Finding the heat and humidity oppressing, we allowed ourselves to only be exposed to the hustle and bustle of the market area and beat a hasty retreat to our ship.
Upon arriving we tendered to shore where we met our guide and travelled to the highlands to visit the islands’ Toraja people and study their practices of life, but primarily their burial sites. Tana Toraja, their settlements feature boat-shaped houses reminiscent of how they supposedly ended up on this spider shaped island, one of the largest in Indonesia. These ornately decorated houses, some dating back over 500 years, feature the living quarters on the upper floor, rice storage on the middle floor, and the stable for the buffalo on the ground.
We visited the ancient burial site at Lemo which features carved funeral effigies (tau tau) and coffins in burial chambers carved out of the steep limestone cliffs. We also visited a “baby grave”, where infants are placed in chambers dug in the trunk of a living tree, where their spirits garner sustenance in the after-life. After an exhausting and lengthy day we returned to our ship and cast off for Komodo Island, which will take jus approximately another day and a half.