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Published: December 27th 2009
I arrived at Lake Toba on December 22nd. Lake Toba is the largest volcanic lake in the world. It is 100k by 30k and goes down 505 meters at its deepest point. After a 30 minute ferry ride I arrived at Samosir Island, the largest island within an island in the world. Sumatra is the 6th largest island in the world and Indonesia is the largest island country in the world with more than 17,000 islands of which 922 are inhabited. The Batak people who inhabit Samosir Island are a Christian lot fond of singing, dancing and "jungle juice".
I stayed at Lakejon with an amazing balcony view across the lake. Also staying there were a lovely, party hard group of Finnish university students. We hit it off right away and got tucked into over 20 big bottles of beer the first evening which led to a morning dip in the lake around 5:30am! On Christmas Eve we rented motobikes and went for a tour of the northern half of the island. On the way back it started to pour and I pulled us into the first small store I saw. It was a good reason for a beer and
we cleared their shelves. The owner was quite nice and brought out snacks and homemade pineapple cookies which were still warm on the inside. Yum! That evening we went out to a local restaurant and ordered enough food to cover the whole table and more than fill us up. One of my favorites was the gado gado, which is a mixed salad with a spicy peanut sauce. We also partook in the local "jungle juice". They made it especially well adding lemon and honey to make a cocktail. After that we headed to Brando's, the local club. As we arrived they were playing "Macarena" and we started a line dance out in the street that had the locals cameras flashing. Inside was more bad 90's music with a mix of equally bad hip-hop and some decent reggae. Of course they could have been playing spoons and jugs and I think we still would have got down. It was yet another night that lasted till morning. Christmas Day was a rather subdued affair after the previous nights festivities. The Finns were leaving in the evening and short on cash since Samosir lacks a single atm. We did go out for another
nice dinner. I had a lovely fish curry with a mound of potatoes and carrots on top.
Well my time in Indonesia is coming to a close. I have been overwhelmed by the diversity, hospitality and natural beauty on Sumatra. I leave Lake Toba tomorrow and travel to Kuala Lumpur via ferry from Medan to Penang, Malaysia and then a 4 hour bus ride from there. I fly to Kolkata, India on December 30th and will spend 6 weeks between there and Nepal. As this year and decade closes I wish everyone health, wealth and prosperity in the coming decade. Love and Light ~Cato
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