What a fuck-up!

Trip Start Jul 22, 2012
Trip End May 08, 2014

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Flag of Indonesia  , Sulawesi Tenggara,
Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Tilong Kabila was about half the size of the Bukit Siguntang but had a lot less passengers. I was thus able to find some space out on deck where i slept the night and spent the rest of the journey out in the fresh air as opposed to being cooped up inside. Needless to say, once again i was the only westerner onboard. Despite being told the journey was 16hr we didn't arrive until 4:40pm which meant well over 20hrs! At least it was still daylight which gave me an hour and a half to check into a guesthouse and see some of the town. Chose the Wolio Homestay as it was clean and only cost 50,000INR. Spent the next day wandering around the town; visited the Keraton (old walled city palace); and went to the Hillhouse Restaurant & Bungalows which the Lonely Planet states "has one of the most spectacular settings anywhere in Sulawesi". Well i beg to differ – the views were nothing special whatsoever. I also found out that the boat to Wanci costs 170,000INR each way plus another 100,000INR or more each way from there to Hoga the main accommodation island in the Tukanbesi archipelago. This coupled with the fact that 1) i am now pushed for time due to not expiring my visa again and 2) there is no boat sailing up the coast to Luwuk for another 13 days meant that i had to kick the Tukanbesi Islands into touch. After much investigation and leg work looking into all the possible onward travel alternatives available to me, i decided that the best & cheapest option was just to get the night ferry back to Makassar the following evening and head up to Tana Toraja as original planned from there – bloody annoying to say the least! As the ferry wasn’t scheduled to leave until 7pm it meant i had all day to kill so in the afternoon decided to go across to Pulau Makassar – a small island a 15min boat ride across the harbour from Bau Bau. Once there I was like the Pied Piper of Hamlin with loads of village children following after me shouting “Mister, Mister” incessantly. Eventually managed to lose my entourage by walking down to Lakorapu beach and then back along it towards the boat jetty. There are loads of homes on the island but nothing happening and so i felt quite sad for all the children who can clearly see Bau Bau across the water where there’s loads going on in comparison. Popped into KFC to use their WIFI upon my return and met the only other westerners i had come across since leaving Makassar, a retired couple in their sixties from England. They had sailed into port on their yacht having spent the last seven years sailing the world and were now heading for Bali. Perhaps everybody else is already 'in the know’ about what a palaver and expense it is to get to the Tuganbesi Islands so just avoid the place. Wish i had been!
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