Here in South Sulawesi, Indonesia, you can find one of the biggest Karst Mountains in the world. This area has now been recognized, since 2001, as a UNESCO world heritage site. I’ve never seen Karst Mountains before so when I decided to go on this trip I did not expect to see such beauty. We started in Makassar and drove through the country for one and half hours until the driver stopped by the side of the road. I thought we were stopping to eat but unknown to me there were steps leading down to a river just beside me. They were well hidden and out of the public’s eye. At the bottom of these steps we got into a little canal boat to take us to a village set right in the middle of this karst area. We hadn’t even started sailing down the river and I was in awe with the scenery. The river had these magnificent karst rocks scattered around, amongst mangroves, which acted like a path to guide us down the river. It was so peaceful weaving through these beautiful green plants and gazing up at the Karst Mountains towering above us, each one standing alone, unattached from the other. It felt like they were floating all around us, like we had suddenly gone into another world, a fantasy world.
After a short boat ride we stopped at an opening through some trees. As soon as I stepped off the boat my eyes were blinded with an astonishing view of mountains stood amongst rice fields and ponds. The light shone down and created a beautiful reflection of the landscape in the water. We set off on our trek through the rice fields, which I’ve walked through many before, but walking through these rice fields was different. We were walking towards these beautiful mountains that looked like green giants and made me feel like I was a miniature toy. We walked past locals and their homes, along tiny paths and over streams. We saw how they lived using only natural resources. They built bridges made from bamboo and ate the freshest ingredients. This village is so big, however has very few people living there. You can really feel how tiny you are in the world because of this. We trekked past caves and around mountains. I truly felt like I was lost in the middle of nowhere, where technology was a distant memory.
his site is still a natural habitat and it is very important that we keep it like this. The place is unique and untouched by the western world, apart from a toilet we have helped build and a reservoir we have bought for them. This does not affect their way of living but only improve their health and cleanliness, which we believe everyone should be entitled to. During this trip Tari Travel also takes you to a cave that has the oldest prehistoric paintings in the world. This cave is also set in the Karst area. For those who do not know, Karst is a landscape formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks such as limestone. This formation is an amazing sight, which we saw at its best when we climbed up a steep hill and took a break to enjoy the calm atmosphere for a while. To make the trip even more exciting, Tari Travel includes lunch at a local home, where you can really experience the true culture. As always the locals were friendly and loved meeting us. Tari Travel has supported this village for ten years now through bringing tourists to visit and explore it. We ended the trip sailing back on the little boat down the river, taking in the view before getting back on the road. It was the perfect way to end the perfect day trip.