So here comes the day, that we have been waiting for, the day we finally head for Tanjung Bira. Woohoo! And it’s about time where we head out of Makassar, where the abundance of good food makes it seem impossible to have less than six meals in a day. Good God.
The road to Tanjung Bira (Cape Bira)
Along the road, we passed Gowa, Janeponto, and Bantaeng. The prettiest scenery was when we passed open pastures with grazing skinny horses in Janeponto, but unfortunately there were so many horses coto or soup restaurants in every meters or so too, pretty gruesome idea.
After miles of rice paddies, cute houses (“quaint” said pade), and lots of cows, very cool terraces of corn fields, mountains, on our right side we finally had a sight of what seems to be the…SEA! We’re there!! Oh, wait. false alarm… 1 hour away from where you start to find sea, now there’s Tanjung Bira. When it hits 4th hour and you haven’t been to the sea in almost .. too long to remember, a ride to the coast can never be more excruciating.
An hour later, we finally arrived at Bulukumba, and finally, Bara Beach, at around 2. The Hotel that we stayed in, Bara Beach hotel and resort, was unfortunately not quite like the picture in their website. The garden (if you want to call it) looked like it was once swept by a hurricane and never recovered. The room was spacious, and the bathroom was clean and pleasant. But as the hotel’s caretaker explained to us a few times, as electricity to the area was nothing but stable, the ac went on and off all the friggin time. Literally, every other 3 minutes or so. It’s so pointless to have it on that we mostly had it off, despite the scorching heat. In two out of three rooms that we had paid, the water stopped running before we even had a chance to rinse after a quick swim.
Probably the fact that there are not too many beach-front accommodation other than ours make the beach really clean. Other than Bara Beach Hotel, there’s the Mangga Lodge (our first option but were full. Also owned by a German), and a surf operator/hotel.
|The cleaner side of our Hotel, Bara Beach Hotel|
|Awesome beach-front view|
Lunch at the Pier
Tanah Beru, the Pinisi Making Village
On our way to Tanah Beru, we passed the Panrang Luhuk beach which seemed like used to be the center of tourist accommodation in Bulu Kumba, before it shifts to Bara. Today what’s left is almost abandoned beach front lodges, and some pinisi boats being made.
Tanah Beru Village is where the seafaring locals have been making Pinisi ships for hundreds of years. Pinisi is a traditional double masthead type of shiporiginally and only made by Bulukumba people. It was originally used for transportation, cargo, fishing but now have been more frequently utilized for cruises or liveaboard trips.
Due of the scarcity of the hardwood used in its construction, Kayu Besi or Besi wood, price of one boat has gone up astronomically. From one of the boat traders we met, he mentioned one boat can go as much as 200.000 USD. Most of the owners now, he said, are the bule or westerners that also owns lodges or hotels in the area, as they also offer thousands dollar dive cruises to as far as Raja Ampat, Papua.
|Pinisi construction, Tanah Beru|
|Belly of a Pinisi Ship|
|These huge pinisi ships used to rely on sail for power, but now has been replaced with engines|
|Workers installing ship’s rotor blades|
|Bunga in front of the piles of wood from the ship making process|
|I see lots of goats|
|Some of the woods used for the pinisi ship construction|