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Published: January 16th 2011
What is more exciting than addition to re-visit the coastal cities in Indonesia, right? I will never get bored to visit the beach which is always flirting with the quiet sound of waves, wind that makes sleepy all day long and the sunshine. Yes! As a boy who was born in Jayapura, Papua. I was infatuated with a beach. I was lucky, when I was coming home from Sumbawa Besar, I was assigning by the office to go again to Sibolga, Central Tapanuli district in North Sumatra. This time I went with Sukma Kartini and Doni mincuk Fabrianus. Obviously an offer of a lifetime is 100% I received.
We flew with the early morning flight, March, 9 2009 to the Polonia airport in Medan, North Sumatra. Why we should use early morning flight? Because we must take eight hours of travel with constant velocity if do not want too late to arrive there. After arrive at Polonia airport, our driver bang Iwan, have been waiting since twenty minutes ago. After rushing to enter all the luggage into the car, we were out of the airport and began to take a long breath.
Before left Medan behind, we stopped for
breakfast in Padang cuisine's restaurant. Bang Iwan told us that he often drove our office's friends to here, because the chef who cook is originally from Padang. Hahaha bang Iwan know it if it's in Jakarta are many places to eat Padang cuisine is not cooked by chef from Padang. Filled with fatty foods and drink sweet things, we began to move out of the city of Medan on to the south.
The journey was not too boring. Because we will pass the lake result of huge volcanic eruptions formed hundred years ago. Yes, we will pass Lake Toba. I can't wait to get to there. Two hours passed from Medan, we entered Siantar. Small town with the crazy traffic jams, but that makes jams here not only cars, but bentor! Siantar community designation for motorized rickshaw. And the coolest thing that the bike here is not small like in Jakarta, but fat bike with big machine such as BSA, Norton and other brand, colonial era legacy.
In Siantar, we stopped briefly to rest and meet bang Andi Siahaan. A senior journalist who became news contributor in the office where I work. He was very friendly and never
run out of breath to talk out loud. I like this guy, when with him, a day is never enough time to tell you about anything. But our deadline was run out, and at half past five in the afternoon, we had to leave and continue the journey.
The next half hour finally arrived at Lake Toba! Yeaaeyyy! What a large lake I even seen. The water surface area of Jakarta twice! And the island of Samosir in the middle there is a 647 km2 area. We pulled up at the side of Lake Toba which is rather high and many small shops selling instant foods and drinks. Take some photos and you know? Sukma and Doni craze here, posed like a model and joking like crazy. What a great time you guys!
The sun was sleepy and red violet sky was creeping in the afternoon when we stopped (again?) in a small shop just to eat instant noodle. (at Lake Toba we bought nothing) at Simalungun roadside district. Doni drank two cans of Beer. He said guns can be dizziness when drinking. (hahaha not even bother adding it?). Finally the sun disappeared completely replaced light of the
moon and we also continue the journey. Hopefully this time it did not stop by again.
I forget what time it was, outside was dark and there is rarely home during the trip. Bang Iwan woke us all and told me about to pass through the legendary tunnel. some street corner and the rise and fall, we got to the front tunnel. Slowly we passed the edge of a hill in the holes with a bomb and human power since the colonial era. Feels creepy moreover no one besides us who pass through this tunnel. With the car light, we looked out the window and see the structure of this tunnel and keep all the questions keep stay in heart until we arrived.
We arrived at the hotel (forget the name of the hotel) at nine p.m. Apparently more than eight hours we reached here because its frequency dropped. It was new hotel construction. Very new to even the smell of paint still felt throughout the hall toward our room. Simple but comfortable facilities, let alone our bodies are almost crushed shaken all the way here. Bang Abdi, a news contributor for our office who lives in Sibolga
greeted cheerfully. This is my first time, Sukma and Doni meet him. He's very funny. Young, small and thin with typical coastal brogue he entertained us all until finally I gave up and said goodbye to sleep first. The stone Tunnels
After wake up for breakfast, on the second day, Sukma, Doni and I straight to the stone tunnel in the Simaninggir village that we passed last night with misgivings. Naturally, just because a lot of folklore that circulated when the tunnel was a horror. Often there are strange happenings and if you want through the tunnels should be honking.
Up in front of the tunnel, we met Robert Tarihoran, an employee employed honorary office of Public Works to take care of the tunnel. This work is actually a legacy of Robert's father in law, Serep Simbolon (deceased) who first maintain this tunnel since 1993. Sukma leave a longer chat with Robert, when Doni and I to see interior of the tunnel. the height of about five meters. There are two tunnels. Which one is shorter than the other. But the latter is in addition to more long, slightly curved shape to the more difficult for a
lot of trucks with built-in to pass. Not infrequently until stuck and had to unload some luggage to be passed back.
According to many stories, two tunnels of hard rock with a hole is done with a chisel by the Tapanulli people on the Dutch colonial era and continue until finished first in the Japanese colonial era. According to the story here, many of the victims died of starvation and disease and the body exhaust directly into the ravine next to the tunnel. In 1991, local authorities decided to widen this road tunnels by using dynamite. Fishing Village and the Poncan Gadang Island
On the next day, Sukma, Doni and I up the small hill that has been given much of stone staircase! (Because of tired, we count the steps that vary in number). From above, we can see the beautiful city of Sibolga. There are tiles everywhere, cars and motorcycles drove here and there where they either want it. On the lips of the beach there are many fishing boats.
Before proceeding to the fishing village, we stopped briefly for lunch at a food stall. There was a menu that I never forget. Soft shell
crabs. I didn't know what kind of crab and how to cook it, certainly when it was my first time eating crab claws which are all softer than French fries. Really thought while you're eating french fries rather than eating crabs! I ate two hahahaha.
Arriving at the fishing village to see the community around the usual process the fish to be salted fish, we accidentally saw a procession of local custom. There was a young woman who was sitting on a stretcher with a full traditional dress. Residents and small children came to see and smiled. But what makes Sukma and I wonder it was a facial expression of the young woman who looked grim from the first we saw her until out of sight. When chatting with a local tailor, he said it is customary to move house. So the woman was already married and her family have to give that up to move to live with her husband, as if expelled.
We recommend that you do not need to look at the process of making salted fish. Because of my own, Sukma and Doni nausea while saw it. The fish in boiled salted hot stove
and should continue to be stirred and the occasional flooding of salt by the people who sweat all day. You must understand now what would happen if the salt less?
Half a day spent in the fishing village, we returned to Sibolga for a small boat used to carry tourists to the iPoncan Gadang island in front of us. Since late afternoon (around 4 o'clock p.m) just me, Sukma, Doni, Bang Iwan and Abdi a ride. Really it was just two hours less on the Poncan Gadang Island. When I got there, we only have one hour to take pictures because the sun has begun to sink in the western horizon while we still want to enjoy a sandy island beaches so white and beautiful. Though slightly annoyed, our trip was a week in Sibolga really fun. Met office colleagues, children and adults in the fishing village and even saw local customs that were not planned in advance.
Happy traveling everyone.
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