The day after our village trekking in Batutumonga we planned to go rafting on the Lariang River in Tana Toraja, Sulawesi hosted by the company and people of Sobek. Little did we know this turned out to be a Class V rafting experience, which means this is the most dangerous, most difficult, and most exciting of all the rafting classes.
But, since we were there during the height of the dry season, the Lariang River’s water was much lower than usual. This made the river a lot safer to traverse. During the rain season, when the water is at its highest, the river is also at its most dangerous. Water would be up to three to four meters higher than we experienced that day. Nevertheless, it was an exciting and stunningly gorgeous adventure.
Getting to the departure point was an adventure on its own. After departing from our hotel in the early morning it was a solid two-hour ride with many off-road parts towards the starting point. Near the starting point we had to switch cars and walk through a remote mountain village due to road construction. There we were greeted by schoolkids playing around the buildings. After the car ride, a surprisingly lengthy hike was required to go down to the river. The hike was quite intense, but through a beautiful area. We walked along arid rice fields with a large valley and a scary huge drop off right beside us.
The rafting itself was amazing as well. Unfortunately, due to the water I could not take that many photographs. But, trust me, the green jungle-covered slopes of the mountains along the river were absolutely stunning. We were quite far removed from any people and there was not a sound to be heard except for the animals around us. Eagles and wild ducks flew before us, iguanas ran and swam way from our approach, and the occasional monitor lizard would hide as well. The sporadic rapids of the river interrupted our peaceful float through the jungle, but we very much enjoyed the sights, sounds, and experience of the forest.
Afterwards, the crew packed up the rafting gear and we went to get a cup of coffee together in a local cafe.