Saturday 29th August 2009
We arrived in Berastagi at around 18.30pm and again we were dropped randomly at the side of the road so after getting oriented and asking a shop keeper we found the right Opelet (Like a mini bus) to get us to the guesthouse the Multinational as recommended by the people we had met in Bukit Lawang. After we had checked in and put 3 jumpers on (It was bloody freezing we must stop going to these cold places!!) we went up to the restaurant to get some dinner as we haven't eaten since breakfast and we were both starving. I had a beef potato curry and Suzie had tomato soup which were both really good after we had eaten we were both really tired from traveling so we got an early night ready for volcano trekking tomorrow.
Sunday 30th August 2009
This morning we had a lay in and then after breakfast and getting a pack up to take with us on our trek we headed out ready to climb Gunung Sibayak (2094m) an active volcano. We left the guesthouse and walked to the permit office where we paid 2000 Rp (about 12p) for our permits we then carried on along the road for about an hour and a half it was a really tough walk a lot of it was up hill I've never seen Suzie look so happy she really enjoyed it (like not). When the road ended we then had to find the footpath to take us up to the volcano we had been told by the people in Bukit Lawang that you had to scramble up some rocks to get to the footpath but after that it was easy to follow, we were glad we had been told this because it wasn't easy to find but after we had a looked around a bit we found it and carried on up. Once we were on the footpath it took about 45 mins to reach the top this was an easier walk which we were glad of. As soon as we were nearly at the top the smell of sulphur hit you it was delightful. It was pretty amazing when we hit the top to see all the sulphur pits steaming and bubbling away though so that sort off excused the smell!! From the crater we walked up to the highest point to see the view and we eat our lunch up there luckily the smell wasn't bad enough to put us off our food. After we had eaten our lunch we walked back down to the crater and then walked up another high point this wasn't as nice as there was a big sulphur pit at the top of this point and the wind was blowing in the wrong direction so our eyes, noses and throats were burning a bit so we didn't stay up there for too long. Once we were back at the crater it seemed to be the done thing to write your name on the crater using pebbles so before we walked back down we thought we better do this (See facebook pictures when I put them on). The walk back down was a lot easier than walking up the volcano but it still took a while to get back to the permit office the total walk was about 14km so we were ready for a well earned sprite once we hit the bottom. After we had had a drink we got the opelet into town to use the bank and the internet. Nationwide had blocked my card again so it included another Skype call to them not impressed!!! and a Skype call to Dad and Mel too which was good. After we had finished we had dinner at one of the street stalls which was a simple chicken and rice dish but it was good we then headed back to the guesthouse had a drink then went to bed.
Monday 31st August 2009
This morning after getting up and packing and really putting off going to Medan (It is really not a nice place) we decided we really should make a move else it would be dark by the time we got there. We got the ompelet down to the bus station and got a very cramped local bus to Medan but it was very cheap so that's what we had to keep reminding ourselves of. The journey was just under 4 hours once we landed in Medan we picked out a guesthouse from the lonely planet and got in a motorbike taxi which took us there. It wasn't really what we were expecting it looked quite a posh hotel and once I inquired inside it turned out the lonely planet was incorrect and there room rate wasn't as cheap as it stated. So after a bit of umming and ohhhing and Suzie going to look at some other places which weren't very nice we decided to stay here it was still less than 20 pounds for the room just not as cheap as we have been used too. I think the lady on reception felt sorry for us because we had to pay more than we wanted to so she gave us a Ramadan voucher which is meant for Muslim customers but she said we could have one anyway. After we had checked in we watched a film which was really to do as we don't usually have TV in our rooms. After the film we went down to redeem our Ramadan voucher we thought we were just getting a free drink but there turned out to be lots of snacks and fruit which were lovely I think it was purely a sympathy voucher though we were the only western people in the restaurant. After we had finished at the restaurant we wanted to go to the ATM and get something to else eat (We hadn't had too much to eat as we weren't really sure what we could have with the voucher and what we couldn't) but there was a very heavy thunder storm that had started and when we walked out of the hotel the roads were flooded so we decided to stay put at the hotel and get something else to eat in the restaurant but we paid this time. After food we got an early night as we had to be up early in the morning to get the boat back to Penang.
Tuesday 1st September
This morning started a 6am once showered and dressed we went down for breakfast before leaving the hotel as we had to be at the tour operators for 8.15am to get the bus to the port. As usual with Asia time the bus didn't leave until 9.45am and the boat was suppose to leave at 10.30am but didn't leave until 11.45am I think we were the only ones getting frustrated everyone else just seemed very relaxed with it all I suppose there used to it we should be after 5 months but we are not. After a 6 hour journey we arrived back into Penang and got a taxi back to Hutton lodge where we had stayed previously. After we had checked in and Skyped Mum as arranged we went to get some food at the Chinese food court we had found last time we were here. We both had seafood again which was equally as good as last time washed down with a few beers.