Lake Toba

Tuesday, 2 December 2014
Pela Mampang, Jakarta

As is usual for this time of year, Uno paid us a visit here in Jakarta between 5 November and 2 December.

We decided to take a break from Jakarta and go visit Lake Toba in North Sumatra. So we took a flight to Medan on 17 November and returned to Jakarta on 21 November. We had booked a car with driver from the airport in Medan to Parapat (750k). From there we took the short boat trip across the lake to Tuk-Tuk, Samosir island. I haven’t set foot there since December 2002, but there doesn’t seem to be too much changes since then, apart from a few big ugly concrete hotel constructions. There were not many tourists around. After inspecting a few places, I suggested that we could stay at Tabo Cottages.

On the second day we simply walked the few kilometers around Tuk-Tuk.

On the third day we rented bicycles and went a bit farther. In the evening we went to Bagus Bay restaurant/cafe to watch Batak dancing. In good, old Uno-style, Uno lost the little patience he has and became very angry when we had to wait a few minutes extra for the change after paying the bill. Some angry comments by Uno: “No wonder tourists don’t go here when you have to wait for your change this long!” “This country will forever remain a developing nation when you have to wait for your change like that!”

On the fourth day we were on our way back to Medan. I had agreed with the driver to pick us up in Parapat. During a stop at a gas station to visit the toilet, I noticed that some money (200k) had disappeared from my bag. It couldn’t have been somebody else than the driver. On top of it, he demanded 1 million for the return trip. I refused to pay that of course, and with the help of Caecil, she called him and pretended to know some high ranking police officer that she threatened him with. So he gave up. In the end, I subtracted what he had stolen and paid him the normal fare. He didn’t count the money, so problem solved. In Medan we had trouble finding a hotel that was not full, but we found a room at Danau Toba Hotel.

On the last day we flew back to Jakarta.

Uno on the boat from Parapat to Tuk-Tuk, Samosir.

Flower meadow, Tuk-Tuk.

Batak marriage ceremony, Tuk-Tuk.

Uno’s shopping today, Tuk-Tuk.

School children, Tuk-Tuk.

Strange stone figures, Tuk-Tuk.

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