Bukittinggi to Padang

Trip Start Sep 24, 2008
Trip End Oct 07, 2008

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Friday, October 3, 2008

After two days in Bukittingi around the
markets and watching the street life, our driver picked us up yesterday morning
at our hotel and we departed on a scenic drive from the Highlands to Padang.

Our first encounter was the Ngarai Canyon.
It looks like a popular picnic spot All through the hills are Japanese tunnels -
you can visit, but we were heading towards Lake Maninjau and only at the start
of our journey. We stopped for a couple of photos and then drove on further up into
the mountains and onto a plateau and Koto Gadang. This is a really pretty
village - well kept and quite traditional. Brett took some great photos of the
place and surrounds - a couple of traditional houses and meeting halls as well
as the rice fields. There's always an animal or two and this time we came
across some ducks on the side of the road. It's a very photogenic place. We
stopped of at a silversmith shop, which had some lovely traditional filigree work
earrings and rings as well as some more modern necklaces etc. We made a couple
of purchases - not complete bargains unfortunately - I'm terrible at it!

Back in the car and the drive became very
beautiful and the traffic not to appalling as we headed down to the lake. We
stopped for a photo op at the top of 44 hairpin bends. Our driver negotiated
them with ease, although you would have to worry about the trucks that had 20

The Lake is large and was very busy with
picnickers, site see-ers and other traffic as we are still on Hari Raya
holidays. The local colour was out and about with groups of boys at the side of
the road drumming at the passing traffic. Each group had a 'mascot', someone
dressed as a monkey and rattled a tin at the cars passing by - I uses it kept
them busy for the day. We stopped at a Lake side padang restaurant for a cool

We then took the coast road - the weather
was good, so we settled in for the next three hours to Padang arriving in the

Our original hotel turned out to a back
packer place for Mentawi surfers so we went onto the Bumiminang Hotel for the

We had an evening walk and an early night
for our flight back to Jakarta today.

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