Sape, Indonesia: Town With No Beer

Trip Start Jul 28, 2013
Trip End Feb 06, 2014

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Flag of Indonesia  , West Nusa Tenggara,
Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Golly what a day. Hell, would be a good way to describe it. Made bearable only by music and good company.

To start with the alarm went off at 0530. Then the taxi arrived 15 minutes late at 0615 leaving us all stressing that we would miss the one and only bus departing that day. As always the said bus didn't exist by all accounts of the taxi man. "No direct bus but I will drive you to Taliwang for extra IDR 100,000. Then from there you take the bus". Now accustomed to their half truths we asked him to drive first to the bus station on the proviso that if what he said was correct then we would get him to drive us to Taliwang. Turning into the station what do you know - there's the bus ready and waiting. Typical.

Miraculously the bus arrived into Sumbawa Besar early. First time for everything. Another plus was finding a bus to Bima departing in an hour rather than three hours as we had expected. Wasting time around the grotty bus station we dined on rice and some super spicy stuff. Listened to Marc charm the locals with his Indonesian. Watched a little girl throw big smiles at Maaike and saw porters shoot off towards incoming buses quicker than Usain Bolt.

"When do we leave?" "20 minutes". 20 minutes later "When do we leave?" "10 minutes". I swear to god time moves about a hundred times slower in Indo than anywhere else in the world. I'm beginning to think I need to arrive an hour late in order to arrive on time.

When the driver was good to go we squished onto the bus and stopped about a million times along the way to squeeze in yet more people, chickens, bananas and god knows what else. At one stage we had about 43 people on a 26 seater bus plus 4 or 5 sat on the roof, including Marc. The 7 - 8 hour journey ended up taking 9 and a bit but don't worry, there was still time to stop off for lunch for 45 minutes. Seriously, just get moving. Buy your food and eat it on the bus as I really don't want to add any more time than necessary to this dreaded journey.

Pulling into Bima, just after 9pm, and figuring we couldn't feel any more knackered than we already did, we made the decision to continue onto Sape. Finding a local family going the same way we all piled into a bemo and bounced our way in a semi catatonic state towards our final destination.

Pulling into Sape was a welcomed relief. Finding out the town had no beer wasn't music to our ears but we were so exhausted that didn't really matter. What did matter was being told there were no ferries running to Flores due to high seas which in turn would mean we had just made an arduous 16 and a half hour journey for nothing. High five losers. With our spirits dampened we called it a night, hoping we had been misinformed and the news would be different in the morning.


Transport (We left Santai at 0615 and arrived in Sape at 2245!!!)
Bemo: Santai to Maluk IDR 50,000 (A$5) ea
Bus: Maluk to Sumbawa Besar IDR 50,000 (A$5) ea
Bus: Sumbawa Besar to Bima IDR 90,000 (A$9) ea
Bemo: Bima to Sape IDR 60,000 (A$6) ea

Hotel: Losmen Matiara IDR 80,000 (A$8)
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maaike on

Haha lets find out what happened the next morning...
serious amber, you writing is hilarious, so good to read back all our adventures!!

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