I couldn’t possibly have dreamt of a better way to spend my birthday this year… a surprise trip was the best birthday present ever and the beginning of the most incredible two weeks spent travelling around North Sumatra.
After more than 4 hours of travel from Medan, squished in the back of the car with luggage and accompanied by three women travelling with small children, we finally arrived at the small town of Parapat on the edge of Lake Toba. The place was full of hustle and bustle from the markets selling food and clothing, so we snacked on more rice and eggs while waiting for the ferry to take us to Tuk Tuk on Samosir Island. I am not a fan of travelling by ferry as I usually get sea sick, but the view was an amazing distraction, as well as the smiling faces of those also heading to the island for some serious relaxation.
Our accommodation was amazing with views from our room overlooking the lake and a pier at the end of the garden so we could just sit and watch as the boats passed by with the incredible backdrop of lush green mountains. Lake Toba is a beautiful volcanic lake covering an area of 1,707 sq km with the island of Samosir in its center. It was formed by a gigantic volcanic eruption some 70,000 years ago and it is probably the largest resurgent caldera on Earth.
Waking up to watch the sunrise was the best way to start my birthday and the beginning of many unexpected amazing events that unfolded along our journey.
A huge thank you to Putra for making my birthday extra special and allowing me to join him as he made a documentary about Batak culture in North Sumatra. All along the way of our journey people warned us about the ‘magic’ that happens in North Sumatra.. the magic I saw was in the stunning landscapes, smiling friendly faces, and the events I feel blessed to have been able to photograph along the way..