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Published: March 30th 2011
Now all our plans were in place it was time for some chillout time. We jumped on a bemo (small bus) and headed to Pintu Kotu a small bay about half an hours drive from the city. After waiting for an hour at in the bemo station gradually waiting for the bemo to fill up with locals and their shopping - namely huge washing up bowls filled with wet fish, produce and other evil smelling stuff we set off. There was barely an inch of spare space. Ten minutes into the journey, the driver who was chain smoking, pulled over and loaded two huge platic containers of petrol into the open bus doorway, petrol was leaking from the caps and hot ash was dropping onto it from the cigarette precariously balanced on his bottom lip as he yelled instuctions to make a space. Fortunately we arrived at Kota Pintu without getting blown up.
The little cove was pleasant with a shingle beach and rocky edge into the sea. Once in the sea we discovered how beautifully clear and warm it was with decent coral. I felt a little bit consious at first as I entered the sea in my bikini
as the locals were all fully dressed in the sea. However they turned out to be so friendly that I soon felt at ease but did cover up as soon as I was back on the beach as I could feel many pairs of eyes on me.
One family approached us and asked for photos, soon the whole family became involved. They asked where we were from and when we replied 'England' they danced up and down in delight, the little cafe owner explained that we were the first English ever to visit Kota Pintu.
When it came time to leave, they called us to leave them in their bemo, it turned out there were only four bemos a day doing that run so we could have had hours to wait. There were fourteen of them so it was a tight squeeze made worse by the fact that music was playing so loud that the seats were vibrating! In Ambon town we got off the bemo and said our goodbyes as they carried on into Halong their home town. The'd made us feel like celebrities.
On Sunday we jumped on a bemo in the same direction but
got off at Namalattu another beach good for snorkelling. As it was early we almost had the beach to ourselves it wasn't as pretty as Kota Pintu but under the sea was a different story the coral was beautiful. By lunch time the beach had really filled up with locals. They all seemed to have loads of children and they were all in the sea - again fully clothed.
As we were packing up to leave a girl around eighteen years old approached us and began speaking in English, again we were the only Europeans, when she learned we were English she too jumped up and down with joy as if she couldn't believe her ears. Four more friends joined her and began practising their English, they were quite good too and helped us with information on how to get to Saparua, our intended destination the next day. We had tried in vain the previous day but failed to find out anything concrete so this was great.
We all travelled back on the bemo together and once again treated like celebrities
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