I went to three small towns/villages on the island of Sumatra on my way back from Cambodia. I stayed one night in Kuala Lumpur on my way there. Since I'd been to KL before, and the bus ride to town is at least two hours, I didn't bother. Instead I splurged and got a room in a three star hotel. It was the cheapest one available within a half hour and cost more than any previous nine days of lodging combined. It was wonderful to have a room all to myself and a hot shower with some water pressure.
|Beach near Padang. Unfortunately it was only a fifteen minute stop to break up three hours on the motorbike.|
Day two was a long motorbike ride to Lake Meninjau. I saw the beach above on the way there. Lake Meninjau is in a volcanic crater caused when the mountain blew eons ago. It must have been a huge explosion because the lake is large. It's a quiet area with the population spread around the lakes edge and up the steep hill of the crater wall on rice plantations. We arrived late in the day, had a walk around and dinner at Jhoni's father-in-laws. The next day was a hike up to almost the rim of the crater. Here are photos from the trek up.
|First view of the lake. My trek would take my up the far side.|
|Rice plantations near the lake.|
|View of the lake from my bungalow|
|View most of the way up to the ridge.|
|Only stop to stretch my legs was five minutes here.|
|These were at a park and scavenged the trash for food.|
Another two or three hours on the motorbike with a stop to pick up mangosteen from his niece (I felt like I was financing a family tour for him by this point) and we were back at his house. We took the two younger kids to the beach and had a laugh there. Back at the house Jhoni and his wife were quite content to let the kids play/pester me until we had dinner. I stuck out another hour of play after and then escaped to my room. I was very itchy and totally exhausted. I would have been asleep instantly except for the ever-lovin bites!!!
|Deas and the mountain.|
|This doesn't even give you a true impression of how bad it was.|