Day 136 – Danau Toba

Having wifi for a night helped a lot with uploading our many, many pictures. So we didn’t mind too much that we had to go out and look for food. Despite our previous experience in Indonesia, many of the food stalls were actually open at 6.45am. With lontong and nasi gurih we had the typical cooked meal for breakfast, something I can now eat but will probably never really appreciate.

Back at our hotel, we got another round of coffee and tea with a plate full of sweet things…I am unsure why they told us that breakfast wasn’t included.

Rocinante had made it through the night in one piece. It was one of these rare occasion when we had to park her just off the street rather than in a private yard or behind a gate. When we had come back from dinner last night, two of the hotel staff had tried to move her which gave us both nearly a heart attack. I was quite worried about the bike throughout the evening.

And off we went. Our goal was to make it to Danau Toba today and have a rest day there, given that we have ridden for 11 days straight now and covered about half of Java and 2000km in Sumatra. This far north, we are now in the region of the Christian Batak people. All of a sudden, Christianity and Christmas are back with churches, roadside Christmas trees and the “Selamat Hari Natal & Tahun Baru”.

If you are now wondering how we can make so many kilometres in Sumatra and still have road to go: Sumatra is the sixth largest island in the world.  If you look at a globe, we are now as far away from Wellington as we are from Frankfurt.

Flo's boots after a bit with a landslide

Flo’s boots after a bit with a landslide

Roadwise, we are back on the “main road” which is still mostly mud these days (ok, the occasional but very bad muddy bit). Flo was happy that we still have the Heidenau tyres on as they give us good grip on the most grimy surfaces. Landslides occur often in the rain so today we actually gave some money to the workers clearing the way because if they hadn’t, we would have been stuck.

After lunch, it got cooler and we realized that we were at 1800m above sea level with a nice wind that reminded us of NZ. It didn’t take long and we started to have views down from the high plateau towards Lake Toba and the gigantic island in its middle, about the size of Singapore. The “island” had originally been a peninsula but is now separated from the mainland by a channel with a very short bridge over it.

Looking down on Danau Toba and the island of Samosir

Looking down on Danau Toba and the island of Samosir

Still having to go 50km around the island to its other side, we were getting mighty tired and looking forward to our break from the bike. In the village of Tuk Tuk, there are many guest houses and we had picked one to check out. When we finally arrived and it looked decent, we booked it for two nights and collapsed…for about five minutes. Then chores dawned on us. We organized some laundry as 11 days is stretching our cloths-limit quite a bit. I had ice cream while Flo (“tall and handsome”, remember?) was asked to help carry a generator which looked pretty heavy.

The only other thing we managed today: Have coffee, black tea with real milk and German cake. Yes, there is a German-owned guest house (outside of our price range) with an attached bakery so we got Streuselkuchen and lemon cake. It was sooooooooooooo good! It got even better when the residing cats decided that I was allowed to pat them. 🙂