Exeter Island Hoppers Career Break 2005 travel blog

Hotel Zantia, Medan. Typical basic room, but this one was inside the...

The en-suite comes complete with a VERY LARGE cockroach that took 2...

Early Morning Call from the Mosque.


Having now arrived in Sumatra after the delay in Pinang the ferry wasn't all plain sailing though as we had to return to port after half hour at sea back to Customs as a Malay had to report to customs so we had to leave him on shore and start our journey again. Arrived in Medan, Sumatra and the visa entry all went very smoothly, handed over our $25 each and were treated like diplomats being rushed through the queues only to discover our packs were on the dockside not taken to the rotating luggage belt as in an airport. Had to take a 45mins minibus ride into Medan from the docks, travelling with 3 other Europeans ( 2 Dutch girls, 1 Southampton chap,Mike ) The girls were to leave us in Medan to travel onward to Orang-u-Tang orphanage but from what we had heard from other travellers it may be a place we shall miss out, as very much a tourist trap and you don,t actually see them in the wild only on a feeding platform for 1 hour and it appears as if there will be bus loads also on the platform !! It will also take 3 days out of our visit to the island with an overnight stay in or near the jungle. We had 1 night in Medan for 2pounds with breakfast, be it only a roll and coffee but for 2quid what do you expect? We bought our bus ticket to Danau Toba and the bus left at 9.00am but as we hadn't realised the clocks go back in Sumatra we awoke at 6.15 not realising it was only 5.15 so spent an hour walking around the block before we left. The bus only had 4 of us on it at the start but with the help of an Indonesian boy "tout" leaning from the window whistling and shouting our destination to passers by and waiting passengers for the local buses he had swelled the numbers to full capacity and more !! Very interesting assortment of people and made the journey far more interesting for 4hours. Once we reached the port of Parapat we had an arranged meeting by Hotel touts ( hasten to add the bus driver had heard that we had no accomodation and found these local guides ) It was to our advantage as the accomodation is absolutely beautiful. We boarded the ferry to take us across Lake Toba to the island of Samosir. This is an island the size of Singapore in the middle of this volanic crater with rich green hillsides towering high above us as we left the portside. For 2pounds the ferry delivers you to your accomodation docking station, you get off, view the room and if you like it, check in. You can't help NOT to like it with lakeside views and the most peaceful, idylic location in the middle of a lake, and all for 4pounds a night with hot water!!! Photos to follow when I can find a CD burner and have sufficient to leave you all a few of this recommended place to chill out. Will over the next few days have time to discover more of what this island has to offer, hot springs, waterfalls etc.

So till our next journal we shall be chilling with a few Bintangs ( local beer ) and not the other wildlife experienced in Penang !!!!

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