Wild, Wild West Sumbawa
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:
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!):
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:
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!
Scar Reef also saw some big, clean swell.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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…