Travel Diary: World’s Largest Volcanic Lake, Lake Toba

SHIT THAT’S A HUGE LAKE

Our last stop on the Sumatra leg of our travels led us to Lake Toba, a lake created by a volcanic eruption 70,000 years ago covering over 1000 sq km with an island in the center – pulau Samosir.

The island still maintains its Batak heritage in music, clothing and their housing which are still to this day, built with the traditional upside-down ship shaped roofs. We opted to stay at Liberta Homestay a place with raving reviews and both options of either staying in a traditional wooden Batak house with its tiny doors or a more modern lake facing cottage. We chose the cottage, purely because it had a hot shower even though the Batak  houses tempted us with its character and traditional charm.

We spent practically all of our time at the guest house, Mr Moon the owner was very hospitable and looked after us well during our stay, on one of he evenings we asked if we could have log fire which he duly noted and arranged for us the same evening. The beautiful log and bamboo fire kept us nice and toasty through the fine rain that fell during the night, we sat around the fire with a few other guests while the workers sang us traditional Batak songs with their acoustic guitars.

WATERFALLS, FOREST & HOT SPRINGS

On the second day we went to explore the island on foot in search of the waterfall we could see in the hills, the waterfall that looks as though it is enveloped in a heart shaped hill.  We walked for what felt like hours through the village, past villagers and village children, mostly on an incline and listening out for and following the sound of gushing water. After a while, we decided to follow a huge white pipe leading up towards the hills as we figured this would lead to a water source..we wasn’t wrong and eventually we made it to the huge and incredible mouth of the waterfall. It  was so big that we couldn’t see exactly where it started, but we climbed up as far as we could and had a dip in the highest pool.

On the final day we rented bikes and headed towards the top of the island, crossed the bridge into Pangururan to find the hot springs and to climb up to the top of the sulfurous rocky cliff side to see the view of Samosir. It was probably a bad idea and very dangerous climbing up the rocks, especially in our flip flops, at points the rocks crumbled beneath us and we would tumble a meter or so down until we could grab onto a solid big rock, but the view from up there was pretty breathtaking. Plus we were of course able to reward ourselves with a long dip in the hot spring pools after slowly and carefully edging back down, the relaxing benefits of the springs were definitely reaped whilst watching a beautifully pink sunset.

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