After Bukit Lawang, we left the jungle behind and climbed up and up into the mountains.
We trundled through villages where puppies and chicks ran round freely (I think the animals are left to breed with abandon but oh em gee so much cute) and wound our way round the mountain edges while chimps and baboons swung from the trees by the road.
Eventually we arrived at our next destination: Berastagi.
Being so much higher up, it was a lot cooler, but having a view of a volcano from our hotel was pretty awesome, especially when it erupted - yes, we were right next to an active volcano, eeeek!
A very precarious mini-van took us to the base of the volcano and from there we set off on foot.
|These things hurtle down the streets with kids sitting on the roof and hanging out the sides. It's mad.|
Especially when it's raining and muddy. And I mean really muddy.
The thought "why am I paying to walk through mud?" did cross my mind.
But I did it!
I climbed the volcano!
Oh my days, the smell of the sulphur at the top was horrendous though. As someone who doesn't like egg, that was some strong eggy stench.
And I even made it all the way down without sliding over in the mud. It was a challenge.
It wasn't an easy hike, but we had the perfect muscle-soother afterwards: natural hot springs.
There were a few different pools, each of which was filled with naturally hot water. It was amazing! Some of the pools were actually too hot to go in though. You know when you run a bath so hot that when you first dip your toes in you can't tell if it's searingly hot or freezing cold? It was like that.
It was a very cool experience though and the scenery was incred.
Next up we went to visit a really interesting church - although Indonesia is 80% Muslim, there are areas where other religions are dominant, including Christianity. And this church was particularly fascinating as its design was such a mix of traditional Indonesian and Christian cultures.
By this point in the day, however, I was utterly starving and so was more than ready for a spot of lunch.
Tea, fresh passionfruit juice, a veggie stir-fry and some fried bananas later and I was in a much better frame of mind. Never let me get too hungry, folks. I'm not at my best.
After lunch we went to an awesome fruit and veg market.
But there were so many fruits I'd never seen, tried or even heard of at that fruit market. It was amazing!
And so much more! I walked round sampling and buying tropical treats to take away.
So chill we did before setting off for the next destination the following day - off to an island on a lake it was!