Friday, October 3, 2014

INDONESIA - SULAWESI - BIRA - PALAU LIUHUKAN LOE - 9 TO 11 JUNE 2014 - 'ISLAND IN THE SUN'


Info

Homestay – 08114211418 – he can also provide a cheap but safe boat to the island – 250 000 fan room, 35 000R a meal and 200 000R for a return boat.

The journey




I was off to Palau Luihukan Loe, which was a small island straight opposite Bira Beach. The boat/homestay owner met me at my guesthouse at Bira and helped carried my gear down to the boat.
On Bira beach the waves were breaking and it was difficult to get to and on the boat without getting reasonably wet. The waves and wind made for an exciting boat ride. The wind ripped my cap off my head and in the ocean it went. The captain sent one of the crew overboard to get it. He was a poor swimmer but the boat had kept going in the direction of the island. I was a little concerned for the guy’s safety. The captained slowed the boat and waved him to swim over. It took a while.

We arrived at the island landing on stretch of white sand with a village skirting its edge. Behind that the island rose about 10 metres covered in rough vegetation. The main occupation on the island was fishing with some goat rearing in the interior.

The homestay was clean and situated right on the beach. It had a small restaurant where meals were served. The meals were cheap and filling, being fish, rice, and vegetables.

I settled into my room, had lunch and a snorkel but the visibility was poor due to the wave action. I walked along the beach, found another homestay at the other end of the beach and walked through the village. The opposite end of the beach looked better for swimming but not snorkelling. The people in the village were either friendly or indifferent. Oddly, there were motorbikes on the island. It was odd as there was only one path 15 minutes leading to the other side of the island.




I sat on the beach and watched the sunset and had a few bintangs and met several new guests from Makassar. Friendly hairdressers.

The next day, I had an early morning hike to the other side of the island. There was a concrete track connecting to the village on the other side of the island. Along the track, I met a number of school kids and families. The other village was more spread out and there was a long white sand beach. A very long jetty was at one end of the village. At the end of the jetty was a sunken boat. It was quite large and was bashing against the pier with the wave and wind action. The people of the village were friendly.

On return, I went for a snorkel. The visibility wasn’t as bad as yesterday but not as good as the day trip. No rain today! On most days, so far, there had been periods of rain.

The sunrise at last! After days of cloud, it turned it on this morning. I sorted the bill, had breakfast and then a wavy ride back to Bira.

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