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

Distances and terrain
The route will cover a distance of approximately 525km with an average of about 85km per cycle day. I’ve planned the trip with riders who’ve prepared themselves in mind.

For the most part the route will take us over smooth, un-crowded but fully sealed roads. The only really busy segment will be re-entering the city of Makassar, South Sulawesi's one and only large city. On the first cycle day we’ll avoid morning traffic by leaving before dawn.

On five of the six cycle days the route will contain seriously ascents. Now, as everyone knows, if you go up, you must come down, so there are really nice compensating descents which everyone will enjoy. On the sixth day the route there will be 30 km of undulations, the rest being flat.

• Makassar is the historical centre of the spice trade. It is the biggest city and the gateway to eastern Indonesia.

• Malino will include visits to Find Your Sweetheart Waterfall and Teh Nittoh Tea Plantation.

• Vegetable growing lonely villages in upland valleys on the way from Malino to Sinjai.

• The centre of Indonesia’s wooden sailing boat building industry at Tana Beru.

• Swimming, snorkling, diving and relaxing on the white sands at Bira beach and nearby off-shore islands.

• The Bisappu Thousand Steps Waterfall.

• Salt making and fish farming in Jeneponto.

• Traditional rice farming villages.

• Beach at Jeneponto.

The general daily plan will be to be "on the road" by 6am and to cover a substantial distance before the heat of the day sets in. During the middle of the day rest stops will be frequent, every 10km. These will allow us to re-group, replenish water bottles, have a stretch, take some pictures, enjoy village snacks, have a yarn with locals. The emphasis will be on enjoying what the countryside and local culture has to offer rather than cycling for cycling‘s sake.

In the late afternoons a Yoga session will be available for those interested. Dinners will be at about 7 pm to allow you to get to bed early.

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 are sensitive to the fragilities of cyclists.

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.

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.

The rural parts of the southern part of Sulawesi is peopled mostly by Buginese and Makassarese. Makassar is a cosmopolitan city with influences from all over the world in evidence. The culture of the region has been shaped by six centuries of Islam. The lingua franca and national language is bahasa Indonesia. In the towns there are sprinklings of other ethnic groups such as Chinese and Torajans most of whom follow Christianity. There is good religious harmony between the different religious group.

The tour price includes all meals. 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. Outside of Makassar the variety of food is limited because there are no cold storage facilities available and most people eat at home rather than ‘out’. Along the way we will 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. And most regions have their village cake specialities. On the trip there will be an effort to provide modified standard Indonesian food. There will be no attempt to provide Western food because besides being hard to get, outside of Makassar, the expectation is that the trip will attract people who want to experience Indonesian life ‘as it is’.

In some of the places that we pass through, for religious reasons, alcohol may not be easy to purchase.

xWe’ve planned a 9 day trip through the culture and countryside of South South Sulawesi. We plan 6 cycle days, one full rest day on the beach at Bira and an easy day in the cool Malino Highlands. The remaining day will be spent in Makassar on pre-trip organization, preparation and orientation.

Swimming will be available on 7 of the 8 mights. Pool and ocean swimming in Makassar. Pool swimming in Malino. Beach swimming at Bira and Jeneponto.

Daily led yoga sessions will be provided in the late afternoons, before dinner. Those interested should bring yoga mats and belts.

Accommodation will range from a four star modern hotel in Makassar to traditional wooden stilted beach cottages in Bira, to a colonial hotel in Malino and a commercial travellers’ guesthouse in Sinjai.

Rooming will generally be ‘twin share’ meaning two single beds per room. Room allocations will be done on a rotational and gender sensitive basis.

In some places for an extra charge, it MAY be possible for riders to book single rooms or rooms with double beds.

NOTE In some places ONLY double beds may be available.

Riders should bring mosquito repellent, mosquito nets and sleeping sheets, just in case.

We plan to use 1 - 2 support vehicles with drivers who have some facility with English, plus a cycle mechanic who will provide technical support throughout. The vehicles will be for luggage and spells ONLY for those who really need them.

We’re planning on a group of 10 -12 cyclists hopefully from all over the world.

Bring your own bike and own spare parts. 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 I ride one and Lynette from BF has been most supportive in the development of this site.

We will provide a bike mechanic (Pak Yanto) in addition to the drivers who’ll help out with all the little jobs that arise with any group.

We will be obtaining approval from the Indonesian police authorities to hold this event. In case of any emergency the support vehicles will be available for rapid transport to Makassar. You will be asked to provide evidence of travel and medical insurance.

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.

We will be bringing a well stocked first aid kit.

We will provide you with a WTBL in the months before departure.

A button for FAQs appears on the HOME PAGE.

When the group is known and with WRITTEN PERMISSIONS FROM PARTICIPANTS names and email addresses will be shared.

SITE LAST UPDATED: 24 November 2009

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