Day 1 & 2: Departure

13/02/2023

We did not leave Kendari until about noon, as we were waiting for the gas cartridges coming from Makassar by road. We drove to a small village where we had the best breakfast since we arrived, then we took the road again on a very chaotic track, with many small wooden bridges badly damaged, and we proceeded to the Konaweha River Valley.

We then took the largest bridge in Sulawesi Tenggara and climbed up to the village of Uluiwoi. Once we arrived in the village, we realized that we had gone too far and had taken the wrong route. It was already late so we stopped there, I had to download some more small satellite images before leaving.

A very nice lady welcomed us for the night, the opportunity to access the last internet network and have a good night’s sleep.

The team on its way to the forests of Konawe

14/02/2023

This morning we woke up relatively early at prayer time at 5 am in the village of Uluiwoi, and spent some time preparing our belongings and putting them into our bags. Once weighed, the bags were pretty heavy. Mine was 37kg, Jamil’s 32kg and those of Antoine and Bagus around 28kg.

We left around 10 am, and drove for 2 hours to the valley of Latoma to take the right road and go back up to the starting point.

Once we arrived in the village, we wanted to talk to the local people, to see if it was possible to leave with the help of porters, but also to warn the authorities of our passing.

The mayor of the village arrived at 5 pm and negotiations with the porters began. Some of the women were motivated to accompany us, but only with the presence of their leader, who refused to come because his wife disagreed. It was finally the mayor who unblocked the situation at 5 pm. We were able to board with the porters in the 4x4s and leave just before nightfall.

The entire team of Indonesian porters !

We went as far as possible on the track that was really not easy and almost invisible, because it was covered by vegetation. We couldn’t see anything, and there were very dangerous bridges to cross, over small ravines and over the river, in short, one would better not fail

I’m forgetting one small detail ! Through the headlights of the car, we saw a small animal the size of a cat with the head of a feline. He was light brown and more stocky than a cat.

We arrived around 8:00 pm, further than we thought, so we made up a bit of the delay we had caught in the village. We set up our camp and said goodbye to our drivers and friends who had kindly taken us there. We are very happy to finally be in the tent, settled under the sounds of the forest and the river. It’s a nice little corner in the middle of the forest, it smells good and the sound of the forest is particularly relaxing. We went to bed relatively early as always when we move away from the “civilized” life and it’s very nice.

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