Exactly at 8 am I parted from the Ecolodge in Bukit Lawang to Samosir island. My driver warned me we ought to be on time in order to be able to catch the car ferry to cross Lake Toba to the island as the ferry was scheduled hourly. Google shows the route as follows, with estimated travel time of circa 6 hours. In reality the trip took 8,5 hours including 1 hour lunch stop in Berastagi. This long travel time was caused due to bad road condition of some parts of the route.
Despite the length of the trip, it was more than worth it. We made a quick stop at the impressive Sipiso-piso waterfall. At 120 meter height, this plunge waterfall is the biggest in the country. Sipiso-piso is derived from the word piso or pisau which means a knife. The waterfall represents a knife cutting the valley with its strong current. In the background Sinabung volcano stands proudly. 2 days after we left the region, this volcano erupted.
From there the trip continued to Tigaras harbour. At the end of the afternoon we reached the harbour. We were on time to catch the ferry.
The crossing lasted approximately 30 minutes. Arriving in Simanindo harbour it was still about 45 – 50 minutes ride to get to the hotel in Tuk Tuk.
Map is courtesy of Toba Explorer Express
Tuk Tuk is the center of tourism in the island with various resorts, cafes and restaurants. Some looked fairly tired and old but the island beholds its charms. Tuk Tuk main street was quiet when I was there, perhaps it was low season.
The climate on Samosir island was remarkably pleasant. I had no need to switch on the air conditioning in my room at night. In the morning it was so serene to look at the lake and the surrounding. The environment is so green. Lake Toba is the largest volcanic lake in the world. After an eruption of the super volcano 75.000 years ago Lake Toba and Samosir island emerged.
The path at my hotel.
Leaving the island my family and I took the passenger ferry to Tigaraja harbour in Parapat. My driver went early in the morning with car ferry from Tomok harbour to Ajibata harbour. He would await us at Parapat. Every hotel/cottage at Tuk Tuk has a pier where their guests are able to disembark/embark the passenger ferry.
This is how the hotel pier looks like.
The ferry stops at almost every hotel to let passengers get in or get off the boat. To reserve a seat, just let the hotel receptionist call the captain. He will pick you up at the pier on time.
Next post is about exploring the Batak culture on Samosir island. Stay tuned.