Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Big North Sumatera Adventure Part V


continued from here: The Big North Sumatera Adventure Part IV 

The Journey to Berastagi 

The lake ends here
We left Samosir Island right after breakfast the next day by hopping onto the ferry and sailing out of there, bidding farewell to the lake. However, we still had a long journey ahead of us, once again through the winding inland roads, and through some really magnificent scenery after a rather early lunch.



One thing about Lake Toba is that it's elongated (check out the map above), and even as you drive away from it, you keep getting glimpses of the lake from the long, winding road, until you reach a certain point, that is, where the lake ends.  The moment you drive out of that road, there's no looking back, and no more lake. I don't know about my sister, but I did feel a wee bit sad when we had to leave that final bit of the lake.

Near the end point of the lake, however, is the Sipiso-Piso waterfall, named as such due to the narrow stream of water that makes the waterfall (Sipiso-piso means knife) Over here, you can actually walk down to the bottom using a set of built in stairs which makes going down safe, but coming up seem like a massive workout in the gym! Nevertheless, the view is simply breathtaking that the 'workout' is worth it. We didn't go right to the bottom, however. 

Sipiso-piso waterfall. Cuts like a knife ;)
After the waterfall, we headed away towards Berastagi, stopping for a bit at this farmstead where my sister got her Farmville fix. Cough. 


Adventure in Berastagi

Berastagi is another town in the highlands, famed for flowers and fruits, not that we were interested in fruits or flowers for that matter. It's just that you could check out a couple of volcanoes, and it's basically part of the normal trip anyone would take when they are in North Sumatera. The plan was basically to check in the hotel, and then go out back again. 

Just our luck! We arrived at the hotel amidst police patrol cars and debris on the street. People were grouped around the streets looking weary, and from what we could see, something particularly serious had happened there earlier. Turns out, a political figure had been there earlier (campaign, speech, we're not really sure), and there was a 'small' riot which explains the police and the debris. The hotel wasn't spared either as the glass walls and doors which encased the lobby were cracked in places. I initially thought someone had thrown a small bomb at the place. (Note: I'm not complaining about this, though... I've never seen anything like it, and found it interesting. This whole vacation had been filled with firsts - first time holidaying together with the sister, first time losing the luggage, first time seeing destruction from a riot first hand) 

Seeing the situation, we had to make an impromptu change of plans by visiting the volcanoes and the surrounding area first while the hotel staff did the cleaning and ensured that the place was safe.

Note: I took the map off the internet (google images and forgot which site it was). Photos in the North Sumatera series are all from my camera, though

4 comments:

  1. Sipiso Piso sounds like it should mean Small Knife-Knife

    ReplyDelete
  2. A more accurate description, I guess - Small Knife-knife... I like that :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I was going to comment on how cumbersome Sipiso Piso sounded but I see nursemyra got there before me.

    ReplyDelete
  4. She did... literally translated, it does sound cumbersome indeed, but cute.

    ReplyDelete