Photo: Kalala Beach, East Sumba.

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Now THIS is a beach. On the southeastern coast of Sumba, tremendous Kalala Beach is an expansive stretch of sparkling white sand, just the ticket for anyone who wants to get away from everything and everybody. There’s swimming, and okay snorkelling, fishing and surfing, but you’ll have to wait a bit for the Instagramming and Facebooking as the 3G signal isn’t great — bliss.

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Prime surfing season is June to September. It can be rough and windy at times with large swells, as the coast is exposed to the open ocean — next stop Australia. We heard stories that you can see the lights of north Australia from here; we find that hard to believe, and if there are lights you’re seeing it’s probably just fishing boats or the Australian Navy.

The beach goes on for a while… Photo taken in or around Kalala, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

The beach goes on for a while… Photo: Sally Arnold

Deep sea trenches just off the coast are prime positions for game fishing. Boat trips can be arranged with Kalala Bungalows. The southern end of the beach had good waves for bodysurfing at the time of our visit, and the calmer northern end has a reef that can be snorkelled, however the one quick snorkel we did, we saw mostly bleached coral only.

It can take hours to walk the length of Kalala Beach, at one end framed by mountains, the other by tall gebang palm trees. Pandanus palms spread their fingered roots, tiny beach spinifex rolls by and beach creeper tendrils crawl across the sand. Between the jetty and Kalala Bungalows, hidden amid the pandanus, remnants of a World War II bunker can be found, though the cement shell is probably of interest to war history buffs only.

Pretty pretty. Photo taken in or around Kalala, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

Pretty pretty. Photo: Sally Arnold

Unfortunately, the otherwise pristine sweep of coast is sullied with an eyesore jetty project, which by local sources, is more a political folly than useful infrastructure. The project has been ongoing since 2012. At a cost of billions of rupiah (millions of US dollars), with a number of tendered companies coming and going, the project is supposed to be for a ferry port connecting West Timor that will replace the current port in Waingapu. The distance by sea is 30 ... Travelfish members only (Around 500 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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