Joined March 2018 Message
  • Day63

    Water buffalos, Sumatra, Indonesia

    February 12, 2020 in Indonesia ⋅ ☁️ 24 °C

    You can meet water buffalos all over Asia and they are different... Two extant types are recognized - the river buffalo of the Indian subcontinent and further west to the Balkans, Egypt, and Italy, and the swamp buffalo, found from Assam in the west through Southeast Asia to the Yangtze valley of China in the east.
    This are Swamp buffalos and in contrast to river buffalos (which prefer deep water) they prefer to wallow in mudholes which they make with their horns. During wallowing, they acquire a thick coating of mud.
    At least 130 million water buffaloes exist and more than 95.8% of the world population of water buffaloes are kept in Asia. More people depend on them than on any other domestic animal. They are especially suitable for tilling rice fields, and their milk is richer in fat and protein than that of dairy cattle. Water buffalo milk is processed into a large variety of dairy products, including: cream, butter, ghee, heat-concentrated milk products, fermented milk products, hard cheeses and soft cheeses.
    Water buffaloes thrive on many aquatic plants. During floods, they will graze submerged, raising their heads above the water and carrying quantities of edible plants.
    Here you can see a curious one...
    Read more

  • Day63

    Kebun Raya Samosir, Indonesia

    February 12, 2020 in Indonesia ⋅ ☁️ 21 °C

    Today we crossed Samosir island in the middle by motorbike. So we cruised from on shore through mountains, forest and the plateau to the other shore. It was a very nice ride since it is a wonderful landscape and the people are so friendly and welcoming. They grow a lot of eucalyptus in parts of the forest and in between you can find huge tree ferns. On the plateau you can find farmers and a lot of water buffaloes 🐃 - you can find more about water buffaloes 🐃 in another entry.
    It was round about noon when we met a lot of children coming from school and in the beginning I did not know what they were up to. They walked along the road and when they saw us, they held the hand up in the air 🤚🏽. I thought: this is a weird way of waving 👋🏽... but then I understood: they wanted to give me 5 🤚🏽. So I spend the next quarter of an hour driving by children and giving 5 to all children in Samosir 🤪. Rainer was a bit annoyed I must admit 😇.
    We also passed an area which is called „Kebun Raya Samosir“ which is planned as a conservation area. Translated it means „Samosir Botanical Garden“ and the area is about 100 ha big. Since it is in planning there is not much to see yet, the collected plants will display endemic pine species, collections of medicinal plants, natural dyes, fruit and wood producers. Until now the Samosir Botanical Garden has built a management office, nursery, embung, environmental road.
    So we went across Samosir and back and when we arrived back at the shore, we still had a lot of daylight left over 😁 so we went along the shore direction east but I will write about that in another entry...
    Read more

  • Day63

    Batak houses, Samosir, Indonesia

    February 12, 2020 in Indonesia ⋅ ☁️ 20 °C

    The Batak Toba are one of six Batak tribes that inhabit northern and central Sumatra. Each tribe has a distinctive culture and architectural style. Two Batak tribes are Muslim, while the the Toba and another tribe are Christian. The Batak Toba people are concentrated around Lake Toba, the world's largest caldera lake. Their houses are among the most distinctive in Indonesia, with their famous boat-shaped roofs and finely-decorated carvings.
    Batak Toba houses are found in groups of ten or less, constituting small villages. Because of frequent warfare among the other tribes in the past, the houses are built close together, often side-by-side (though rarely connected). Since much of the area is wet year-round, the Batak place their buildings on stilts to avoid flooding and dampness. A typical village consists of a row of houses flanking a corresponding number of small rice granaries, one for each house. Between the two rows of buildings runs a street called an "alaman", which used to serve as a workyard and as a place for drying out rice in the hot sun. Nowadays, most of the granary buildings have been converted into houses, but their original purpose remains recognizable since the granaries were always built on six pillars, while houses had more.
    The Batak Toba house is organized vertically into three distinct zones. The lower zone--the area beneath the house raised on piers--functioned as a work area and as an open-air pen for animals.The next zone—the floor of the house—is a living area where as many as four different families crowded together (nowadays there is usually one family per house). Ladders were once used to access the living area from the ground, so that in times of war the ladder could be quickly retracted and the opening sealed. At present, many families have installed stairs for convenience.
    The highest and most important level of the house is the upper storey, which extends about 1/3 of the depth in from the front of the house. In this area family valuables and ancestral shrines are located.In front of this area, facing the street, is a veranda used for open-air storage.
    The roofs of the Batak Toba houses are formed of sugar palm fiber thatch, held together with rattan cords. However, many houses have abandoned the labor-intensive thatched roof and have converted to zinc metal roofs, which are far more durable in the humid climate.
    Read more

  • Day62

    Canoe, Lake Toba, Indonesia

    February 11, 2020 in Indonesia ⋅ 🌧 22 °C

    Today it was a bit cloudy, so we took the opportunity to go by canoe (again).
    In the beginning we appreciated some small drops of rain (although the climate is great here, we have 30°). We went along the shore and stopped by Joe's for a fresh papaya juice. I will definitely miss the fresh juices at lot when I'm back home... On the way back we met some fishermen by boat and also at the shore. They are so relaxed here, I hope I can bring some of it back to Hamburg.
    It's amazing how may birds you can observe here and a pity that I did not bring my binoculars but at some point you have to reduce your backpack.
    So now: swimming!
    Read more

  • Day60

    Samosir, Sumatra, Indonesia

    February 9, 2020 in Indonesia ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    How does a typical Lake-Toba-morning looks like?
    I stand up and from our balcony I check if the lake is still there and if there is some weather - all is still there and it looks great as usual! Then we take a swim and enjoy the clear and fresh water. Then we go for breakfast: fruit, fruit aaaaaand wait... fruit 🍉 🍌 🥭 🍍 well and iced coffee for sure. Then we take the canoe and check if the lake is really ok, well it is... and then, surprisingly, we go swimming. After that we dry up on the sun chair and then... well well well... then it’s already time for lunch 🤪.Read more

  • Day59

    Selamat Datang, Banyak Islands Idonesia

    February 8, 2020 in Indonesia ⋅ 🌧 27 °C

    Yesterday at noon stormy weather arrived and we had huge waves and a lot of tropical rain until early in the morning today. We were watching the weather forecast to find out, if it would be possible to cross over to Singkil, Sumatra by boat. This morning at 7:30 the rain was over and we left from Tambarat with the fisherboat to Haloban, Tuangku island. We loaded some goods and switched to a bigger boat. Fortunately not only the rain 🌧 was over, also the waves 🌊 were not too big to cross over.
    As usual we made another stop, loaded and unloaded some goods and watched the fishermen and children at the harbor. We loaded some big boxes 📦 with fish 🐠, and as you can see the fish is pretty colorful.
    It really feels adventurous to cross the open ocean with this kind of boat and big waves but fortunately it stayed calm enough to safely reach the harbor in Singkil, where Joe waited for us to bring us to Lake Toba.
    Already when we left we decided to pass by Lake Toba once more on our way back, because it’s so peaceful there, the people are nice, the food good, the lake wonderful clean and the temperature relaxing. So now: another week at Lake Toba ❤️.
    Read more

  • Day54

    Tambarat, Banyak Islands, Indonesia

    February 3, 2020 in Indonesia ⋅ ☁️ 30 °C

    Welcome to Tambarat, a small island of 1km in diameter within the Banyak archipelago.
    Tambarat is uninhabited except of Ira & Viki and their 4 basic bungalows. The bungalows have one big and comfortable bed (bedsheets with a pink unicorn🦄), a mosquito net (violett 🤪), some shelves, a small table, some hooks at the wall, light, a broom and a terrace with a table, 2 chairs and a hammock. Ira cooks 3 wonderful meals per day and you have a coffee/tea/water flat rate. There are two toilets with water basin and scoop, which you can use for showering 🧼. We have a generator here but use it only 3 hours per day from 19:00 to 22:00 and if we’re lucky we also have wifi then...
    This is the place where you dream of, when you dream of a lonesome island 🏝. The water is wonderful clear and we have a reef, with a loooooooot of fish 🐠. So guys excuse me, I need to go snorkeling and chill in the hammock, listening to some music 🎶 (I brought my boombox 🤪).
    Read more

Join us:

FindPenguins for iOSFindPenguins for Android