Archives for category: Sulawesi

In between entertaining the locals with our pale skin and small talk about European football players, we managed to find time to do nothing at all. Once you’ve dodged the paparazzi and media scrum at Bira beach, it is quite possible to find a spot along the coast where you won’t see another soul for a whole day. This would be pretty good on a normal beach. On the most exquisitely perfect beach you could ever hope to see, it was freaking astonishing.

There really is no good reason that this place hasn’t been turned in to a holiday destination of international repute. The powdery white sand stretches in either direction as far as the eye can see, and the sea is the temperature of bath water. While I enjoyed paddling in the shallow end with starfish and pipefish, Lovisa went out and dived with turtles and stingrays. Then at the end of every day the sun set over the ocean and we ate unbelievably delicious Indonesian food from the kitchen of our brilliant guesthouse.

In two weeks there we didn’t spend more than $20 a day, including our accommodation. That shouldn’t be possible but it is so for God’s sake book yourself a flight to Indonesia now and take advantage of the incredibly lovely people of Bira who will give you the most perfect holiday of your life for less than the cost of staying at home with the heating on and chips for dinner.



If you’d just spent 3 weeks in Bali, one of the most famously exotic and beautiful holiday destinations in the world, and then told me you needed to take two weeks to do nothing on a tropical paradise beach in order to recover, I would quite rightly tell you to piss off and get a grip.

Never being one to take my own advice, and more to the point, never being one to tell my girlfriend to piss off or get a grip, we went to a tropical paradise beach, immediately after spending 3 weeks in Bali.

In fairness, between the snorkelling, the mopeds, the dolphins, monkeys, tropical fish and coral reefs, poo flavour coffee, torrential rain storms and waterfall seeking hikes, Bali had been a bit knackering, and we felt like we’d earned ourselves a bit of a sit down.

After a little browsing around the Internet we booked ourselves on to the next plane to Sulawesi. Apparently it’s the world’s eleventh biggest island, but judging by the reception we got we were the first white people to have discovered it.

When we walked out of Arrivals it felt as though we’d stepped on stage at Glastonbury. While a slight murmur greeted the Indonesians who preceded us through the door, when we came out it was like every taxi driver in south east Asia was there to roar their approval. Our own driver and host for the fortnight Eriq, told us that this was quite normal, that we would be celebrities in his little seaside town and we should expect plenty of people taking photos for the next two weeks. Of course we laughed this off thinking Eriq was having a little fun at our self importance, so proud were we to have been the centre of attention at the airport. Not half an hour later, having enjoyed a very good lunch at a roadside cafe, we were surrounded by the whole wait staff, management and their families, posing for pictures for ten minutes.

Just as Eriq had predicted, the next two weeks were full of much the same.



The girls in the last picture practically had seizures. They ran in to the sea with tears streaming down their faces, screaming, laughing, splashing each other with water, weeing, vomiting and evacuating their bowels with the sheer unadulterated joy of having had their pictures taken with a couple of crackers.

All the boys wanted to ask me about Manchester United, Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard and David Beckham, while the girls just wanted to be photographed next to Lovisa and her lovely white skin. While initially great fun and quite hilarious, it’s all really incredibly tragic. These beautiful people, from the most wonderful place on earth, with their own unique culture, desperately want to be just like us; a bunch of overweight, wasteful, arrogant arseholes who have spent the last couple of hundred years trying to fuck up as much of the world as possible.