls at Bantaeng and the pools of Bantimurung.

Daily yoga instruction will be provided by an experienced and qualified teacher.

We’ve chosen a wide variety of accommodation ranging from a four star modern hotel in Makassar to traditional wooden houses with thatched roofs in Batu-Batu. In between these extremes most of the accommodation has hot water, air conditioning and western style bathrooms. Accommodation will generally be ‘twin share’ meaning two single beds per room. In some places, for an extra charge, it will be possible for participants to book single rooms or rooms with double beds.

If the group size exceeds 11 we plan to use two support vehicles with drivers who have some facility with English, plus a cycle engineer who will provide technical support throughout. The vehicles will be for luggage and spells for those who need them.

We’re planning on a group of 12 - 20 cyclists hopefully from all over the world.

Bring your own bike. It does not matter what brand, shape or size it is. The important thing is that it is comfortable for you and it’ll last the distance. We will not be supplying bikes. Bike Friday (BF) is featured in this website because, per chance, I ride one and Lynette from BF has been most supportive in the development of this site.

It will be possible for participants interested in shorter tours to negotiate personalized short tours. In such cases the cost per day will be higher than that for the regular planned tour.

During the organization of this trip we were impressed with the friendliness and willingness of local Indonesian police authorities to help with directions and giving us the odd lift or two. In the event of any emergency the support vehicles will be available for rapid transport to Makassar.

At any point in the trip we should not be more than 1-2 hours from medical assistance. The Indonesian ministries for Police and Tourism will be informed of this trip before it begins and reports will be made to local police authorities as it develops.

SITE LAST UPDATED: 13 October 2009

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