I’m beginning to realize that my favorite travels are of when there is no expectation, no line of backpacker zombies doing the same thing as each guide book more or less draws them too. I kinda like the more independent, less tour based and I admit more sketchy off the beaten track travel. For me, there is a bigger sense of appreciation for this kind of travel, it’s more challenging, more locally orientated and more personal. You are you. You do your thing. And that kind of travel may just be experiencing the life of the place. Rather than doing everything that is ‘beautiful’ or a ‘must see’. Before leaving in this trip I didn’t knew what to expect, but for sure I didn’t think that I’ll find a second family in the middle of Sumbawa, in a bajo village (sea gypsies). Maybe because they are nomads that they understand what travels means, and how good is to find a place to recharge your batteries for a few days, or maybe because I was the only western that entered their village in the last 2 years, it doesn’t really matters, thank you again.
I wanted to leave early morning before the sun gets to strong, but before I managed to say goodbye to everybody, make the last photos with the family and put everything on the bike it was already 10 am. For today I don’t have a clear destination yet. Until Sape, which is the crossing point from Sumbawa to Flores is around 200 km, part of it through mountains, doable but I have to push the old lady. The other option is Lakey beach, 120 km away, but with a 40 km detour. Will see, I still have to make 80 km until I have to make the decision.
After not even a hour of driving I feel my brain boiling, is just to hot. I stop in the first village to cool down and to take some photos of the fish drying on the side of the road, a men approach me:
– Asli darimana mas? (Where are you from?)
– Dari Romania Pak. (From Romania.)
– Kamu bisa bahasa indonesia? (You can speak indonesian?)
– Bisa Pak. (Yes.)
– Udah lama di Indonesia? (For how long you’re in Indonesia.)
– Udah 1 tahun. (Already 1 year.)
– Whaaa Kamu pinter sekali, mau makan? (Uauu you are smart, you want to eat?)
– Tidak Pak, makasih. (Thank you, but no.)
– Ayo, ada ikan dan kepiting segar. (Come I have fresh fish and crabs.)
What can I do? I have to accept his invitation, fresh crabs sounds very delicious. As the conversation goes on I find out that he used to smuggle people from Indonesia to Malaysia. Now he retired, he has a a wife, 3 children and a boat.
1 hour later and full belly I hop on the bike to continue my road. The only discouraging think is the sun, which is too strong today. I can’t do it anymore, I need to take my helmet out, is to hot, I know is a foolish think to do, but the sensation is one of a kind. After cooling my head down, I decide to go to Lakey beach, camp there for tonight and start again tomorrow morning, better for my bike and me.
It’s almost 4 pm and I finally arrived to Lakey beach, I let the bike on the beach in front of something that seems like a surfer’s bar and I go directly for a swim, to wash off the dust an the layer of sweat. I end the day with a fish kare, 2 beers, a nice sunset and a camp fire on the beach, too bad that I am alone. Finally I got to use the hammock that I bought in Bali, pretty comfortable, night.
And morning again. A cow decides that she wants to be my alarm clock. A quick swim instead of a shower, pack everything, say goodbye to the cow and go, all under 1 our, that’s a new record.
I continue my road to Sape, empty minded enjoying the curvy mountain road and the scenery. Today I have a big stupid smile on my face, probably because I’m getting closer to Komodo Island. I am amazed by this motorcycle, to be honest before leaving in this trip I thought that I would have more problems with it, but no she’s still alive.
Before sunset I reach Sape, that means that tomorrow I’ll take the ferry to Flores, if I survive the night. Quick I find a cheap hotel, it looks like a rat hole, I park the bike inside, near reception, put everything to charge and I go to search for some food. For the first time in Indonesia I don’t feel safe walking alone on the streets after night falls. People here seem to be a bit more harsh and crazy and the town looks like a Mad Max set. I take a seat in the first waroeng that I find, is empty. A cat enters, makes herself comfortable on the other side of the table and challenge me for a staring competition, I lose, therefore I share with her my fish. Good night.