Saturday, 19 July 2008

Old Dogs

They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks but today this old dog is proud of herself. Normally content with sightseeing from the back of a professionally driven moto-taxi or the lovely Ange (about the only person I trust on a motorbike) I had to finally face my fear and rent out a bike all of my own. It was a bit of wobbly start and it took me a while to reach speeds above 20km/hr but eventually I was whizzing round Samosir island wind in my hair - Lake Toba to one side and the steep sides of the volcanic crater to the other. A hairy moment when two fighting dogs rolled into the road infront of me was soon forgotten and I was soon weaving round chickens, dogs, waterbuffalo and children.

We stopped off in Ambarita to see the traditional batak houses and the stone chair where the king used to try criminals. If found guilty they were cut with a knife to let out the evil spirits, then lemon and chilli was rubbed in their wounds before they were beheaded. The King would then eat their heart to receive their strength. Mmmmm.

A similar fate awaited the early Christian missionaries who arrived in the sixteenth century only to be killed and devoured by the cannabalistic Bataks. It wasn't until much later that christianity was finally embraced and church spires can be seen among the padi fields.

Hannah has papped away with her new swanky camera so there will be lots of photos of the beautiful scenery of Danau Toba to come.

No comments: