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Wamena – Exoticism of Papua

Talking about Papua, always identic with beautiful beaches and natural. However, the Papua is more than just beautiful beaches.

Wamena, offers something different from most eastern islands of Indonesia. At first, I thought that Baliem Valley is a special tourist destination, but in fact this entire place in Wamena is Baliem Valley itself. The position where the town of Wamena, surrounded by the mountains that form a valley Jayawijaya in it. Me and my friend decided to go to Wamena in the last Ramadhan holiday. Many people do not know about a place that is identical to the native culture of Papua. We spent 4 days in Wamena, and we think this is enough to know directly Wamena.

The first day we visited the district Kurulu. Originally we planned to see the mummies Kurulu from a variety of information that I got pretty well known there. However, unfortunately due to the local residents who have the authority to move out the mummy say there is no good sign when the mummy was issued. From the information I got, in the late 1980s to the early 1990′s, has been found there around 7 Mummy in Jayawijaya and Yahukimo, which is 3 Kurulu Mummy in the District, the northern town of Wamena, in District 3 Mummy Assologaima, west Wamena town and a Mummy in Kurima Yahukimo which is the only female mummy. Mummy we visited was the mummy in Kurulu. One of the mummies is well known among tourists. We continued our journey to the White Sands. To enter these areas we must pay to the person who live near these locations. Indeed there are many interesting things that offers from nature of Wamena, but there are things that are enough to make us feel uncomfortable. This is related to the attitude of the people who requested us to pay, either enter an area and take pictures. So the advice is appropriate in this regard is to be careful in taking pictures. White Sands is located not far from where mummy Kurulu.

Our second day of trekking to the local district of Kurima. We walked to the southern mountains of Jayawijaya. Along the way we met with the parade of women who dance and sing along the way. Our curiosity appears and asks why they do so. A pace that this is the procession of the bride to the groom’s residence. The procession was described as a sense of joy from family and relatives of the bride. Pace added that the couple is already married and now is to deliver the bride’s procession to the residence of the groom. Apart from the bridal procession, we can see the mountains and also Jayawijaya Baliem River.
In our travels through the villages with a welcome greeting from the friendly villagers. The houses look neat and clean. When passing the village of Kilise we see there is a complex with several Honai in it. And it turns out to an inn for travelers who want to stay there.
We walk uphill about 2 to 3 hours to reach the high of 2003 asl. We can see Jayawijaya mountain views from these heights. By turns Baliem river below. Scenery was amazing. We took a break to finally come back down the hill. The path that we traveled on his return is very steep. Some of us often fall through because the track when the steep and sandy. In this regard, it should be a more comfortable outfit when trekking in these fields.
On the way home we stopped at a small kiosk owned by such citizens to buy fruits and hospitable to citizens. The price given is not too expensive, and sometimes very unfortunate because many of them are less familiar with the currency.

Our third day of cycling in the surrounding area and Kurulu. We want to see the mummies again, because when we arrived the first time, we have not had the opportunity to see and take pictures. We take a journey for approximately 1.5 hours by bicycle to get where mummies Kurulu district is located. Actually there are other famous mummies in Wamena, that’s in the area named Syokosimo. Only mileage to where it is very far away, so we prefer to visit the same place. Fortunately, on that day, there is no bad sign so mummy can be issued. Mummy is far from our knowledge about the mummies in Egypt. This mummy is black. It is unfortunate to see his condition as there is some adhesive material that surrounds the mummy. Mace is guiding us at the time said that was his condition was not good, because the rats gnawing. So that the mummy is not destroyed it is necessary to provide an adhesive so that all parts remain together. After looking mummy, we proceed towards the area called Suroba. We cycled around half an hour into the area. And to enter the area we have to go through the path. We plan to have lunch in a protected forest located in the region. And to get to the area we had to cross a river with a small bridge over it is not possible through the bike. So we are forced to leave the bike next to the bridge by not forgetting to lock.

We continue the journey by foot, until he came to the protected forest to rest. Lots of trees which make the atmosphere of summer to be cool. Passion fruit is one of the typical Wamena accompany our lunch break at the time. After lunch we continued our journey on foot into the surrounding area. There Honai complex which was also an inn. Pace innkeeper accompany us to see the contents of the complex. There are several Honai that had been prepared for a place to stay, and there is also honai as a place to eat for the guests.
We continued our journey to see the area around the plant koteka. So the form of this plant resembles koteka.

The third day, is the last day we walked the streets of Wamena. Many interesting things we found in our vacation to Wamena. There are positive things and negative things. The plus side is the view of unspoiled nature Wamena is the selling point in itself.
Only the negative side is, the perception of the public that the visitors (not locals) running and taking pictures, especially pictures of local residents required to pay. I had asked for a photo of a costume koteka pace with, and he asked for the fare. Sometimes it is unfortunate to find this condition, that the materialistic attitude becomes a habit among the citizens. This of course makes visitors uncomfortable not being able to express when they want to explore nature and local residents in Wamena. But despite it all, Wamena is still awesome.

( Thank you to Mellya Findy for sharing this amazing story )

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