Whistle-stop Toba tour

Trip Start Oct 31, 2011
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Trip End Ongoing


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Where I stayed

Flag of Indonesia  , North Sumatra,
Friday, March 23, 2012

One of the benefits of living in a country with six recognized offical religions is that we get to enjoy the religious holidays celebrated by all six.  We'd been waiting for a long weekend to come around so we could make the 5 hour drive from Medan to Lake Toba worthwhile, and sure enough the Balinese Nyepi or "Day of Silence" was on hand to give us an eagerly awaited Friday off.

Lake Toba is only about 60/70 miles from Medan, but once you've added traffic, potholes and palm oil trucks the time it takes to get there increases dramatically.  In the hope of removing traffic from the equation we made a collective decision to leave at 3:30am on Friday morning.  By 4:30am (yes you know us well!) myself, Roger, Mike, Mai, Sameeh and Sophie the dog were on the road to Toba, Sameeh having kindly offered to drive us all there in his car.  We made it in 3 and half hours, (that's got to be a record surely?) and I saw the sun rise in Sumatra for the first time

Leaving Medan the air gets cleaner the further away you go, and by the time we reached Toba I actually felt cold for the first time in ages.  I'd been told by many people that Lake Toba is beautiful and they were right.  (Some Wiki facts for you...) Toba is the largest volcanic lake in the world, when it erupted around 70,000 years ago scientists think it may have caused an ice age.  This eruption has been labelled as the largest known explosive eruption anywhere on Earth in the last 25 million years.  In the middle of the lake sits an island, Samosir (the place we were staying).  We left the car and traveled across by ferry to a part of the island called Tuk Tuk (popular with tourists and full of hotels, restaurants and gift shops)  I'd read up earlier on the dimensions of the island, but it didn't really mean much to me until we got there, on hired scooters it took us around 7 hours to travel around the outside! 

(My) Words won't do this place justice and so I'm going to leave the rest to photographs in the hope that you'll get the picture of how beautiful it is here...

 

 

 
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