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Long-Distance Walks with Mark Moxon

Bada Valley: Day 1: The Megaliths of Bada

Mark crossing the Sungai Leriang
Crossing the Sungai Leriang at Bomba

Nobody really knows how old the Bada megaliths are, or who made them, or even why they're there. They probably date from the first millennium AD, but this figure is fairly debatable, depending on which scientist you consult. The locals don't have a clue – 'They've always been here,' is the most common response if you ask someone where the statues came from – and all this adds to a wonderful sense of mystery. Even more interestingly, all the objects in the area are made from a type of grey stone of which there are no deposits in the near vicinity, so work that one out; these megaliths are huge, heavy, and in the middle of nowhere, a long way from where they should be.

A hand-copied map
Our somewhat primitive map
Our guides and Kalamba
Our guides showing us the stone cisterns known as Kalamba
Palindo
Palindo
Maturu
Maturu
Oba
Oba

We could have seen more, but the rest of the walk beckoned, and after this many megaliths, we'd seen plenty. To be honest, it was a thrill just to find them, especially under our own steam.