This may be quite a long post… apologies in advance…
After a few days in idyllic lake Maninjau it was time to move on to North Sumatra. Dreading a super long bus journey, we decided not to do it and instead hired the services of a man called muhammad ali (stung like a mosquito not like a bee) to take us on a one way tour all the way to the infamous lake Toba. Joined by our friend Britt, who at this point is now one of the family, we set of early to make the long journey north. It wasn’t long before we where making our first stops to observe local farmers making sugar from sugar cane in very traditional ways. We got to taste it as the juice and after it was boiled down into round cakes of palm sugar…we also got to say ‘Salamat Pagi’ to some farmers planting rice and separating the seed from its shell by stamping on it!
Making sugar the old fashioned way
Last time we posted we had just arrived on the island of Sumatra in the town of Bukkitinggi. Sumatra is generally a noisy and vibrant island and Bukkitinggi is no exception. The call to prayer from the numerous mosques echoes through the town several times a day and acts as a somewhat unwelcome alarm clock in the early hours, cars and mopeds honk horns constantly, the karaoke bars compete to see who has the loudest sound system until the wee hours and people constantly shout “hello mister” at you regardless of gender! But this love of music and friendliness, once you get used to it really very appealing.
Picture the scene..staring out the window of a small minibus (where seatbelts where only a distant dream) at terraced rice paddies wizzing by, taking blind herrapin corners on the wrong side of the road at speeds only found on motorways, and a driver who was bribing every policeman in site… and that was only one small section of our epic journey from singapore to sumatra without flying… this is a quick synopsis of the journey to Sumatra with our new friends Britt, Ruan and Judith