Wednesday, September 2, 2009


We enjoyed the Nasi Padang lunch at Mintuo. My daughter commented in my earlier posting that there were too many dishes on the table. That's the way Padang food is served. Marketing strategy? Perhaps! Did we eat all up? NO!
I know it would be downhill after reaching the peak with another short up and down before it would be down, down, down to Danau Singkarak. From 1,000 metres above sea level, we would drop down to 300 metres when we finally reach Danau Singkarak, our destination for the night.
As we headed down after lunch, I remembered my fellow cyclist Hatim who would simply love this part of the journey.

Though the afternoon sun was up, the breeze from speeding downhill was exhilarating. The child in you awoke and you are back to your childhood days. As we reached another incline, reality set in and pedal we must.
I stopped to take a shot of this man. He was breaking boulders into smaller pieces. A hammer as his tool, he patiently "tok, tok, tok" away in gentle rhtym at the boulder, oblivous to 2 cyclists watching him. I bet he had no license to this little "quarry". A small stockpile of his effort was by the roadside. One wonders how long it took him have a decent pile. How much would he be paid for his job in the sun?

Cycling on, we came to a roundabout. A fighting cock high up welcomed us to the "Ayam Den Lopeh" country. The elders amongst would remember this famous Minang song. And we would be passing through all the places mentioned in this song - Batu Sangkar, Pagaruyung, Baso.

Then we arrived Koto Baru and I made Muhamud posed here. He is after all a Kota Baru guy but with totally different slang than the Minangs.

Later we stopped at the Minangkabau house that I have had a great memory of during my last visit, which included a free lunch! Sad to say there was no lunch waiting. There were no occupants. The house appeared unused, shut tight. The house has no more soul.

These two pictures below were among the many that I captured during my previous trip.

I was a little disappointed that I could not meet the occupants of the house. My little disappointment was later replaced with a Minang wedding further down the road.

The sound of Minang song filled the air and the banner and hives of activities was evidenced of a wedding. Giant banners like this one is a congratulatory message for the couple Ressy and Rio.

They obliged me with a smile and we wished the couple bahagia sampai ke anak cucu.

I took the opportunity to sign the guestbook. I must be the only uninvited invitee from Malaysia! Reason enough to make a trip?

We were invited to eat. We politely refused and moved on. The heat was getting at us and not before long, it was siesta time.

By now we were nearing Danau Singkarak. We passed a man fully loaded with household products for sale. On his one speed bike, he was doing half the speed we were pedalling. He would give us no reason to complain about our load.
As Danau Singkarak came into view, we were looking forward to our place for the night. Danau Singkarak is a volcanic crater. Papaya shaped, the circumference is 102kms, 53kms in length and 15kms at its widest. One can imagine the size of this lake and the livelihood it supports.

We checked in to Hotel Palapa. Bathed and rested, we headed to a restaurant by the lake for our meal and for the famous Ikan Bilih.Danau Singkarak is famous for its delicious Ikan Bilih, and it's spelled with an "h". This would be the elder specie of our local ikan bilis and is a major catch and industry in Danau Singkarak.

We had 2 plates of fried Ikan Bilih plus additional generous topping of the fish in our fried rice, plus 4 bottles of Coke. Damage was only IR30,000 (RM10). We stayed on at the lakeside restaurant well into the dark, literally speaking. There was a blackout in this area and electricity would come back at 10pm.

Later, we groped our way back to the hotel and had a candle-light conversation in the room. The candle was slowly heating the room up and we constantly checked our time. At 10pm, electricity came back and we were ready for a comfy air-conditioned night.



RATE : IR150,000 (RM45)

RIDE DISTANCE : 68kms (excluding the ride in the van)

AVERAGE TEMP : 34 degrees C


Al-Manar said...

I wonder! We call it ikan biliH over here - like pilih.Even beras is pronounced beraH, BetiH, even maniH. Are we decendants from there?

ARZ said...

You are right. Never thought of that. Orang Kelantan too replaced "S" with "H".
The Minangs came and settled in Negri Sembilan. Some may have ventured to Batu Rakit too!

nadya.s said...

reading ur blog during bulan puasa is not good sir, as the food pictures u published here all look soooo yummeehhh!

ARZ said...

On the contrary Nad, it's a good test! The bilih was really good, deep fried served natural without any additional flavors.

Ardy said...

you should have accepted their offer to have meal with them, they will be honored, its Minangkabau tradition. In my village during Hari Raya, we will be offered meal (rice), not cookies, in every house, imagine 15 houses, the tummy is screaming..Yes, ikan bilih is a special fish, at the source it is cheap, but in Jakarta it costs a fortune!

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