We got the golden information to visit the Banyak Islands from Helen and Chris, the German couple we met in the Philippines. We arrived in Singkil after a very long ride from Lake Toba. 230km Where covered in 9 – 10 h, says enough. We stayed in Singkil for one night before taking a boat to the islands. Singkil is a town in the Aceh region of Sumatra, a part that is ran by Sharia law. The place we stayed at was called ‘the sapo belen’ and was one the strangest houses we stayed at (not in a bad way).
The aceh region was btw hit hardest by the tsunami in 2004, waves up until 30m hit the coastline and erased complete villages…
The next morning we where off for some more travelling. After some hours on the ‘ferry’ boat we arrived in a fishing village. From there on we took a small pumpboat to our final destination, Nina’s bungalows. This would be the island where we would be staying for four nights. We where welcomed by a lot of dogs and… An empty island and the family that runs the place. There was literally no worry about a thing. Every little thing was allright. My message to you? Go there once, if you can. It is all pretty basic and there is nothing else to do but swimming in the blue ocean, reading and talking with your fellow castaways. And waiting for food, that too. But that is the whole point, I guess. I am sure the Banyaks will pop up as a very welcoming memory when we are doing what we do in Belgium… The pace is close to zero, hard to maintain in ‘real life’ but it is good to know that it is possible 🙂
Funny sidestory, I wanted to snorkel and took one of the snorkels and a mask out of the box provided. I went into the ocean and had the apparently very good reflex to first flush the snorkel… Because a HUGE cockroach came crawling out of the tube!! Extra calories, Bear Grylls would’ve said… I just walked out the water again and went back to reading and discussing life in general. No more snorkeling for me that day 🙂
To all beautiful things comes an end and we had to say goodbye to the Banyaks after 4 nights. We headed back to the main land and went back to Medan the next day. Our loooong ride got a little bit better when we saw 2 gibbons right next to the road, we had a clear view but didn’t manage to get a good shot of them. A final signal of the beauty of Sumatra…