Mataram – Sumbawa Besar

Thursday morning one week ago I went with the Bemo back to the Immigration office. Unfortunately it was raining today, which made me pretty surprise, as thought it’s dry season. Anyway I got my passport with the extended visa back just in a few minutes. With another Bemo, again waiting time less than 1 minute, I went to the Mandalika bus terminal. There a tout wanted to sell me the ticket to Sumbawa Besar for 150k IDR I was just laughing and walked away. Then he tried again, but in the end agreed for the local price of 70k IDR. Instead of paying to buses from and to the ferry, plus additionally the ferry extra, I guess the comfort of not waiting for another bus on Sumbawa was worth to take this bus. Luckily I had also zero waiting time at the bus terminal, as the bus just was on departure, when I bought the ticket. Hence, lucky me that day. It was raining during the whole day in Lombok and also Rinjani was wrapped in clouds. At the ferry terminal, this time it was pretty easy to get into it…just sitting in the bus, we needed to wait about one hour to get onto it and for departure. I met a local man, he told me that he’s visiting his mother and flew from Borneo to Lombok and now took the bus to Sumbawa. This seems to be quite common, as some flights to neighbour islands are sometimes cheaper. In Poto Tano on Sumbawa the ferry needed to wait more than one hour to get to the pier, as there were so much ferries infront of us. If I’m not wrong, the day before the ferries didn’t operate. After we disembarked the ferry, it was already mid afternoon. Sumbawa is completely different to Lombok. It is much drier, which is evident especially now in the dry season, where all the rice paddies already were harvested. In Sumbawa Besar I was invited to wait at a barber shop opposite to the bus terminal until Andita picked me up, and had a short conversation with the owner. As Andita wasn’t able to host me, he drove me to the house of Johny and his family. In the evening he invited me to join a drink (coffee/tea as we’re in a Muslim island…and no on Sumbawa there’s no jungle juice) with Icam, his neighbours friend. I had a nice conversation with him about several topics. Icam also presented me his garden. Both had lots of Children, Johny has 3 and Icam has 5. What is evident nowadays is that even the very young children, from the beginning play with the smartphone. Almost each kid has it’s own, when it’s 3 years and older. If you try to take away the phone, the kids start crying. I hardly believe that this was the case 10 years ago, but also here technology changing rapidly the behaviour. I don’t think it’s a good idea that young children playing each day, the full day with the smartphone. In that age they should discover the world with their friends, but as these are also doing the same, the social pressure might be pretty, high to let them play online games. And as unemployment rate is pretty high in these regions, also some adults are playing the whole day with the smartphone. For some it’s for sure an addiction. They never learnt about the risks of gaming…well, nowadays even former national football player, which chooses to have a fascistic president as best man, seem to play more Fortnite than training football.

Modern highway robbery, no idea why, but the roads are good compared to Sumatra, and there are no potholes to fix from private people. So which argument would give you money?
Women planting new rice in the paddies
Various craftsman offer their huts made from Bamboo along the road
That’s real fake, but probably the only solution that drivers slow down in that curve. I guess it was an accident hot spot before.
After arriving at the ferry port, the bus was hijacked by hawkers…remembered me to the bus drives in Laos
Our ferry is approaching
Sumbawa is already insight as we left the harbour in Lombok
The water is very nice (except of all the plastic, which is floating with neutral bouancy)
The dry island of Sumbawa reminds me of Laos during dry season…somehow it’s appearance is similar
A typical fishermen’s village along the road
The old diesel engines are still proudly advertised on my bus…sure, their lifetime and endurance is still unbeatable
My bus ticket (which automatically includes also the ferry)

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