by Mélissa | 24 Aug 2023
Disclaimer: This post is not to ruin the Island, but simply to share an experience and avoid the same with other women.
Nothing bad happened, but it can be uncomfortable.
If you read my post to discover Sumba, you will see the day tour I booked.
I wanted to see the Waikurri Laguna and the Ratenggaro village. These two places are on the west side of the Island which is huge.
We arrive at the village with my driver, at the entrance they ask for a fee of 50.000 which I pay.
Once in the village, I go around, look at the houses …
A few kids invite me to come to their houses, I go in, and ask them questions about where they sleep, etc…
You will soon find out that not many people live here really, it’s a show! When I leave the house an older man comes to me and asks me for money for visiting the house and taking pictures with the children.
I would of course have given something to the kids, but I don’t like to be forced to pay, and even worst they are not happy with what I gave …
Just makes me sad because, it ruins the human connexion you think you had.
Then I decide to take my drone out and fly it ( I asked if it was ok ), only once in the air the same man comes to me and tells me I will have to pay for that as well.
I tell him that he should have said that before and also ask how much, he tells me 7000 and I make sure to ask two times to make sure of the amount.
Anyway seems I did not charge my battery well so it ran out … ( yeah sucks). Still got those shots, enjoy !
Time to leave :
Get in the car and at the exit, two men block the road and ask me to pay for the drone. So I give 10.000 and expect the change.
But then he tells me it’s 75.000. Just to give you an idea it’s the price of a brunch in Canggu Bali.
I refuse to pay that amount, because this is robbery !
I try to talk to them and explain, they need to put a sign at the entrance or explain people. They cannot ask for money afterwards.
They would not let me leave, my driver left the car and left me alone ! End up being alone with 3 men.
This lasted more than 20 minutes until I had to give in and pay because they were blocking the car and I was left alone.
Let me get things straight, I am 32, and I traveled solo a lot and to almost 40 countries, so I am not so easily intimidated.
I left with my hands shaking and tears in my eyes. What if it was a 20-year-old girl on her first trip?
I talk to a few people that went as a couple and they had a completely different experience, a nice one!
So either skip this place, either find someone to go with, and no matter what ask for the price before !!!!
While in the car, I told my driver to just take me to the airport and skip our last stop, I was simply too shaken.
But he convinced me to go to the Laguna, that it was not the same …
We arrive and pay the entrance of 25.000.
I went for a swim, and while in the water a group of boys kind of followed me swimming.
Looking under the water at me with their masks, trying to pretend to touch me by accident.
By the way, before someone asks, I was wearing a swimsuit so nothing provocative and anyway, it’s not ok!
I met two French women that were with private guides, I started to talk to them about the incident before.
The guide is a local woman, who started her business and work with local men. They were so sweet, thanks to them because they really warm my heart. They offered me to share lunch with them.
But she also explained to me that this side of the Island is really special and it’s not the first time that happens.
At the surf camp, I met two women and we shared a ride to the west coast. I texted them about what happened, so they could be aware.
They answered me back, that they also got stopped on the road and forced to pay to pass a road…
So let’s just say this side of the Island is not the best.
Hopefully, with time it will get better, but for now, just be careful.
To make it short before my travel timeline, I am an Island, Sun, Ocean lover. In love with diving & freediving, dream of becoming a surfer one day.
I am a foodie, always looking for the best places to have a food experience.
Planet lover, so I try to make the most concious choices