Pulau Kei Kecil: blissful white sand and turquoise waters

Now THIS is what I was looking for - Ohoililir, Pasir Panjang

Now THIS is what I was looking for – Ohoililir, Pasir Panjang

So after leaving Bandaneira, we ended up Pulau Kei Kecil (Small Kei Island) – not exactly by plan, but as the result of a cancelled flight.  By taking the Pelni passenger ship there, we were able to much more easily catch a flight back to Ambon, which was where we needed to head eventually.  And so we got to spend a few days on another island, and enjoy a quiet, relatively secluded beach.

I didn’t really know what to expect, but as our taxi ride took us, first through the busy town of Tual, then along some long and well-sealed roads along a fairly barren landscape, I became more enthused as the small village roads turned into a sandy path.  This was looking like the type of quiet escape that I could really enjoy!

The path through Ohoililir to Coasters Cottage. on Pasir Panjang.

The path through Ohoililir to Coasters Cottage. on Pasir Panjang.

We passed dozens of ‘pondok” – bamboo platforms that are used by locals when they come to visit the beach.  I could just imagine how busy this place was on a Sunday  – but lucky for us, it was the middle of the week, and aside from a handful of us tourists, the place was otherwise abandoned.

Empty pondoks waiting for the Sunday crowds.

Empty pondoks waiting for the Sunday crowds.

I can’t say that we did a lot on Kei Kecil during the two and a half days that we were there. Aside from one motorbike trip for a couple of hours, we mostly stayed close to the beach.

Just along from where we were staying was the local village who have recently turned to seaweed farming as a means of generating income.  The seaweed is laid out to dry, and is later sold to processing plants to make agar.  As you can imagine, it’s a bit smelly as it’s laid out to dry in the sun!

Seaweed drying in the sun

Seaweed drying in the sun

Drying seaweed

Drying seaweed

We had planned on a full-day motorbike trip to explore the wider island, but essentially lost half a day to general mucking around, and trying to organise a motorbike.  In the end, I wasn’t too disappointed, as the roads were some of the most monontonous ones I’ve ridden on.  And because the landscape was so barren, there wasn’t much in the way of shade which meant it was pretty hot riding along!

The roads were long and barren (at least around this part of the island)

The roads were long and barren (at least around this part of the island)

We did manage to ride the motorbikes to Bukit Masbait (Masbait Hill) -the highest hill on the island which offered stunning views, and had some rather interesting Christian religious statues.

Bukit Masbait

Bukit Masbait

Bukit Masbait

Bukit Masbait

At the top of the hill was a massive status of Jesus Christ.  Climbing up the ladder to the top was one of the scariest things I’ve done.  Why?  Because it was fairly high up – and the ladder didn’t exactly look like it had been built to any acceptable Health and Safety Standards, and at the top, there was a small rail that came up to my shins – and that was all I had to hold me in.  I ended up just sitting on my bum and scooting my way around.  No way was I standing!

Bukit Masbait - climbing up the ladder was nerve-wracking!

Bukit Masbait – climbing up the ladder was nerve-wracking!

So – our time on Kei Kecil wasn’t quite part of our plans, but it ended up being a little side adventure that I enjoyed, just for the gorgeous beach and a bit of quiet time.

Not so good for snorkeling, but a gorgeous swimming beach.

Not so good for snorkeling, but a gorgeous swimming beach.

The sunsets weren’t too bad, either.

The compulsory sunset photo

The compulsory sunset photo

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Travel Tips:

Accom:  We stayed at Coaster Cottages (on Pasir Panjang) for 200,000rp per night plus 100,000rp each for meals.  The food was good and plentiful for lunch and dinner although breakfasts were disappointing.   The room had western toilet, mandi bath and fan

Getting there:  The first class Pelni ticket was 425,000rp from Banda to Tual on the KM Tidar.  Chartered bemo from the Tual port to Coaster Cottages was 150,000rp (shared between 4 people).

About BusyLizzy

Normally I live in NZ but having re-discovered the joys of independent travel over the last few years, I decided it was 'now or never' and am taking some time out to see what the world has to offer.
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One Response to Pulau Kei Kecil: blissful white sand and turquoise waters

  1. Debz says:

    Wow what a stunning beach…:)

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