Travel Journal: Makassar Trip (Part 4)

Morning Heat


After a constant go-go-go for the past three days, today is the day when we finally get to chill, sleep in, slack around a little more and all that good stuff. This is partly because somehow we got Andi to convince us that for snorkeling, it’s best for us to leave after 10 otherwise the tide, or whatever, would make the water murky, ladida. (maybe it is? I don’t know really) Yet, we nodded along because the sound of ‘not having to wake up at 5 in the morning’ sounds really grand. Especially in your holiday, really. 
 
Although, when I stepped out our warm hotel rooms (this is not a compliment to the establishment), I did feel a pang of regret. The heat is, uncanny. Although later I did realize it doesn’t matter what time of the day, IT DOESN’T GET ANY COOLER. The heat is constantly brutal from the second the sun is out and about. In other words, whether it’s 7.30 or 1.30, you can not escape the South Sulawesi heat. My husband had a hand-shaped sunburn to proof it. 

A cute beach pup




Off to Sea..(and Afloat)

After being stuck mid-ocean for a while *this*, combined with the motion, can actually be quite a sickening view 

 

In due time, all 7 of us finally left the shore at around 11 am in a speedboat that seemedto be brand new. Mr. Ramli, the captain, is a stocky and round guy who lives and rents out rooms in Liukang Loe Island, where we were about to head out to. From Bara Beach, we apparently needed to stop over to Bira Beach to fit out our fins because Mr. Ramli just had in his boat enough for probably 3 of us. After fitting and getting our fins, we finally head south to Liukang Loe (at this point, it was almost 12). 

Alas, it was not our luckiest day as the brand new boat stopped, swaying, smack dab in the middle of the ocean!!


15 minutes later, we were still floating in the ocean because Mr. Ramli insisted to try fix the boat mid-ocean. 


Mind you, 15 minutes is hardly a tea break on steady, solid ground, but in the middle of the sea, with 7 other people–2 nausea prone– this was the closest Jaws moment I have ever had. Not because of the sight of sharks, but because watching Mr. Ramli bobbing in and out of the water trying to fix the boat’s propeller when you are rocking back and forth is like being forced to marvel the Niagara falls when you need to pee. 


At this point, Jessica’s tolerance for motion started to buckle, as such the case with my husband (whose face at this point had turned to a hue of red and purple).
 

After a lot of floating around and moaning and yelling to Mr. Ramli, and to the passing boat guy (who we’d thought was going to pick us up but apparently just came to throw Mr. Ramli a set of tools. ), we decided to go back to Bira Beach to take care of the two seasick victims. 

So we left the two poor souls stranded on the Bira Beach, (kidding, we let Andi deal with them, that’s what. Ha) we headed back to sea and set our mind to Liukang Loe. This time praying hard to the forces of universe for a less dramatic events.



Finally, into the Sea. 

 

 

The tip of Liukang Loe Island


Once we get to the snorkelling area, just about 100 meters north-east off Liukang Loe’s shore, we stayed and snorkel for about an hour. The corals are pretty nice although if you swim closer to the island most of it are destroyed. On the east side of the island, Mr. Ramli said there’s a shark point where if we’re in a stroke of luck, we can see some small sharks swimming around. Since: a. I can’t really swim, b. For me sharks are scary, no matter how small and, c. stroke of luck? luck is the only thing that has not been on our side so far, we decided to just stay where we were dropped off. 


At one point, Mr. Ramli asked if he could leave us for a little bit, “just for 15 minutes, ya?”, he asked. Well… It’s not like we can stop him or anything.. so we said OK and he left. And for about that said time, we were completely floating on the ocean by ourselves.. It goes without saying that, if Mr. Ramli decided to not come back, or if there were any form of sharp teethed fish around our butt (cue Jaws theme song for the umpteenth time) we were officially f**ked. 


Fortunately he did return, although this point the nausea started to catch on me, too. After trying to fight it hard, I begged the rest of us for at least a break from the sea and maybe get some lunch, which luckily had been prepared by Mr. Ramli’s family in their very basic but clean home-stay in Liukang Loe. 


The basic rooms with a hard-to-beat view

 



Lunch was some hearty home-cooked meal and a freshly caught (I have to assume, as we are in the middle of the sea) medium sized grilled snapper fish for each of us, in dabu-dabu sauce. After all that went in our tummy, we headed back for Bara, our home for the night. (aah, how nice does it sound). 


Grilled red Grouper fish for lunch
 
I love how the locals have such a knack for bright colours

 

Pretty corals, which I DID NOT TAKE WITH ME! 
 


Chasing Bira Sunset

Later that night, we headed to town to check out the main Bira area, which looks pretty deserted during day and apparently didn’t look that much different at night too. We also took a steep walk to a hill just off the Pier (which I think is around where Amatoa Resort is), and find a nice spot for a breathtaking sunset view over Tanjung Bira. Be careful with the boars though, which rustles we heard as we walked down the hill after dawn. 

 

 

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