Sumbawa island

The deck of the car ferry to Sumbawa island reminded me of an alpine house sleeping room. People resting beside each other in a big room full of bunk beds. The ferry is run 24h per day. During the transfer it got dark and when I arrived to Poto Tano on Sumbawa I was keen on finding a place for the night soon. I left the port and stopped at the first “rumah makan” to ask if they have place to sleep as well. They did not, but a policeman bought his dinner there at that moment. He took me with him back to the port and arranged that I could sleep in the police office. The head of the office tried hard to convince me to join him for dinner to the next town. I did not want and I also did not want to join him to watch TV in his private living room. I went to bed soon.
Next morning I started to cycle on Sumbawa. My first impression was, that it is very different from the islands I have seen so far. Dry grasslands cover the hills, many goats wander around on the dusty streets. People do hard work with their bare hands. They work in quarries with the most basic tools and manually thresh the rice. Electric devices are not very common as there is a failure of power every day for hours. Sumbawa is rich of minerals and gold I was told. I read about misharvests and starvation.
The rainy saison should have started. But it was simply unbearable hot, dusty and dry. My skin started to burn even though I was dark brown already. The irradiation was so strong that I went to the next clothes shop to buy something with long sleves to cover up. The only thin, strechable long shirt they had in my size was a pyjama top. With a teddy bear on my chest I felt a bit silly but at least my skin was protected.
I got too much sun one day and ended up in a small warung (restaurant) falling asleep on a bamboo bench. I got fever as always when my body or mind is exposed to some extreme conditions. Luckily I could stay there and during the 3 days I was with them I became a part of the family. Sandara took care of me as if I would have been her own child. She wanted me to stay longer but I had to leave if I wanted to meet up with my friends in Flores soon. In the meantime the rainy saison finally started and streets turn into rivers, meadows into lakes. It’s impressive…
When I was on the bicycle again for the next few days I felt extraordinary weak and dizzy. Health issues can brake a cyclists timetable, motivation and fun. For the last bit on Sumbawa I took a truck to arrive to my friends place on Kanawa island (Komodo National Park) on time.


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