Ring of Fire

Trip Start Apr 29, 2006
Trip End Apr 29, 2007

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Flag of Indonesia  ,
Wednesday, August 30, 2006

No more costly mistakes - time for the local bus!! Great fun, the sounds of VERY loud Indonesian pop/dance music!! Sat at the back and was catapulted in to the air on a couple of occasions! Soon we were held in place by the cargo of durians, mattresses and a collection of rice baskets!!

Then we changed to a Bemo (minibus) After a 30 minute wait for them to cram as many people in as humanly possible we set off. Crikey it hurt my knees!! The air was thick with smoke from all the fellas puffing away - How I miss the Malaysian travel days... Used to be like a day of rest in our air con bus with reclining seats and ample legroom - All a distant memory!!

As for Berestagi, 1st impressions were that we shouldn't have bothered!! Its a small town up in the Karo Highlands where the Batak people live. Few people speak English, but a 16 year old girl did ask for our E-Mail address.. After the stories we've been told we are a bit wary of Indonesians, but we've had no hassle thus far..... Found a Muslim cafe where we had a nice big meal which actually had meat in it!! (1st time in Indonesia)

Wisma Sibayak is cheap at 1.20GBP each, but our friend Mr Squat has returned with his (not so) lovely wife Mandii. Vegetarian diet meant that we gained a lot of practice at this noble art!!!

Next morning we awoke to the sound of raindrops, not good as we intended to climb Gunung Sibayak (a volcano) today. At 10 we decided to go for it looking like a couple of pac-a-mac pratts!! Was fairly easy climb, paved most of the way and only took about 2.5 hours to get to crater. Unfortunately due to weather the views werent great, but it was cool to feel the heat of the volcano coming through the rocks. Was mighty glad there weren't any eruptions though - this place has been lucky, not affected by the Tsunami which devastated the north of Sumatera - but still suffers from a lack of tourists. Power cut at 7pm meant an early night that evening...
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