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Tamarra’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 26 Sep 2006

Location: Berastagi, Indonesia

MapIt always amazes me how full a day can be. To start my overnight executive bus with big seats, that recline a lot and come with blanket and snack was okay. I didn't sleep a lot. Even with the gravol. We got to Berastagi at 9am after changing buses in Medan. Berastagi is up in the mountains. Quite an extreme weather change for us. The thing that makes Berastagi great is the two volcanos. Tomorrow I will be hiking up one. We were too tired to atempt it today. Yesterday we went on a short one hour hike up a mountain to watch the sunset. The sunset behind the volcano was great but the 8 students we met at the top was the best part for me. A few of them spoke a decent amount of english and we had lively funny conversation. I have to say that the people in Sumatra have been incredible. I mean really amazing. They are helpful and honest. I have never been asked for money, or pointed in the wrong direction because someone was afriad to tell me they didn't know (which happens in most Asian countries!). The hositality is incredible! I also feel very safe!

Today, we decided to go an hour by bus to see a watefall. The perfect view was one km down a hill. Which turned out to be 606 steps in both directions. This was fun! But the view was well worth the steps! There is this huge lake, Lake Toba that I am heading to next it turns out that I was standing on one side of it today. The place I am heading is 4hours from there. It is the biggest lake in Indonesia. I will give you the specs when I have my Lonely Planet near by. Either way, giant waterfall on one side, surrounded by trees, cliff, and distant mountains, and this huge lake on the other side. After climbing the stairs we met this guy (Harry) a betchuk drive (motorcyle with a side car). He took us to a nearby village with a 500 year old traditional house. Eigth familes live inside. It was quite incredible. Then he took us to a funeral and this was totally amazing. It was a 97 year old women and there was this huge party, cermony, dancing, band, music, rice throwing. And I got dragged right in. I was blessed and had my head touched and danced with the rest of them. I even saw the body! It was quite the experience. You never know where your day is going to go. And sometimes you just need to trust the locals. Then he took us to his village and we met the very young chief he showed us around. They have a huge farm, pigs, chicken, geese. They were having dog for dinner, ugh, porr rover!. He offered for us to stay for the night. We have decided to go back in a day or so after we have climbed the volcano. This is also one of the advantages of having a travel buddy! I love that I am going to get off the beaten track a bit. Okay, that's all for now. Time for dinner. Salamat Melan! (Good night!)