Tuesday, April 7Our two day boat ride was over, but to get from Pekanbaru to Bukittingi, we (myself, Tim, and ten other travelers) hired a small van. Far too much money changed hands and the twelve of us were quite crushed in the tiny van, but it was much more flexible and faster than taking the bus. We stopped a number of times to snap photos or eat. All it took was a cry of Berhenti! and the driver would stop. We cruised all day through lush rain forests and rich fields, finally arriving in Bukittingi. Sunburned and tired after the long ride and the two day journey up the river, we all relaxed with a beer in a local bar for the first time since leaving Tanjun Penang three days earlier.
Things to do in Bukittingi:
|In fact, it was the second trek that
remains one of the trip’s finest memories. Tim and I took a bus ride several
miles out of town, then hiked for about 4 hours on a series of dirt roads
that intersected a number of small villages. It was still Ramadan, so many
people were dressed up. Towards the end we passed a cow auction. During
the entire trek, small children constantly cried out 'Hallo mister' or
'Foto.' We indulged a few with some of the photos here.
I've said this other places, but I'll say it here too. The right travel guide can really make a difference. I used an old copy of Lonely Planet's South-East Asia on a Shoestring, and it was quite good for most things. But it was Moon Publications Indonesia Guide that really shined in Indonesia. It has quite a lot of cultural information and often would mention side trips or sights that were not in the other guides, such as the trek we took here.
Continue on to the Island of Nias
Copyright 1997 by Jason Thomas James. All rights reserved.