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    Tropical Storm Tour: Sumatra Part 6

    Sunday, August 9, 2015
    Danau Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia

    Traditional Batak houses in Tuk Tuk, Danau Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia.
    Traditional Batak houses in Tuk Tuk, Danau Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia.

    Gado gado at Alyssa Cafe in Tuk Tuk, Danau Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia.
    Gado gado at Alyssa Cafe in Tuk Tuk, Danau Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia.

    A view of the lake from Romlan Guesthouse in Tuk Tuk, Danau Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia.
    A view of the lake from Romlan Guesthouse in Tuk Tuk, Danau Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia.

    Believe it or not, I got woke up around 6:30 am by people raising a ruckus down in the lake: screaming, yelling, laughing, splashing around and carrying on. The shrieks were even louder when the rowdies got pulled behind a speed boat in a rocket-shaped float that held no less than six people. A few hours later, I asked Tina down at the front desk if it was this loud every day. She said no, usually just on the weekends, when a lot of Indonesian tourists visit the lake on a weekend get away.

    A disheveled shack in Tuk Tuk, Danau Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia.
    A disheveled shack in Tuk Tuk, Danau Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia.

    Hotel Sumber Pulo Mas in Tuk Tuk, Danau Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia.
    Hotel Sumber Pulo Mas in Tuk Tuk, Danau Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia.

    A small shop in Tuk Tuk, Danau Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia.
    A small shop in Tuk Tuk, Danau Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia.

    In the early afternoon, I rented a bicycle for 30,000 rupiah ($2.20) and set out to explore the peninsula of Tuk Tuk. As the whole circumference of Tuk Tuk is only about three miles, I figured out I could make two laps around it before sundown. I shot plenty of photos and video of traditional Batak houses–and guesthouses built to look like them–with the really steep, pointy roofs, as well as quaint village scenes, distressed walls, etc. Riding the bike was fun and quite a challenge, as the road was mostly crumbling away and full of potholes and uneven surfaces. Luckily, the bike I rented was one of those street / trail hybrids.

    Lekjon Cottage in Tuk Tuk, Danau Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia.
    Lekjon Cottage in Tuk Tuk, Danau Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia.

    A small shop in Tuk Tuk, Danau Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia.
    A small shop in Tuk Tuk, Danau Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia.

    A view of the lake from Romlan Guesthouse in Tuk Tuk, Danau Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia.
    A view of the lake from Romlan Guesthouse in Tuk Tuk, Danau Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia.

    About a third of the way around Tuk Tuk, I stopped by Jenny’s Restaurant, as I read it was one of the best, and ordered gado gado. After a half hour, they still hadn’t started making it because there was only one cook and a table of people who arrived before me who still hadn’t been served. So, I told them I wanted to cancel my order because I had to continue on my ride around Tuk Tuk. At least the cook was nice about it. I told him I’d stop by again later. I ended up randomly choosing another place that was empty called Alyssa Cafe for a plate of gado gado. The only problem was when I was chewing one of my last bites, I pulled a long, black hair out of my mouth. Yuck!

    Horas Restaurant in Tuk Tuk, Danau Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia.
    Horas Restaurant in Tuk Tuk, Danau Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia.

    Traditional Batak houses in Tuk Tuk, Danau Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia.
    Traditional Batak houses in Tuk Tuk, Danau Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia.

    A view of the lake from Romlan Guesthouse in Tuk Tuk, Danau Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia.
    A view of the lake from Romlan Guesthouse in Tuk Tuk, Danau Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia.

    Next, I stopped at an art gallery that was displaying some pretty nice paintings–some abstract and some of Indonesian villagers. I had my eye on a painting of a Balinese Legong dancer, but it was way too big. I asked if they had a smaller version of it, but they said no. I could tell it was based on a photo–probably from a postcard or magazine. After making another lap around Tuk Tuk on the bicycle, I returned it and headed over to Rumba for a yummy cheese pizza with pineapple. After hanging out in my room for a while, I decided to end the night with a walk, as the temperature felt nice and mild outside. I ended up walking by Jenny’s Cafe again, but it was completely slammed; every table was full. I wonder why Jenny’s is so popular? A lot of the other cafes I saw were either empty or only had a table or two with people sitting at them.

    A small shop in Tuk Tuk, Danau Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia.
    A small shop in Tuk Tuk, Danau Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia.

    Small shops in Tuk Tuk, Danau Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia.
    Small shops in Tuk Tuk, Danau Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia.

    A traditional Batak house in Tuk Tuk, Danau Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia.
    A traditional Batak house in Tuk Tuk, Danau Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia.

    Back at the Romlan Guesthouse, I finished up the night with another plate of gado gado that was so delicious, I told Tina to give my compliments to the chef. Unfortunately, I followed up that with desert in the form of an E. coli-tainted pancake that ended up making me sick. An hour or two later, I was puking my guts out and squirting enough diarrhea to fill up a whole vat. I had no idea then about the hell I was going to pay just for eating a dumb pancake.

    Words and photos ©2015 Arcane Candy.

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