Exploring Lake Toba, Sumatra.

Exploring Lake Toba, Sumatra.

The place I stayed in Lake Toba was called- Liberta guesthouse run by a very nice man- Mr Moon. I took a room which was 50,000 (soo cheap compared to what I had been paying!) it was basic with a cold shower and a pretty hard bed but it was fine for me.

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The 2 guys I had ‘followed’ from the boat were from Finland and I went down to the lake as the sun was going down with them got speaking to some others who we’re staying there. I definitely needed a few beers and it was Saturday night and although most of the time weekends in South East Asia that means nothing as there’s something going on every night, here it did mean that a bar had some live music on so first we went to a guesthouse next to ours which had Batak dancing (around lake toba Batak is the local culture and they are called Batak people) I had read that the Batak people love singing and dancing and playing music and even if they weren’t that good they still had a good time doing it.

Next we went to ‘Roys pub’ where Roys son had a band and he singing the usual South East Asia tunes.. A bit of Bob Marley, the Beatles and a few power ballads and they took requests for the songs they knew! I still love seeing an Asian guy singing the Beatles getting a few lyrics wrong here and there, it’s just so bizarre! Anyway it turned out to be a fairly decent night with a bit of dancing at the end once i felt I’d had enough bintang beers!
The next day I mostly slept. I was so tired and felt bad for missing practically the whole day but I had to catch up with some sleep!
The following day I went for a walk. The island is about the size of Singapore so there’s no way you can walk all the way around so I just walked for a few hours and then headed back, got some lunch and then chilled at the guesthouse and chatted with some people. The weather each morning was really nice and sunny but by about 2pm the clouds would come over and it would rain most of the afternoon and evening but we had enough random conversation from a range of countries to keep us going through this time.

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That night I did not feel good! I was going through being really cold or really hot, had a terrible headache and then in the morning a bad stomach. I couldn’t pin point the reason because I hadn’t eaten anything overly strange but later i realised it could of been the water as they made an effort to get people to refill their water bottles rather than buy a new one every time which I was really up for as i drink nearly 2 large bottles a day and always think how much waste that creates and recycling isn’t a big thing but after speaking to some other people we think they just boil the tap water and use that which our western tummies still may not like!

 

The staff were really great though and always asked how I was feeling. There were 2 young boys about 10 years old who we’re bringing our food and taking the orders each day and I did think at first that it was a little bad because surely they don’t get paid but they were always so happy and friendly and it turns out they were sons of Mr Moons other employees and he pays for them to go to school and then they work in the evening. Not the usual situation we’re used to in the west and it makes you realise again how lucky we are that we can go to school and not have to worry about working.

Being ill put a bit of a downer on my stay at Lake Toba and the weather meant you couldn’t do much in the afternoon but I would definitely recommend it and like to go back there in the high season as the lake is great for activities and it really is a beautiful place which so much history and culture.
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