by Magus Kutabarat –
While taking a break at Tuktuk, Billy Bob met an Australian named Falcon (Elang) who wanted to motorbike tour, so he suggested they explore the Natal coast in tanah Mandailing. They took the ferry to Parapat and rode to Tarutung where they stayed at Boli-Boli Hotel.
The hotspring pool was relaxing at night while the natural white sulphur landscape was impressive. The monuments to Jesus and Nommensen define the Batak conversion to Christianity and hope for the future.
The road to Sidempuan showed great scenery but many sections of broken road still waited on hope for the future, and one section of new road near Sipirok seemed to have been moved by volcanic activity or devine intervention.
Billy Bob and Falcon spent a night at Panyabungan near the junction to Natal, where one local man warned them not to go because of the coastal peoples ‘primitive magic’. Billy Bob assured him that bule didn’t believe in this mystical power.
The winding road to Natal rises into cloud covered mountains, then decends down along the river canyon.
Natal is a market town selling a lot of seafood. Local people were surprised to see 2 bule on motorbikes. Just outside town they found the Samudra Hotel on the beachfront. It is managed by a friendly family who said they were the first bule to visit the hotel. The beach is 10 km long with waves for body surfing, but Billy Bob and Falcon were careful of the riptides (or any spirit of the sea).
After another morning swim, they rode north along the coast passing more good beaches, bays and small islands close offshore. At one village they were offered lobster, crab and fish for lunch. For bule these places are secret beach paradise, not isolated village to fear.
After this, the asphalt road finished and turned toward the hills. It was slow and rough offroad but the nature was spectacular. After 4 hours offroad, they came to a house by a waterfall and stopped for coffee. The friendly man, who called himself ‘black eagle’ told them it was 4 hours more of offroad and invited them to stay the night.
In the morning they were woken by howling monkeys in the distance. The track passed more hills, cliffs, lakes, jungle and plantations until they passed Rianiate and joined the asphalt road again. They hosed the mud off their bikes at a ‘doorsmeer’ and continued on to Sidempuan.
The last day of the tour was back to Tuktuk where they were in time to celebrate the adventure at Roy’s Pub. Lissoi !!! (to be continued)
Photo: Sunset at Natal Beach. (https://www.facebook.com/PantaiNatal/)