Hiking in Sulawesi

Years ago, I made a trip to Mamasa in West Sulawesi where one could embark on a popular two or three day hike to Rantepao in South Sulawesi. Although the photograph shows a mosque, many of the people in that are were Christian, albeit with deep animist undertones. If I remember correctly, my guide’s name was Petrus and you’d meet many sporting Dutch first names in those parts, a legacy of the colonial era and church baptisms.

The walk was not that strenuous, and I could have done it on my own, but in taking a guide, I knew I wouldn’t get lost and he could explain some of the aspects of local village life along the way. In short, it proved to be a very pleasant trek, and the relative quiet contrasted with the large number of tourists, especially Europeans, in Rantepao who would flock there to observe the elaborate—if bloody for the numerous sacrificed animals—funerary rituals of the Tana Toraja people.