(Part 1) West Sumba 4 nights/5 days: Single Room USD $1400 and Shared Room USD $1200
East Sumba Excursion: Single USD $500 and Shared Room USD $400
Single $1900 USD
Sharing Room $1600 USD
We will also sit with the high priests and witness the Nyale (sea worms) emerge from the ocean at sunrise one morning before the horse fighting begins on the beach. This experience will bring us closer to the people as we immerse ourselves in their culture, historical beliefs, and ways of thinking, by spending many hours in the villages with the people. This is not your standard tourist experience but is very much a cultural, educational experience, and photographers are very welcome, as there are many photo opportunities every day, so if you have a camera, please bring it; a smartphone is fine also.
The Pasola is a ritual fight with spears involving hundreds of horsemen. It is quite a thing to witness firsthand, and something you will never forget. It happens just twice a year only, in February and March, and is dependent on the second and third moons of the solar year and culminates in the spring ritual cycle. The Pasola is a culmination of a series of fertility rites called Nyale (sea worms). There is only one day of the year when the sea worms decide to make landfall and come in on the tides. That date is determined by high priests called Rato, who communicate with the ancestors.
During the time we are there, you can expect to get a good insight and overview of Sumba Adat law, spiritual beliefs, and history, as this journey is all about learning, connecting with the local people, and seeing life through their eyes as much as possible. For those keen to capture it through a camera lens, an added bonus. We will be spending our time in West Sumba; however, there is an option to travel to the east as an extra excursion.
The East has some of the most beautiful hand-crafted weaving in all of Indonesia, and the landscapes and traditions are very different here than the west. The team consists of Dave Metcalf, a 12-year Bali resident and professional photographer, who will be involved in the first part of the journey, coordinating the program and has visited Sumba on 5 occasions, including attending 4 Pasola festivals. He is building an indigenous tourism model in Sumba and other parts of Indonesia, and Desi, our very friendly, experienced, and knowledgeable Sumbanese guide who has a lot of knowledge of her culture and is very respected in the communities. She is delightful, and you will enjoy your time with her and Dave. A great team along with our driver.
DAY 1 – MARCH 20 Fly from Bali, arriving in Tambaloka, West Sumba at 11:15 am. Lunch, then visit a waterfall and two traditional villages. Stay the night in this area.
DAY 2 – MARCH 21 Visit a traditional market and head across to the Southwest part of the island (approx. 2-hour drive). Check in to our accommodation and then head to Baliloku traditional village for dinner with the local indigenous community. Plenty of time to ask questions and meet the Rato (priests) to learn about Nyale and other rituals.
DAY 3 – MARCH 22 Rest in the morning after the previous late night, and then visit traditional villages and backroads of the area. Lunch in a traditional village, including a cooking class, learning about local food, and spending time with the elders in the village to learn about the Sumbanese culture and history. Visit a village as they prepare for the Pasola festival and learn more about the origins of this historical event.
DAY 4 – MARCH 23 We will leave the hotel at 4 am to head down to the beach and sit with the high priests to wait for sunrise and witness them go into the tide to welcome the Nyale (sea worms). The local people will come down to the beach and gather the sea worms, so it will be a busy morning followed by the Pasola, which continues into the early afternoon. Stay the night in this area.
DAY 5 – MARCH 24 Leave the hotel after breakfast and drive 4-5 hours to East Sumba. Those who want to return to Bali will be driven to the airport in West Sumba.
March 24 – 26 Extra excursion to East Sumba
March 24 – Drive to East Sumba, visiting some villages on the way and scenic viewpoints. Overnight in East Sumba.
March 25 – We spend all day visiting weaving villages and observing this historical art form and meeting some of the lady weavers. East Sumba is very different from the west, and I recommend visiting this area if you have the time.
March 26 fly back to Bali from Waingapu.
Please note, the itinerary in West Sumba is subject to change, depending on when the high priest responsible predicts when the sea worms will emerge from the ocean, however, we will experience everything mentioned above.
Highlights of this cultural journey:
For booking and more information, please contact David at +628111331255 or email@example.com.