With some incredible diving under my belt already I decided the final day of validity in my park pass was going to be used for some Dragon chasing. I met a nice French couple who were going to share the boat with me on the day of to visit the dragons on Rinca Island.
By the time I made it out of the Papuan highlands, I found it very easy to convince myself that I was due for a little relaxation. The past 9 months had been full of adventures and plenty of interesting experiences but now I was craving a little time eating good food and spending the last of my 2 weeks being horizontal on some white sand. I had my flight to Bali booked and looked forward to some easy days ahead.
*ANIMAL LOVERS BEWARE. THIS POST CONTAINS GORY IMAGES.
“Of course death is better than life” my guide Budi stated after we just watched the sacrifice of two large buffalo for a funeral ceremony. In my time in Toraja, I could not think of a better summary of their unique cultural beliefs.
It was in the slow hours of the morning in my first few months in Fort Albany I caught a short clip showcasing the elaborate funerals and death rituals of the Torajan’s in Sulawesi. I was captivated, having seen nor heard nothing of it before, I couldn’t believe traditions like these were still being played out in our modern world. It was Tana Toraja which kicked off my desire to visit Indonesia and it was Indonesia which started the idea for the whole 9 month trip that is now coming to a close.
A few years ago when the topic of travel came up in conversation with a friend he spoke of his goal to see “the 7 wonders” of the world. In my personal experience, these, the best known sites in the world have never lived up to the hype surrounding them and are always crawling with massive tour groups making the chances for a unique individual experience quite difficult. Local populations living around these places, more often than not, are so used to dealing with tourists and taking their money that it creates a lot of hassel for the budget traveler who does not care about tacky souvenirs and amusement park like attractions such as camel riding to the Taj Mahal.When I think back to some of the most amazing places and people i’ve met thy very rarely include a countries top tourist destination. Having heard the praise for Angkor a thousands times before, I was pessimistic to say the least as to what the next few days would hold.