Published: August 18th 2009August 18th 2009
We were a bit anxious about our 15 hour journey today especially as we'd also booked this one with our friend 'Jake', the Indo Del Boy/Con-man. Before we set off we booked out flights to Bangkok setting off on the 27th for the next leg of our adventure in Thailand. Back to the journey.....We were hoping to leave a little later in the day so that we could arrive at Lake Toba in time to get the ferry rather than be stranded in the middle of the night but when the driver turned up at 12 with a car full we had little choice but to begin the journey. The journey began at the usual pace but was relatively comfortable with air-con that actually worked! About an hour after setting off we stopped for our lunch as promised at a HIDEOUS road side cafe, the only option being fish heads (with eyes) and rice crawling with flies, we decided to pass on this. As the journey was long we thought we'd take the opportunity to use the loo wherever possible and here i was directed to the river, after much deliberation i decided to brave it with nothing
but a plastic sheet to cover my modesty, nice. At this point we felt pretty ripped off and very isolated fearing we'd never eat again. Next stop - the equator! The rest of the car load got out to pray while we had 10 minutes to scamp about on the line with the tag 'you are now crossing the equator'. Needless to say it was pretty hot here but was actually spitting. When we got back in to set off the driver was just putting his coat on! After hours of driving through small road side villages, rice paddies and miles of picturesque country side we stopped at another road side cafe expecting more fish heads but were pleasantly surprised by 'nasi goreng' fried rice special! After thinking we were going to be starved for the journey this was most delicious! More disgusting loos and on the road again. After this it started to grow dark and as our journey progressed down came the rain, torrential with lightening and terrible roads, mostly flooded. Our driver had been going 10 hours solid by this stage so to say that it was a little scary would be true. After a little sleep
and 3 more hours driving through the dark we finally descended into Parapat, it was 3am. Luckily even after 13 hours driving our driver - Arianto managed to wake a guest house owner for us so we had a bed for the rest of the night. We gave him a tip while he was weeing up the back of the van and bid our farewells.
We woke at the little grubby guest house on the ferry port in Parapat and after getting harassed over breakfast headed on the ferry to Samosir Island. Lake Toba is a huge lake with an island (Samosir) in the middle the size of Singapore created when a volcano erupted 80,000 years ago and collapsed in on itself. After 40 minutes we arrived at our new hotel (each has it's own jetti) where we were pleased to find lots of facilities: table tennis, pool, bikes for hire, movies.
My birthday! We hired bikes and rode round the lake, went for a BBQ in the evening and I got to speak to mum and tom using skype.
14th - 18th Aug
The rest of our time here
has been mainly spent doing much of the same, we're currently at 12 games to 11 (andy winning) at ping pong and level pegging at pool. We have found that unlike the rest of Indonesia that we've seen they're mostly christian on this island which has meant pork - yey! booze - double yey and best of all, no 4am preaching! We're off now for a swim in the lake, until next week...
over and out
E & A
There are more photos below