Travelog: Mentawai

Mentawai consist of several island and famous for the Mentawai ethnic and their beautiful beach with waves for the surfer. I am not a surfer but I really eager to visit the place as you only see it through tv in the previous time. So the trip start with a fast boat riding for 6 hours, its a beautiful day, the clouds are full above the blue ocean and there are some fish jumping over in the middle of somewhere as I sit on top of the boat. We stop by at Mailepet port then continue the riding for another 2 hours before we arrived at our destination port. I go with a guide and another two friend traveler. Then we meet with another couple who just been abandoned by their guide so there is 6 of us at the end. The trip should be accompanied by a guide as they people speak in their ethnic language so we will need to be accompanied by certified guide who can help us to communicate with the local people. From the port we took 30 minutes ride to the villages where we will took another small wooden boat through the river to the jungle. Another man from the village join us as additional helper, so there are seven of us on the small boat with addition to the boat driver.

Cookie, Sikerei from Mentawai
Cookie, the Sikerei from Mentawai
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Travelog: Padang

After travelling from Pesisir Selatan, we ride bakc to Padang as the main city. I have a good recommendation of homestay from the traveler I’ve meet in Bukit Tinggi and it was a satisfied option to stay. The location is nearby Siti Nurbaya fly over and boat port. As I’m planning to join  a trip to Mentawai by riding fast boat, the place is perfect because we can walk to the port. You can browse River Bridge hostel for your reference if you ever have a chance to visit Padang.

I visit Aia Manih beach to see the famous Malin Kundang stone, one of the legendary story about a child become a success, forgoten and pretend didnt recognized his mother when he got back to the hometown and end up being curse into a stone by the mother. I hear the story so many times during childhood and it is really exciting to find the stone on the corner of the beach nearby the food corner and almost hidden since so many plastic chairs around it. Then I visit the one of the snack shop famous for the spicy chips known as Balado nearby the hostel, they provide a packaging service so you can shop and send it directly without have to carry it by yourself.

Malin Kundang Stone at Aia Manih beach, Padang
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Travelog: Visiting Puncak Mandeh, Painan and Pesisir Selatan

After several days playing and watching sunsets at Bungus, we got back to Teluk Kabung and continue the journey to the sout part of the area where there is new open place they say as Raja Ampat Sumatera which know as Puncak Mandeh. You can see the view from above and the beauty almost the same like shown at Raja Ampat at Papua, Irian Jaya the other province of Indonesia located on the eastern part of the country. It takes around two hours by riding the motor bike and yes the view are breathtaking. We stop for a while, take some pictures and continue the journey.

The view from Puncak Mandeh, Sumatera Barat, Indonesia
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Travelog: Going to Teluk Kabung, Bungus

From the Maninjau Lake, me and my motorguide go back to Bukit Tinggi as the transit spot before we go to Teluk Kabung at the edge of the island. We go through so many new places to reach there. We go pass Batu Sangkar again towards Sawahlunto and old city known as a mining city in the previous time and maintain well to preserve the history. I stopped by for a while since I have another friend who lives there. Yes the advantage of entering government school is you have so many friends from all over the places in Indonesia so I’m happy to see familiar faces after long time no see. Its like waking up the youth in you once again ‘meh’  

Happy to see long time no see friend again at Sawahlunto
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Travelog: Puncak Lawang, Kelok 44 and Maninjau Lake

I spend a  night on a hostel above a cafe in Bukit Tinggi which probably I’m not recommended anymore  since I arrive late and its the only available place at that time. The bed is not clean like someone already use it before we use, the bed is itchy and the window frame full of cigarrete buts and its noisy as hell till 1 am but hey let just take it, sleep  and leave.

The next morning we continue the ride to see the famous Maninjau Lake, before reaching the lake we go to the top of the hill known as Puncak Lawang where you should be able to see the lake from above if the sky is clear but the fog at that day didnt give the view I was expecting since its too cloudy. The small park above the hill filled with small cafe with cofee and snack shop, people gathering to take picture on the edge of the hills then off we go down wards to Maninjau lake, passing another famous area known as Kelok 44. Named kelok 44 because the road to the lake is consist of 44 turns so make sure you drink your medicine to avoid car drunk due to the turns.

Picture spot at Puncak Lawang where you can see Maninjau Lake from above.
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Travelog: Watching Pacu Jawi and Playing Princess at Batu Sangkar

From Harau valley I moved out through the cities using the guide with motorbike since its the common transportation with the expertise driver who know the area. It quite cost me but that is the recommended transportation to travel around. I know the guide since he take several guesses to the homestay and he is one of the recommended guide by Ibu Nonik as the owner of the homestay. So he pick me up from the homestay, pack my backpack on the motorbike and off we go.

The cow rider during Pacu Jawi at Batu Sangkar, so many muddy splash
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Travelog: That feeling when you travelling solo

So after two weeks of peacefulness, fun and lots of walks, I realized that traveling around is not easy using a public transportation. You will wait so long to take one. You mostly will be using a rent motorbike or car with the guide which can cost you a bunch if you traveling solo. I only rent a motorbike with the guide few times to explore the Harau Valley to see the hidden waterfall on the corner of valley and learn to play Talempong. And being a local traveler who travelling local also sometimes not easy, they keep refer you from Jakarta once you mention you come from Java island and considered as a rich tourist (sad but true). 

Learning to play talempong a traditional flute from this man on the corner of Harau valley, in a hut above the watery paddy field and fish pond.
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Travelog: Watching Pacu Jawi

One of the newest and excited experience during a stay at Harau Valley is when Yoga, one of the guide at the homestay inform the guests that there is Pacu Jawi on the soccer field at the border of the city. I watch it so many times from the television travel program but never seen it directly so I just jump out to who ever wants to go there to watch 😀

Pacu Jawi at Payakumbuh, West Sumatera
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Travelog: Eating Eel at Lembah Harau

I’m still enjoying my stay at Harau valley slowly, every morning and afternoon I took a walk around 5 km around the valley paddy field, looking at the hangin clouds among the hills and watch the birds fly, it such a peacefull morning with the fresh air and beautiful sounds of the surrounding. I meet few people on their way working to th epaddy field and almost every morning I met with this man who set up the trap for catching eel on the paddy field. I’m curious about it and at the end I start a conversation with the man who actually live nearby the homestay. And after few days, I’m also curious to taste the eel aha!

The eel catcher at Harau valley
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Travelog: Payakumbuh – Lembah Harau

Berdasarkan informasi dari hasil browsing dan rekomendasi yang cukup baik saya memutuskan akan mencoba menginap di Lembah Harau, tepatnya di Abdi Homestay yang lokasinya tepat di tepi lembah. Saya menghubungi nomor kontak yang diberikan dan pindah dari tengah kota menuju lembah Harau menggunakan grab.

Harau valley, Sumatera Barat
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