Walking and villages is a nice combination. Between Merek and
Tongging, above the waterfall is a village called Pangembatan,
which consists of two parts: Hutabaringin and Hutasanggar. Both
places have a traditional Karo house each. The one in Hutabaringin
is in the best condition. The road to the villages starts just below
the road for Gunung Sipiso-piso and is 2 km long. According to local
information, there is a path between Hutasanggar and Tongging. It
starts in Tongging behind Hutabulun, halfway between central
Tongging and the accommodations.
The narrow road along the northeastern side of the lake leads to
Sibolangit Tongging (normally just called Sibolangit). This
village of approximately 140 families is very spread out and divided
into three parts. The first part is a few kilometers from the
junction at the main road. From here leads a newly opened road to
Bage and onwards. If you continue on the original road you end up in
the second part, 1 km further up on the hill. The road continues one
more kilometer down the hill on the other side to the lakeside. This
is the boat landing of Sibolangit. This place is very lush due to
its many mango trees. The fruit is of a small but very sweet. The
road ends here. The road from Sibolangit to the Batak Toba village
Bage is 3,2 km long and in a very bad condition. Motorcycles and
4-wheel drives can get through. From Bage it is possible to walk
along the shore all the way to Haranggoal. It probably takes a full
day. It is a very scenic area. There are hotels in Haranggaol.
The pretty village Kodon-kodon is 3,5 km from central Tongging along
the road down the western lakeshore. The part of the lake outside
this village is considered to be the deepest area of Lake Toba
(maybe 900m or more). (Other parts of Lake Toba are app. 450m).
There are a few places to drink and eat, but they open at the
owner’s whim. In Kodon-kodon is a stone figure called Patung Raja
Dautan. Until 1953 the locals always paid homage to this statue.
They used to, at certain times, gather together around it and play a
traditional drum. Normally one person would become possessed by a
spirit and start talking about anything that the locals want to
know, for example about the coming harvests, sicknesses and fortune.
When the Dutch attacked Kabanjahe the people in Desa Kodon-Kodon got
the news early from the spirit and they could start preparing and
keep watch. Once a spirit informed about a person who was killed by
the Dutch in Tongging. When a messenger arrived from Tongging with
the news, the story was confirmed in every detail. Before 1953 the
statue could not be photographed. Once seven policemen tried to
shoot at the statue, but not one single rifle would fire. Finally,
in 1953 the locals collectively said goodbye to Patung Raja Dautan,
as they had become Protestants. People in Kodon-kodon once used a
special music instrument called Hedeng-hedeng made of a stem of a
sugar palm leaf. The stem is sliced very thinly and strings are
attached to its ends. It has a characteristic sound, which was used
to attract attention from pretty girls. The name of the instrument
was originally kedeng-kedeng, but eventually became Kodon-kodon,
which also became the name of the village. It is not in use any
more. Modern ways of attracting girls have come to Kodon-kodon, but
the instrument can still be produced. It deteriorates fast though,
just as passion does.
The narrow road along the western coast of Lake Toba goes to the big
village Silalahi. There are accommodations here. It is a pleasant
daytrip along the lake shore to see something else. In Silalahi
there is also traditional weaving to study and buy.
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