Based on my post before about Selayar Island Expedition, here I will give some insights on how to visit Selayar Island. Actually there are some interesting places unseen and unvisited during fam tour. Lucky for me, I extended my stay and had a chance to explore Selayar more. My friend, Acca took me and my friend to some interesting places in Selayar.
After having our lunch, we rode our motorbikes along the way from Benteng towards Pamatata Harbor which is surrounded by tall coconut trees. The weather is very nice at that time, not too hot but not too cloudy either. After around 30 kms, we stopped at a small simple hut just on the road side. There, I found four middle age men were doing their job. Two of them were hitting a burning steel plate by using hammer. Occasionally, after the steel plate was not burnt, one of them will put it in fire then continued hitting it again after the steel was smolder. They did it over and over again.
We moved to the next hut just beside the hut we went before. Another man was sharpening the thin steel. It seems after going through some process, the steel was then sharpened with a grindstone. I tried to talk with the man asking him about the process, unfortunately the man did not understand bahasa (Indonesian language). Turns out the local people here still speak their own local language. Acca, my friend who is originated from Selayar Island helped me asking him with local language. So, in a day, they can produce around 12 weavers.To sharpened a weaver, it takes around 45 minutes until it’s done. Same like the hitting process, it takes 1-2 hours to finish it. One weaver can be sold for $12.
Fascinated with something that I’ve never seen before, it’s time to move again. This time, to a hut across the road. I heard a noisy sound but this time it’s not the same sound with the hitting steel hut. This hut was more modern. A man was making a weaver by a grinder. I didn’t really know whether it’s a part of the process or different, I forgot to ask, sorry hehe.
It’s time to get back to the motorbike and moved again. We turned right from the main road following a small bumpy path. It was the entrance of a cave named Tajui’a Cave. It is actually a vertical cave but the locals there had built stairs to go down. The stair is so steep so be careful. Shady plantation, and tall trunks were too amazing, I felt like in Amazon, imagining monkeys swinging over the hanging branches. Down the stairs, not the monkeys I saw but bats hanging up side down on the cave ceiling. A small spring containing fresh water is the source of the fresh water for the village nearby.
inside the cave
Last destination was Pa’badilang coast, located in Bongaiya Village, Bontomatene, around 48 kms from Benteng, closer to Pamatata Harbor. I prefer this beach rather than Liang Kareta. The white pristine beach was so relaxing. Moreover, you can go a little bit uphill to see unforgettable view of the coast. There is an old bunker up there. A very good yet quiet place to relax. (picture at the top)
Getting to Selayar
Merpati Airlines and Avia Star Airlines operate flight from Hasanuddin (Makassar) Airport to Aeropala Airport (Selayar). The flight takes approximately 45 hours. Avia Star flies every Friday at 7 a.m. while Merpati Airlines flies every Monday and Wednesdat at 6.50 a.m. *schedule may changed
Public Bus (Rp 130,000) from Mallengkeri Station are available everyday. Normally departs on 8 a.m. The journey takes about 5 hours to Bira Harbor, and takes another 2 hours crossing by ferry to Pamatata Harbor in Selayar. From Pamatata Harbor to bus station in Selayar takes an hour. Ferry schedule:
From Bira-Pamatata : 8.30 a.m. and 3.30 p.m.
From Pamatata-Bira : 6.00 a.m. and 11.00 a.m.
It’s also possible to rent car from Makassar if you’re in a group, or normally you can take private car (avanza/innova) for Rp 150,000/way to Selayar.
Where to Stay
Don’t expect good hotels in Selayar. Although there are some hotels in Selayar, the standard not even close to three-stars hotel. Probably just one star. Homestays are available (Rp 50,000/person/night). Selayar Island Resort is a perfect place if you want to dive while enjoying the beauty of Baloiya Beach in the east coast. Some friends also suggest me to stay in TB (Tempat Biasa) Cafe, where divers usually chilling in this cafe. Room starts from Rp 150,000.
Traveled in 26-29 November 2013
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