Friday, February 16
Happy New Year!
The drive to Lake Toba from Bukit Lawang was made even more difficult by the volume of traffic due to the holiday. It’s less than 300 km and we made 3 stops, none of which were very long but the drive took 11 hours. Then there’s a 45 minute (very slow) ferry to Samosir Island that nicely dropped us off right at Tabo cottages, our home for the next 3 nights. The walk through the grounds past the pool and through the dining room made us feel like we’re in an all inclusive resort that could be anywhere. Not exactly what we signed up for but we’ll take it. It’s more luxury than we’re used to, for sure!
Annette is an interesting German lady who fell in love with Lake Toba 20 years ago, met and married her husband and raised their three kids while operating Toba Cottages. She took us on a “discover Toba” tour and even learned some new things herself. While Annette got some food, we checked out the market then she drove us up the mountain where we picked up some young men and continued on. The paved road ended. The “road” she took from them required 4 wheel drive. We had lunch with some village (Tomok) men who accepted the seedlings Annette had brought them. There was a dragon fruit, some kind of pumpkin and other fruit trees to help them get started diversifying their farming.
On the way back down the hill we stopped a couple of times to walk into the jungle and see what we could find. In one area were macadamia nut trees Annette didn’t know existed. Later we had tea with a friend of hers who lives in a genuine Batak house. She asked me if I was a man or a lady. Interesting. Nobody’s ever asked me that before. Upon leaving she told me that soon I would look like a Batak woman. Apparently I’m getting brown.
Back at the hotel we quickly changed and went for a refreshing swim in the lake. Another great day 😀
The next couple of days we spent lounging by the pool at Tabo Cottages, swimming in the lake, wandering about town and just enjoying the peaceful surroundings on Samosir Island, Lake Toba. I finally figured out that Batak is the word for tuk tuk and the name of the village is Tuk Tuk, for the Batak people of the island You can walk the Ring road in an hour and see most of the village of Tuk Tuk.