Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Rough Road to Lake Toba and its Rewards

The woman vendor at the pier kept repeating one word to me. "Habis," she was saying. Both her palms faced upwards. Even with my bare-bones Bahasa Indonesia, I felt like I should have understood her right then and there. Maybe I was just in denial of what that word might mean for me.

I was standing in front of her, carrying all my bags, tired from riding a crowded public provincial bus practically the entire day. I was asking her about the ferry to Tuk Tuk, the small town on Samosir Island where I was staying the next few nights, including that night, in fact. It was getting dark and I was starting to worry I would get there very late.

It was not until she pointed to the sole ferry in the pier and said, "Ferry to Tomok. Tomok go to Tuk Tuk," when I finally understood. There were no more ferries to Tuk Tuk that day. I would have to travel to Tomok, an adjacent town, and from Tomok, travel overland (hopefully, not on foot) to Tuk Tuk.

Being a popular tourist destination in this part of Indonesia, I never realized it would be this challenging traveling to Lake Toba.

Lake Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia
The expansive and volcanic Lake Toba in North Sumatra, Indonesia