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Wild, Wild West Sumbawa

June 22, 2013

After three weeks in Lakey Peak, we had to renew our Indonesian tourist visas, so we decided to do it by returning for a few days to Singapore. My mom was still there, and we were guaranteed access to good food (we hadn’t had enough Black Pepper Crab!), so we went back for another week in the wacky, mall-filled, very clean city-state in which my parents were born. A few of the highlights of this, our second, stay there:

An afternoon eating Black Pepper Crab and other delicious seafood dishes at Long Beach Seafood, then walking around Dempsey Hill with our NYC friend Michael B., who recently moved to Asia with his wife and daughter:

two michaels

Hanging out at a small family gathering with many of my aunts, uncles and cousins. My Aunt Judy cooked up a storm for us all, including Black Pepper Crab (we just can’t get enough!):

family feast my family

Courtesy of my Uncle Raymond, a night at one of Singapore’s trendiest hotels, the Marina Bay Sands, which has a rooftop infinity pool with the best view over the city:

hotel tycoon infinity

view marina bay sands

View from our hotel room balcony

Then it was off to West Sumbawa, home of many fun breaks such as Yo Yo’s, Supersuck and Scar Reef. We stayed there for three weeks and were able to surf every single day. A couple of huge swells came in and we saw Supersuck working its perfect overhead barrel magic – we shoulder-hopped the mellower end part!


Ry Craike getting a super long barrel at Supersuck. Photo: Indra

Scar Reef also saw some big, clean swell.

Unknown dude at Scar Reef. Photo: Indra

Unknown dude at Scar Reef. Photo: Indra

I liked Yo Yo’s when it was small enough to break nicely. It’s a fun wave with long rides when you pick the right ones.

yoyosdelcollage1 yoyosdelcollage2

yoyosmichael yoyosmichael2

There are a few other activities available  besides surfing, but the waves are the main draw to the area. We went snorkeling  in the next bay over from Yo Yo’s. It’s a beautiful, pristine, isolated beach with good coral right off the sand. People jump off that rock jutting out over the water on the lefthand side of the bay, but we didn’t do it.

snorkelling bay

There’s also good spearfishing in the area. The local surf photographer, Indra, is a super friendly guy who can arrange spearfishing outings. He’s also available for hire to photograph your surf sessions at any of the local breaks. His number is +62 81805728687 or you can look him up on Facebook under indra_cula(at)hotmail(dot)com.

Yo Yo’s beach is even less developed than the Lakey Peak area. In the time we weren’t surfing, we read a lot, hung out in our hammocks, and played ping pong and pool in the common area of Santai Beach Bungalows, where we were staying.

bird friend

A bird in the hand is worth…


kiwi artkitty


Adi, one of the guys who works at Santai Beach Bungalows, is a gem of a character.

leaf fedora hammock

Aerial view of Rantung Beach and Yo Yo's surf break (all the whitewater on the righthand side of the bay). Photo courtesty of Indra

Aerial view of Rantung Beach and Yo Yo’s surf break (the whitewater on the righthand side of the bay). Photo courtesy of Indra.

On our way back to Bali, we stopped in Kuta, Lombok, to surf and eat at Ashtari. We’d been there back in 2009, and the chocolate-coconut-milk shakes (as well as their fresh, tasty vegetarian meals) remained forever in our memory, so we made a return trip and it was worth it!

astari ashtari food

If you are ever in Kuta (also spelled Kute) Lombok, I fully recommend staying at LaMancha Homestay. Our room was airy and large, and cost $15 US a night, with fan, private bathroom and nice front balcony. They also have single rooms with private bath and balcony from $8 a night.The grounds are large, tree-filled, and set away from the road. The hostess, Min, was the nicest host we’ve encountered in Indo so far. She has the biggest smile and is extremely kind. If you ask around, everyone in Kuta will be able to direct you to LaMancha.

Our time in Indo was finally up. We were heading to New Zealand next. The day before we flew out of Bali, we were coming back from a surf at Serangan, when Michael caught his baby toe on the wheel well of the taxi that had just dropped us off at our hotel, and he broke it! It was pretty gruesome, the toe bone was shattered and his baby toe was sticking out basically at a right angle to the rest of his toes. We went directly to the hospital, where the doctors said they didn’t think he needed surgery and all they could do was tape the last two toes together, to stabilize it.

So we left Indo on the wrong foot (wah wah wah). What would New Zealand hold for a traveller who isn’t able to surf or go on long hikes? Stay tuned for our next instalment to see…

11 Comments leave one →
  1. June 22, 2013 10:52 pm


    get well soon michael!!!

  2. Benjamin Sargent permalink
    June 22, 2013 11:08 pm

    Great post! I miss you guys!!!! -Large

    Sent from my iPhone

    • June 23, 2013 3:12 am

      Hey Large! Last call to join up with us during this trip — we will be in Kauai starting mid-July for three weeks! Can you hop over and meet us?

  3. June 22, 2013 11:26 pm

    Awesome read 🙂 like the way you put your story together and very usefull tips! (wanted to write down prices, emails and phone numbers right away) Have a great one in NZ!

  4. June 23, 2013 11:38 am

    This is a great story, beautiful surfing pictures. Delphine, you have a beautiful family! I also love the kitten and the bird in hand! I wait with baited breath for the next installment. How are you managing Michael? Love, Momma

  5. June 24, 2013 9:27 am

    Get back well sooooon! We have some wonderful surfing friends in Haumoana, New Zealand. Let me know if you want their contact! And enjoy the temperature drop! Otto/Rudi from Chicama (or Germany:-( )

    • June 24, 2013 5:49 pm

      Thanks! We just left that area and surfed Te Awanga (very close to Haumoana) on the swell from that big storm that just blew through NZ. I don’t think we’ll be down that way again this trip, but if we do we’ll drop a line for your friends’ contact.

  6. Kim permalink
    June 28, 2013 3:01 pm

    Michael I hope your toe heals soon & you’re not out of the water too long! Love your blog you guys, miss you guys! I want to see you guys when you come through NY! xx

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