Saturday, July 2, 2011


Indonesians like their holidays. Every religion gets to give all Indonesians a few days off. So, thanks Allah for Wednesday.

Because the entire plan was made in Indonesian I had no idea when we were going, where we were going or what we were going to do. But the Padang couchsurfers are pretty awesome so I said I was going without having any idea what the plan was.

So Tuesday one of the organizers asks me whether I want to take public transportation or try to drive. Of course you know what I said.... I made sure she was willing to drive if I got scared, and we took off. We drive south along a road that curves along the coast and the mountains -a really beautiful view for two hours down to Tarusan.

I ended up staying at her workplace and getting an introduction to how development works in rural West Sumatra. And then Wednesday a ton of couchsurfers showed up (there were 12 of us altogether) and the party got started. First we had some amazing fresh caught fish for lunch.

Then we drove to the top of a hill. The road was theoretically paved, but in reality coated with clay that was freshly wet. This did a great job of caking onto tires and terrifying poor Susan who apparently missed the lesson on how to off-road on a scooter. Once we got to the top, we enjoyed the view and took a ton of photos. I noticed the trees looked good for climbing and started up. At first everyone was a little suspicious of me, but fairly soon I had 12 people in 3 trees. The kids particularly enjoyed being light enough to get much higher than us old folks.

Then we went down to the beach. There was a little boat you could take out to a cute little island. We swam and played there. We only made it back to Tarusan at 10pm! So we turned it into one large sleepover and went home in the morning.

I had a great time celebrating Muhhamed's birthday!


  1. Nice to get another update with some photos! Are those tracks in the mud from your scooter? Mmmm I wouldn't call that a road either.

  2. Well some of them are from my scooter. And some are from everyone else's. No one else seemed to think this was a crazy place to drive.