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Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Lake Maninjau
May 4th 2006
Published: May 25th 2006
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Passing byPassing byPassing by

Fisherman in dug out canoes float gently passed throughout the day
After landing in Padang I headed straight for Bukittinggi and got ripped off for the journey up here so didn't get the best first impressions of Indonesia then or for the next 24hrs but things have picked up somewhat since then.

I spent a night in Bukittinggi and then headed down to lake Maninjau - An incredible crater lake inside an extinct volcanoe. The lake is surrounded by extremely steep cliffs/slopes, which are all covered in the usual rice paddies and small settelments surround it.

On the bus on the way down I met another English guy by the name of David who was with an Indonesian lady by the name of Christine. At first I thought they were some sort of dodgy couple but it later turned out that she was acting as his guide and he was gay - he tried in a funny sort of way one night (after a little but not a lot of whisky) offering money to sleep with me! - something which Christine persists in teasing me about still.

Anyway when we got to maninjau it turns out the place is a ghost town now pretty much. This whole area (Bukittinggi and around) used to recieve loads of tourists around 10years ago but they've all but dissapeared now. The 'high' season hasn't yet started either so that doesn't help. Loads of places have gone bankrupt and closed.

I ended up staying in a place called Lili's and had my own private room with balcony literaly on the beach for less than 2 quid! David and Christine got a room here too. They stayed for a couple of days and while they were around I hung out with them walking around town, swimming and socialising. Maninjau is a great place to relax and get youself together so I ended up staying for four days there taking advantage of the cheap prices, good swimming, great views/walks and heaps of other stuff.


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LakesideLakeside
Lakeside

Locals make use of every inch of the fertils soil available
JackfruitJackfruit
Jackfruit

Fruit grew on most of the trees at the hostel and the owner would frequently sit down with me and share it while playing the guitar.
Up close and personalUp close and personal
Up close and personal

Fully grown rice - I always thought it grew on the roots for some reason and this was the first time I noticed that it doesn't


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