Lore Lindu National Park 2012

Lore Lindu National Park 2012

I arrived in Palu in the afternoon. Having checked in at the Santika Hotel, I looked for a rent motorbike, but no luck. It is much easier to rent a car than a motorbike outside Bali in Indonesia. Thus, I had to spend 450,000 rupiah on the car to drop me off at Napu Valley the next day.

We departed around 10 o’clock next morning. The road condition was worse than ten months ago. It would have been very difficult to pass during rainy season. There were more houses in Dongi-dongi area, the Park that has been occupied by the illegal settlers. Otherwise, everything looked the same as ten months before.

At two o’clock we arrived in Watutau. The driver went back to Palu after having lunch. The Sendy inn was still the same: unfinished. “No money,” Non, the caretaker of the inn, told me. Although there was a better homestay in Watutau that belongs to the former Camat (head of district), I decided to stay at the Sendy inn for the sake of friendship with the owner and Non.

The window of the room was nailed by planks. The dark room had two beds and one table, but no chair. The floor had no tile but cement. The lower wall was concrete, the upper wall was raw planks. I lay on the bed; both mattress and pillow were hard. Well, for a week only I could stand staying in the room, which was dark during the day but bright during the night because no switch for the light.

The electricity was on between 6 pm to 6 am, but it was off for 48 hours during my stay. The communication tower, on the other hand, was off during the night but on during the day. I was surprised when I could access my email by iPhone in the morning. It is a significant benefit to the project.

Watutau is the capital of the North Lore District—located in almost near the center of the Napu Valley—but it was such a quiet place for a capital. The market opens only once a week; even on the market day, it is still quiet. The most populated area of the village is about one kilometer from the Sendy Inn; according to the village statistics, there are more than 1,000 people live in Watutau, but when I explored this area, I only met a few people. “They are in the garden,” was the answer from the people when I asked them where the people were.

I asked myself if I was sure I wanted to live in this very quiet place. The most difficult for me is probably no sparring partner in serious discussion. I might be lonely, but I was sure I would be busy with many social and environmental activities during the day, and with writing my book manuscript during evening. I believe that when the project goes well, the sparring partners will come.