Berastagi with Kids: Lake Toba, Sipiso Piso waterfall

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For the final installment of my Sumatra travel series, let me tell you about our final day in Berastagi with kids. Our first day was spent climbing a volcano and soaking in a local hot spring. We had so much fun that we hired the same driver to take us further afield the following day. Abdy, our guide, couldn’t join us, as his wife had just gone into labor that evening and he was expecting his second daughter any minute.

Supisopiso Falls Sumatra with kids

Berastagi with Kids

Our first stop: the northern tip of Lake Toba, the largest volcanic lake in the world. Lake Toba is just a massive crater left over from one of the biggest seismic events that scientists know about. Now it’s just serene, and an idyllic spot for a casual lunch.

Sumatra with Kids, Berastagi

Our driver brings us to a lakeside restaurant. S and Keiko pick out our fish from stocked nets near the lake’s banks. The staff scoops up our selections, and then kills and grills them right on the spot. It was so good that we ordered another.

Sumatra with kids, Berastagi

Sipiso-piso waterfall

After lunch, it was off to Sipiso-piso Waterfall. The hike is about half an hour to the bottom on crumbling concrete steps, with a few treacherous spots. It was nothing an 8-year-old can’t handle if she watches where she’s going. In fact, I think I was the only one who slipped, and it was because I was trying to watch where the kids stepped. Serves me right.

Sipiso piso Falls, Sumatra with kids

Notice I mentioned specifically how long it took to go down? Well, it took a little while longer to get back up. The steps are quite steep in spots, so we slowed our pace to make it more tolerable. But once we got back in the van, it was time for a nap all the way back to Berastagi.

Sumatra with Kids

Egg Mango

This was our last day near Lake Toba, so S really wanted to get some more of the local fruit: Egg Mangoes. Yes, like the name implies, these little mangoes are the size and shape of your average egg. Also, unlike other mango species, you can actually eat the skin. We didn’t eat much of the skin, but peeling these juicy little gems was a breeze.

Sumatra with Kids

The fruit is indigenous to the Lake Toba area. In fact, we were told that they grow nowhere else. I cannot confirm or deny that, but I can say that we went through many kilos of the little buggers. S nearly ate his body weight in them. I’m surprised he didn’t turn yellow with carotenaemia.

After a stop at a local market, our driver took us to Abdy and Mery’s house. Mery had given birth less that 24 hours before. Yet she invited us — strangers 24 hours earlier — over straight from our day’s tour! We were uncomfortable at first. It’s because we felt filthy after our hike and market jaunt, and therefore underserving of touching a newborn. Abdy and Mery were so warm and casual it was hard to resist.

Sumatra With Kids, Berastagi

(That’s Abdy’s pic above, if you haven’t noticed)

The next morning, Abdy took us to breakfast in the local market and then put us in a car with a driver he arranged for us. We couldn’t have asked for a better sendoff. Our first jaunt into northern Indonesia was fantastic, and if you’re in Sumatra with kids, this might be a great stop along your way.