Best Reasons We Love South of Waikabubak

A Superpower in the South of Waikabubak (Image courtesy of Terry Slattery) – Give yourself at least a few days around western Sumba. Once you have learned some basic manners as a guest arriving in a village – hopefully armed with some Bahasa Indonesia – it’s possible to do without a guide. So, here are best reasons we love South of Waikabubak.

The traditional village culture of western Sumba is one of the most unblemished in Indonesia. Kampung of high-roofed houses are still clustered on their hilltops (a place of defence in times past), surrounding the large stone tombs of their important ancestors. Away from the towns, old women with filed teeth still go bare breasted, and men in the traditional turban and short sarong can be seen on horseback.

The agricultural cycle turns up rituals, often involving animal sacrifices, almost year-round, and ceremonies for events like house building and marriage can take place at any time. Some kampung are unaccustomed to foreigners; taking betel nut and cigarettes is a good way to get a friendly reception.

Sumba Calling (Image courtesy of Emma-lee Lovett)

The Wanokaka district south of Waikabubak has stunning scenery and several very traditional kampung. It’s a very beautiful trip out of Waikabubak, taking a sealed but narrow road that splits after 6km at Pedede Weri junction, from where an azure ocean forms the distant horizon. After taking the left turn here, the road passes through the riverside settlement of Taramanu 4km further on, and then it’s 2km or so downhill to Waigalli, which has fine tombs and is the scene of one of the March Pasola events. Just up a side road on the western side of valley from Waigalli, the Watu Kajiwa tomb in the deeply traditional and isolated village of Praigoli is one of the best in Sumba, with a striking symbol like the fleur-de-lys.

Returning to the Pedede Weri junction and heading southwest, you’re not far from some very fine beaches. After 5km there’s a side track south to Rua , with a wonderful stretch of sand, good surf and basic accommodation. Heading west again, the road passes through the villages of Kabukarudi and Kadenga before there’s another turnoff south to the idyllic white sands of Marosi beach, 32km from Waikabubak, where you’ll find a luxury resort.

The world-class surf spot known as Occy’s Left that featured in the film The Green Iguana is on Nihiwatu beach east of Marosi. Surfers who have tried to ride the legendary waves here have been forced out of the sea by the luxury resort’s security men.

Getting there, two daily buses run southeast to Waigalli from Waikabubak. Lamboya district buses cover the southwest towns and run through Padede Watu to Kabukarudi, Kadenga and Walakaka, but they don’t usually run to the beaches. Buses leave roughly every hour throughout the day from Waikabubak. By far the best way to visit the area is by car or motorcycle. Most roads are sealed and traffic is light. The hills south of Waikabubak are a very taxing ride for cyclists.

So, free to comment and add some of your favorite best reasons we love south of Waikabubak finds.

Happy Green Travels!

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