Day 138 – A little bit of nothing

We overslept due to staying up late, talking to Yana and Robin. So instead of catching the ferry at 6am, we got up and had breakfast at 8am. Yummy honey bread rolls with tea/coffee which is not the usual thing you get.

Leaving the lake shore not by ferry but by land...

Leaving the lake shore not by ferry but by land…

After breakfast, we had to deal with a dilemma: The next ferry leaves at 10am or we can drive 50km more and skip the transport across water altogether. Keen on getting back on the road after our rest day, we decided on the latter option. It wasn’t even that frustrating to retrace our steps as it usually is. Going back up into the mountains, we had to deal with a new phenomenon: Bad sight due to low hanging clouds. The resulting mist led to a couple of eerie but beautiful shots of the road.

Neither was it fun to ride on

Neither was it fun to ride on

Then we continued up the western side of the lake to cross over to the other side in the north. This road, leading from the western side of the lake to the eastern side, was the worst road we had been on for a long time. Maybe we have just gone full circle as this road rivalled the ones in Timor-Leste. Every dip, every intersection and every crest was simply gone, replaced by a mud hole full of stones, mud puddles and deep, deep truck ruts. Flo even dropped the bike once, luckily not into a mud puddle so at least we were spared the pig-like look.

One of the hallmark pictures of Sumatra

One of the hallmark pictures of Sumatra

Flo and I were both ready to kiss tarmac again when the “road” ended after 15km and we were back on the proper stuff. The next kilometres flew by until it started to rain. More than a drizzle, not quite a tropical torrent, we stopped at a roadside warung to have a coffee and see if the rain passes or if we have to put on rain gear. The warung food was rather unspectacular (Pop Mie with an egg was on offer) but the coffee and tea were good, hot and sweet. The lady also sold real oreo cookies which we finished in one go to our hot beverage. The best thing about this warung though was that it had a row of windows on the other side, looking out over a valley covered in rain clouds. It looked very much like a picture that might pop into your head if you think “Sumatra”.

Flo got first class treatment at the barber's

Flo got first class treatment at the barber’s

After the break, the rain had stopped. However, with the slow going and the rain break, we were now far behind our planned 300km for today. We kept going for as long as we could but there was no way to make up for the “lost” time. So we changed the plan rather than force it. The city of Medan was the new goal for the night and we found a very efficient, clean but cheap hotel which caters to airport passengers.

On our usual evening stroll looking for food, we came across a Barber shop. It was the first one that we have seen in Indonesia and Flo’s beard badly needed some shape so we went in. It was quite the luxurious treatment: A haircut and trim for the beard and then a hot towel face massage. I started getting a bit jealous of the “feel good” treatment Flo got…