Bayak and Nabung

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By: Magus Kutabarat-

Billy Bob met his new friend named Smiley at the warung for breakfast in Berastagi. While eating lontong with kopi they discussed the trek up to the volcanic peak of Mt Sibayak. They could take a motorbike most of the way along the 4-wheel drive track, but Billy Bob was happy to walk the 3 km to the top.

They each bought a nasi bungkus, 2 liters of water and rokok for the trek. They walked through cloud mist on the way up the mountain, and monkeys jumped across trees.

Close to the top, the cloud mist cleared and the view across the hills and farms of Karo land opened. Inside the crater looked like a black, rocky moonscape with smelly sulphur steam shooting up from cracks in the earth. On the crater rim they could see the active volcano, Sinabung, only 20 km away, puffing volcanic smoke.

Smiley told Billy Bob about the Karo legend of the 2 brothers. Si Bayak was generous to his family and popular, while si Nabung was stingy and kept his money for himself and was unpopular and left the village.

As Smiley and Billy Bob puffed rokok together on Sibayak, they watched Sinabung puffing alone, and Billy Bob said he’d try to always remember the story,  and they shared a laugh together.

They walked down the other side of the volcano, past the geo-thermal power station to the hotspring village to enjoy a hot bath at the end of the trek, and took a mini-bus back to Berastagi.

They rode motorbikes to Sinabung where abandoned villages and farms had been covered in volcanic ash. Smiley explained that most of the farming families had been given land by the government, about 30 km away, but not all of them.

On the way back, they visited the traditional village of Lingga, with 100 year old houses and very fertile farming land. Billy Bob was very impressed by what he had seen and learnt and looked forward to see more. (to be continued)

Photo: Peek the beauty of mount Sinabung from the top of mount Sibayak. (

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