By: Magus Kutabarat –
Billy Bob awoke in Tuktuk and sensed an energy of spirit around him. From his room on the lake shore, he had a wonderful panorama of just a part of the caldera. He found an old Toba tourism magazine and read a brief explanation of Toba.
About 74,000 years ago, Mt Toba had a series of volcanic explosions which must have destroyed Sumatra, most of Indonesia, south-east Asia and effected the whole planet in a mini ice-age, when ancient nomadic peoples and Neanderthals existed. After the volcanic eruptions finished, the caldera was about 300km around, the lake 90x40km and about 500m deep, and the island about 50x30km. The writer of the story called it ‘the biggest bang in the history of man’.
Billy Bob swam in the lake then walked around Tuktuk. It is a Batak village and a tourist village. The locals were all friendly but seemed to be just waiting for something, or someone. It seemed like every family had a shop, restaurant or rooms for rent, but mostly empty. Signs read ‘motorbike, laundry, magic mushroom’.
He walked into a hotel where some tourists were relaxing and smoking by the lakefront. They told him, Tuktuk is the best place to ‘chill-out’, but they hoped to ride a scooter around the island soon.
He found another ‘best view’ cafe and met old Aussie Steve, who said he first came in 1974, when a few hippy travellers rented Batak houses, but they called Tuktuk ‘cobra snake island’. In 1995 he returned and was amazed how many tourists were here. Now he is retired here and there is less tourists. ‘Why’ reputation, bad promotion, stealing, bad luck disasters.
“So its not good for local business but good for us, because not many tourists here,” said Steve.
Billy Bob rented a motorbike from a man called Lamhot. He asked Lamhot why Tuktuk business is struggling. He said, “everyone just kompetisi each other, no trust, no koperasi, same like everyman his own king, something like that.”
At nightime Billy Bob went to Roys Pub which had a good live band. Here everyone was happy, everyone trusting and co-operating, local and tourist together and any stress or struggle was lost in the beer, music and dancing and the good energy was back.
Billy Bob met a local girl named Rianna, and he just knew he was going to enjoy Pulau Samosir… (to be continued)