Day Four The Longest Day. Tuk Tuk to Tanjung Balai

Our wonderful short tour is coming to an end. What a lovely place Samosir Island. Although an island in a lake it has really a great island vibe to it and would be a great place to spend a couple of weeks to explore it. Well maybe next time we do a round island trip. I really enjoyed the laid back and village feel of the place.

Today our plan was to ride 141KM to Tanjung Balai starting from a ferry ride from Tuk Tuk back to the mainland. Looking at the profile and the distance the night before with the ride leaders, it became clear to us that it would be a crazy plan. The first 20 plus KM would be a uphill ride on a very busy road. Thankfully we decided in the end to hire a lorry and some MPV to bus us to the point where we turn off to a village road. That would save us from the heavy traffic and the climb as well. No matter the ride would be still almost 120KM.

The ride back to Tanjung Balai itself was rather unimpressive and at times boring. Road conditions was bad at some parts and heavy traffic also was common. As you imagine we took very little photos as we where focused on getting to Tanjung Balai.

The weather was the hottest of the trip too. We finally arrived Tanjung Balai around 6pm and was let by our host to our abode passing through some really incredible traffic full of motorbikes and rickshaws. Finally we arrived at 630pm and got our rooms and settled in. Tonight everybody was bonked and decided to order in and did not even bother to go for beers. That was really a first for this group.

Early start for a long multi mode journey today. 
Bikes loaded and we are off.
All system go ! 
Managed to catch this shot of a boat man against the morning sun
One of the many rest stops to hid from the heat.
Ahhh Another Warong stop 
Its Sunday, so everyone is dressed to their best including children,
A Pentecostal Church. Looks like out of a Western movie minus the coconut tree of course.
Another water stop
Narrow roads most of the way !
 We have arrived at the Pesthouse at Tangjung Balai
Dinner time. All too hungry to look at the camera.

Day Three Pangururan to Tuk Tuk

There was really not much to do at Pengururan except for their thermal baths nearby. We visited it yesterday and had a nice hot dip to relax our sore muscles. A combination of Durians before sleeping and a room without air condition and fan with noisy road side makes sleep a bit of challenge. I did get in a few winks. Today’s ride would be a massive climb up to 1650m or so. A net climb of around 800m. Tough if may be, I am hopeful that the scenery would make up for it. And it did. The ride was spectacular. We passed by many small villages and as many churches. Minangkabau influence houses with bull horn shaped roofs where everywhere. I am really very intrigued with the Batak culture and way of life there. There must be some interesting history in this region.

As we were riding along, there where also a lot of school children going to school and was fun to see them being so happy and cheerful upon seeing us passing them. What a joy.

The first part of the road was rather rough but eventually it got better and we had a nice downhill run back to Tuk Tuk and also back to the original resort we was at last. Nice. Tomorrow we will have our longest ride of the trip. A thumping 141km ! Oh well let’s enjoy the evening first. And boy did we have a great time partying with the hotel manager before calling it the night.

Spa Village near Pangururan
Time to soak our tired bodies with wonderful view of the hills
Downtown Pangururan
And we are off to the hills !
Time to chill and enjoy the view after a hard climb
The kids here are full of joy and not sure about posing for photos!
Another beautiful example of a Batak traditional house
Another Batak building
One of the many family tombs around the island
Coffee Time!

I am on top of the hill!
Bumped into an Artist while blasting downhill. Had to stop to admire his beautiful work!
A beauty. The waterfall I mean.
Fantastic Cafe at the peak !
Our first class seating.
Hello KC!
Time for a coffee and Indo Mee Sup
Back to Tuk Tuk

Day Two : Tuk Tuk to Pangururan

Finally some Saddle time. We took off for our first ride of the tour. We left after a quick breakfast. Weather was perfect with some cloud. It will be an easy 40KM ride to Pangururan. Along the way it was interesting to note that there are lots of churches and huge elaborate tombs. We also passed by very impressive house with very high sails like roof and really tiny doors. I wondered if these are the Minangkabau style houses. A really great day out riding and seeing the locality and appreciating the culture and the way of life here. It seems so familiar and yet so different. I am beginning to love this place.

An early start passing through quaint villages
Smooth roads and minimal traffic.
Great views of the mountains and the mighty crater Lake Toba.
Cloudy but cool weather makes riding enjoyable


The mighty Lake Toba
We passed by many of such houses. Very impressive and different.
Another fine example of a Batak house

Say hello to my gang
The Batak people love their meat. B1 is dog meat ! B2 is pork.
More Batak houses.
The huge Lake has many nice picnic beaches to chill.
Just chilling and taking a break from riding
Batak women folk selling mini mangoes.

Day One Medan to Samosir Island, Lake Toba

Great to be back on the road with my mates and my trusty bike. This time it’s a five day trip around Medan, Lake Toba and surroundings. Today we took an early flight to Kuala Namu, Medan and later bus and ferry to our resort in Samosir Island. The island seems like a nice little place much like a smaller version of Bali but without the Hindu influence. After arriving the resort we went for a quick lunch before unboxing and fixing up our bike. The rest of the day we sat around chit chatting and eating and drinking. This is what cycle touring is about. Tomorrow we will push off for a short 40KM ride.

All packed and ready for Medan.
Baggage arrived safely and we are waiting to head off to Samosir Island. Waiting for the prearranged transport company.
What a wonderful welcome by our logistic provider. Horas!
Orderly loading of our bike boxes.
Our Ferry to Samosir Island
The colourful ferry cockpit
All very relaxed and looking forward to the ride the next day.
Pool side view into the lake.
My wonderful balcony with great views of the lake.
Resort view from the balcony.
Drink first ride later.