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HISTORY OF CULTURE | SELAYAR ISLAND | That afternoon was graced with clear skies without a single cloud. The seas were at low tide and we strolled the beach, stumbling occasionally accross unique sea creatures. The skies turned crimson at 6 PM with the sun setting between the tree tops at the isthmus. In a brief moment, stars glittering across the night skies. The libra constellation formed a square like a kite without strings gliding across the firmament. The pounding of waves and the silence of the night turns into Bira Beach’s signature feature.

Today, early Sunday morning, we checked out where our previous agenda was Selayar Island. After obtaining enough information of this island, we called off the trip. The chief tourist activity at this island was diving and our timeframe was limited. So, finally we went to Bira Peninsula, about 41 kilometers east of Bulukumba.

We departed from Malengkeri terminal, one of the two intercity bus stations in Makassar. For destinations northward, we used Daya Terminal while eastwards of Makassar like Bantaeng and Bulu Kumba was Malengkeri Terminal. Most of the buses towards the east departed early in the morning. Towards Bira, we had to take the Selayar bus route because the Bulu Kumba route had to be furthered with a another route.

Therefore from our hotel at Losari, we commuted to Malengkeri where it is adviced to ascertain things because not all public transportation end up in the terminal. From Malengkeri we had an air conditioned bus, Aneka Transport, its only kind towards Selayar at 50.000 IDR per passenger. This cost is suppose to be the ticket price from Makassar to Selayar. Inside, at the front window, were contact numbers, from Makassar 0411 5048232, from Selayar 041422489 or mobile 081355646448. The bus departed at precisely 9.00 AM where other non AC buses had left earlier.

After several minutes into the journey, we entered the Gowa Regencey. The route of this bus was Malengkeri (Makassar) – Takalar – Jeneponto – Bantaeng – Bulukumba- Bira and ending in Selayar. After Takalar, the bus stopped briefly where everyone except me nibbled on boiled corn with chilli sauce. Coming into Bangkala subdistrict – Jeneponto, the tone turn ocean dry. Blue seas could be seen from afar. Salt fields were full with white mounds while along the Bantaeng – Bulukumba beach, seaweed were dried, shimmering like plastic under the sun. Beyond the site where farmers planted sea weed, fishermen half submerge in water casted fishing nets. Salt, fish, seaweed .. nature provided everything. Arriving in Bulukumba, slogans of ”Sailing Bulukmba” filled the town, from banners to signposts at roadsides. The journey from Makassar to Bira took about 5 hours at a painstaking pace.

At a fleeting glance, I noticed people working on an uncompleted ship, I assumed that we had arrive at Tana Beru. All together, I observed three ships in construction. Half an hour later we arrived at the Bira harbor entrance. We got off and entered the ferry destined for Selayar Island. That was the end of the Aneka Transport bus journey. The Bira beach was of walking distance of about a kilometer away

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