Travel in Indonesia – always an adventure

lake-toba-ferryI am quickly finding out that travel in Indonesia is always a bit of an adventure. I decided to visit Lake Toba for the weekend to get out of Medan for a few days. The trip is about a 4 hour drive from Medan to Parapat, which you then travel by ferry to Samosir Island.

The road into Parapat is pretty good by Indonesian standards, although it can get narrow in places and there are a few tight bends. The road goes downhill as you head towards Parapat and there is a big drop down on the right side into the lake.

We came to an abrupt stop and it was soon obvious that there had been some kind of accident. We were by then about 6km out of Parapat and the driver said it would take a long time to clear the road, so it would be quicker to walk – six kilometers also didn’t sound too long and anything would be better than sitting in the bus.

It wasn’t long before we reached the site of the accident. A fairly large truck/lorry had gone off the side of the road and there were about six tow trucks trying to pull it back onto the road. I pulled out my camera and the police even gestured for me to go forward and get closer to the action. I took some great pictures, that I thought would make it onto the front page of the Jakarta Post, only to realize later that I left my memory card in my computer. Doh!

I was pretty surprised how they could finally pull the truck back onto the road. It was inches away from falling down about a 50 meter drop. The front cabin of the truck had been completely crushed and unless the driver jumped out early, I don’t think they would have stood a chance of survival.

We continued walking down the road and it got a bit hairy as cars and trucks started to pass through. Further down the road, the traffic was banked up again. There had been a mild land slide and one lane of the narrow road was covered in rocks and dirt.

I think I reached Parapat at around 3:00pm after being picked up from my place at 9:00am in the morning from Medan.

Leave a Comment