Sunday, September 29, 2013

Escape to Makassar 22-26 Sept 2013

Its about Indonesia, its about Sulawesi. And its about my solo traveling story. 

Its started with airlines promo to Makassar, yet with no annual leave can be taken, i presume to have a time to visit Makassar on this September, and surely i will have. After being chased out by Mandala Airlines over my Padang Trip that suddenly cancelled due to the closing of Jakarta-Padang PP routes, i still doubt to use my promo ticket or not. And yeah, it turned worst since my departure schedule was the same day with my mid exam. 

I keep thinking that there's no reason to just stay at home if you have a free time. My father said, "life is too short for just sleeping." And of course, i cant agree no more. So, after finished my mid test i tried to book one way ticket to Makassar at night, its 8.30 PM already. Again, my spirit was wavering at the moment, but its ended up with flight to Makassar for tomorrow morning. Yups, tomorrow, 5 AM. less than 9 hours to go, hence i should not fall asleep tonight and packing. lets get lost in Makassar!!! 

1. Tanjung Bira and Tanah Beru

It was one of the famous beach closed to Bulukumba area. A nice beach surrounded by beautiful islands like Kambing and Selayar island, the hidden paradise for underwater experience like diving and snorkeling. Snorkeling mainly available at guesthouse or boat driver and cost around IDR 300K per person per day, while dive can be found in Dive provider counter close to the beach with cost around IDR 370K per dive whereas minimum 2 set diving has to be taken. 

Bira can be reach by taking Kijang (personal car using yellow plat) from Malengkeri terminal at Makassar. It takes around 5 to 7 hours depends on the traffic and resting time. Otherwise, you can take Kijang from Malengkeri to Bulukumba and transfer into Pete-Pete (Public transportation) to Bira. Transportation from Bulukumba to Bira only operate up to 3 PM, so please ensure that your travelling schedule already fair enough to catch up the last departure. On the way to Bira, we will passing by Tanah Beru area, its a place to construct the Phinishi Boat. Some construction were highly stand up at the beach side along the way of Tana Beru. 

Other than that, you can also take Bus that headed to Selayar from Malengkeri terminal, but its very rare and timing for departure is not clearly available. If you got the opportunity to catch this bus, just ensure to get off at the harbour since the bus will board to the ship and heading to Selayar Island. 

Its evening already when i arrived, sunset in Bira was beautiful at that moment. After heading to one recommended budget hostel from internet, i headed to the beach. And suddenly its become the perfect place to escape. The beach was quite empty, only few visitor came by for just swimming, walking along the beach or riding banana boat. The sands are really soft eventhough not as white as i imagine. 

Having me time at this place feels so refreshing after a long weekend with both deadline and college exam. The wind passed by and enhance the spirit to just standing there, watching what people do on this hilarious moment. And there they came, a colony of nice people called a friend. Maybe it just a few minutes left, departing from short conversation through photograph. And like miracle, i'm no longer solo traveler. 

Leaving the beach, i stop by at the tenant known as the place where diving being arranged in Bira. After have a look and knowing that the instructor not yet arrived, i try to chill out with some foreigners and surprisingly all of them are friendly and we talk a lot like an old friend. 

First one is Tony, a retired man from Singapore. He loved diving since 10 years a go. A rescue level of diver that never wanna be a dive master. He draw money from investment on shares and marketable securities, and well seems he lived his life with the fullest. He even have dived in Egypt, a long time a go, before this country banned for foreigner. He stayed in Indonesia almost for a month and focus on exploring underwater on Sulawesi area. Of course Bunaken in Manado has become one of his favourite. 

"Its bothering me to keep the license for being a dive master, i dive for fun, that's it. No need to have more." He said. 

What i envy the most about him was how he choose to enjoy his retiring period. And the most envious thing is reality that he have made a footstep in Tibet on bike. Yups, on bike. Awesome!!!

Other than this master, i met Spanish man named Leo. A pilot engaged by Garuda Indonesia that currently staying in Makassar. Out of office schedule, he went to Makassar to get Diving license. Just like me, we're newbie on diving experience. 

I spent that night just by making friends as much as i can, and then spent a night in Rizwan guesthouse, enjoy morning sunshine on the beach and sadly heading back to Makassar to catch my bus to Tana Toraja. Surely it feels goods to experience this. 

I dont have a chance to dive at that time, since commonly dive will be started on 9 AM up to 2 PM. And the other thing is, Bira-Makassar tooks almost 7 hours; that means if i take it, i'm gonna missed the overnight bus to Tana Toraja. 

Rather than take Kijang to Bulukumba, and then Bulukumba to Malengkeri with the other, i took direct kijang from Bira to Malengkeri. Its more convenient since i've become the third passenger for almost2 hours. its a long journey anyway, and i dont want to take a risk by being fool at Makassar when i missed Toraja bus. 

Arrived at 3 PM, i used the remaining time to meet my mate from Backpacker Indonesia, Sandy from Pekanbaru who introduce me to nice couchsurfing member in Makassar Ikhsan, with Lucas (CS member from Spain) and of the CS girl from Jakarta (i've forgot her name since it was a very short meeting) as a compliment. We had lunch together in Coto kiosk close to Universitas Hasanudin, and heading to Ikhsan's house for praying, resting and showering. It feels nice after so long long journey.  Ikhsan is an active CS member in Makassar and frequently bring his CS friend to this terminal. That's why he can got discount for us. Not much, but still, its cool. 

And finally at 8 PM, Ikhsan take me, Sandy and Lucas to the bus terminal. Yeah, now we're three musketeer and ready to rock in Toraja.

Tana Beru

Bira Harbour, a gate to Selayar and other island like Flores. 

Sunset at Tanjung Bira, Makassar 
Notes: 
Bus DAMRI from Airport to Karebosi : IDR 25K 
Pete2 Karebosi - Malengkeri : IDR 4 K 
Kijang Malengkeri - Bira : IDR 85 K 
Kijang Bira - Malengkeri : IDR 70K
Riswan guesthouse : IDR 100K/night 

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