Sumatera has a series of volcanoes, active, inactive and dead. Few of the dead ones have now transformed into huge crater lakes which offer breathtaking sceneries especially from atop. On the third day, we started off early to Danau Maninjau about an hour northeast of Bukit Tinggi. Before maneuvering down the zig-zag road to reach the lake, it is routine to scramble up a separate route to Punchak Lawang, where there are 2 popular panoramic spots to view the scenic lake. From here, the sight was heavenly. The lake was vast that it almost looked like a sea with undulating mountains all around it. It’s no wonder why Hamka was highly esteemed of it to the extent of making an exaggerated analogy of the picturesque crater lake being the giant foot-print of Adam as that is the shape it takes.
Danau Maninjau (View from Punchak Lawang)
Boogey and wife 'feigning' a romantic pose (hehe)
Danau Maninjau (view from one of the hair-pin bends)
I was forewarned of the hair-pin route down to
The town at Tasik Maninjau. Take left or right , here.
At the bottom, there’s a small town facing the edge of the lake and we either take a right or left turn. As visiting Hamka’s house was our main agenda, we turned left to Kampung Sg Batang, about 15 -20 km away. The road system essentially covers the lake’s perimeter and it measures 60 km altogether and it takes about 4 hrs to complete a journey by car encircling the lake on an average pace. Even over here, paddy is grown rampantly on terraces or flat land.
Surau lama tempat Buya Hamka mengaji semasa kecil.
Buya Hamka’s (as he is fondly called there) house is perched on a hillside, facing the lake. It was refurbished recently by ABIM and inside, amongst Hamka’s paraphernalia's, we can also see their acknowledgement for ABIM. We spoke to the caretaker who gave us an insight of the place and history. We bought some of his books as money is needed to maintain the house. Several kilometers from the house we stopped to snap pictures of some people working on a paddy machine and accidentally stumbled upon Hamka’s father’s house and tomb. Over here, we were shown the old hand written manuscripts that belonged to Hamka and his father, all in jawi.
Studying the old hand-written Quran belonging to Hamka's dad
During the journey we had close encounters with some of Minang kerbau and iKelah made a passing statement that the kerbaus there had a slightly different demeanor than their counterparts in
On the way, we encountered this realm of trapdoors and tarantula. iKelah was exuberantly excited, he could smell the tarantulas from far!
On the way back, almost reaching Bukit Tinggi town, our guide detoured down Ngarai Si Anok road to one of his favourite eating spot that prepares gulai itek, kambing etc. Unfortunately the eatery was already closed but our guide managed to coax the owner to dish out some gulai kampung for our dinner that day.