24 Sep - 01 Oct 2010 Pantai Bira

Republic of Indonesia
Bira View Inn +6241382043
Wooden twin-bed cottage (no. 3) on a cliff overlooking the emerald Flores Sea, with an unobstructed sea view from our private porch, air-con and a decent breakfast for IDR 130,000.- or US$ 14.60 per night. Indifferent staff.

Click below for an interactive road map of the Bira View Inn at Pantai Bira and for directions:

Letting time pass by on the powdery-white, immaculate and sheltered west beach aka pantai barat (the east monsoon blows in South Sulawesi from June thru September and the west monsoon from December thru April) near the village of Pantai Bira, a relaxed spot where during the week goats outnumber vehicles and, more often than not, tourists, improving our Indonesian language skills (“Saya tidak makan daging [ayam, babi, kerbau]...”), consuming (i) fried squid aka cumi goreng kecap or (ii) grilled/fried/steamed fish, both served with deliciously cooked veggies aka cap cay and the ubiquitous steamed rice aka nasi kukus, at Rahman’s Warung (drinkable water: free of charge; large bottle of Bintang beer: IDR 35,000.- or US$ 3.95 each), and watching truly spectacular sunsets over the Flores Sea.

DM Konni: Snorkelling for hours and hours in the luke-warm water of the strong current off Pantai Bira, floating over superb corals and mind-boggling drop-offs and spotting: (i) several green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas), (ii) a group of twelve 1m-long bumphead parrotfish (Bolbometopon muricatum) feeding noisily on the reef, and (iii) harmless looking baby lionfish (Pterois antenata) which are armed with venomous spines.

Taking a local minibus aka mikrolet from Pantai Bira to Tanah Beru (c. 20 km, 3/4 hour, IDR 5,000.- or c. US$ 0.55 per person) where Bugis boat builders use age-old designs and techniques (teak logs are hewn into planks then fastened with wooden pegs) to craft round-bellied prahu (huge 200-ton, the traditional wooden schooners aka pinisi of the Bugis seafarers, and lighter vessels aka bago) right on the beach; bagus sekali.

"...days precious days,
roll in and out like waves.
I got boards to bend, I got planks to nail,
I got charts to make, I got seas to sail.

I'm gonna build me a boat,
with these two hands.
It'll be a fair curve,
from a noble plan,
let the chips fall where they will,
'cause I've got a boat to build."

Taking a local minibus aka mikrolet from Pantai Bira to Bulu Kumba (c. 50 km, 2 hours, IDR 10,000.- or US$ 1.10 per person), thereafter a rugged Kijang bemo from Bula Kumba to Makassar’s Terminal Mallengkeri (c. 160 km, 6 1/2 hours, IDR 35,000.- or US$ 3.95 per person) and eventually three different city pete-pete (each IDR 3,000.- per person) from Terminal Mallengkeri via the Makassar Sentral Mall and the new Kompleks Terminal Regional Daya to Makassar’s new Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport aka bandar udara; flying thereafter with Air Asia (“Now Everyone Can Fly”) in an Airbus A 320-200 (airport tax for international departures: IDR 100,000.- per person) back to Kuala Lumpur (KLIA-LCCT) for IDR 466,000.- or US$ 24.70 per person, one way and almost all inclusive (exclusive the Indonesian airport departure tax), and being issued with another 90-day-visit pass for a “social visit” to Malaysia on arrival, free of charge; selamat tinggal Sulawesi, and once more selamat malam, Malaysia - our still reliable and lovely second home.

Click below for more blog posts about sailing ships on the hard or alongside a jetty
14 Oct - 25 Oct 2010 Galle
24 Jul - 27 Jul 2009 Kuching
01 Jan - 19 Jan 2008 Fujairah
26 Nov - 31 Dec 2006 El Gouna
01 Jan - 25 Aug 2006 Ashkelon
Click below for a summary of this year's travels
2010 Map Konni & Matt

Visit the Konni & Matt Online Albums and order high-res travel photos

Facing Sulawesi
© Konni & Matt

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