Star Date:  June 2019
Lake Toba, Sumatra


Hello Dear Family & Friends!



Horas! Mauliate!
(Hello - Thank you - Batak dialect)





“The world's seven wonders stand the test of time: Truth, love, joy, faith, peace, virtue, and wisdom.”

(Matshona Dhliwayo - Canadian based Philosopher)



The simple, uncomplicated life in Lake Toba, Sumatra, allows time to relax, read and take a good look into our lives; reflecting on what is important. Where are we at and where are we going?  There is time to appreciate and feel and experience the other seven wonders of the world:  To see, to feel, to touch, to hear, to taste, to laugh, to love.  Often people get too busy, too stressed in modern life to remember the simple things.  We forget to be kind and ignore the people and family who are close to us.  We forget to be thankful and live in gratitude for our many gifts and blessings.  We think, "I'll do this or that when the dust settles."  Life is short.  The only dust may be you, before you are ready.

Take the time, whenever, wherever.  Time re-connecting with the essence of life improves all aspects of one's life and restores a certain inner peace.  This peace transfers to those around us.  Talk is cheap.  Actions reflect our inner peace.  The best thing you or I can do to help this sometimes tumultuous world of ours, is to be peaceful ourselves and spread this peace to those around us; like the ripple from the pebble thrown into a pond.

Another thing that happens when we are left with ourselves, alone and quiet in Nature, we must look at what lies in the depths of our souls.  Just us.  Drop the chatter, the blame and the excuses. Take a good in-depth look.  Focus on the good and work through the shadows.

As pieces of styrofoam bobbing around in the busyness and chaos of the ocean of life, it is easiest to hang on the froth on the surface, just dealing with the current drama or crisis we have brought into our lives, never diving deeper.  Many people suffer from stress, which leads to illness.  They are always on the edge with never enough time in the day.  As the Quakers say:  "If you are stressed, sit in silence 1/2 hour a day.  If you don't have enough time to do this, then sit in silence for 1 hour."  Find the balance or the busyness will do you in.   It is much easier to live in the diversion and act like the hectic pace you live is normal today.  All is well until you hit the wall that is.  Be proactive.  Find a place of serenity and peace in Nature and take the plunge.  Amazing and wonderful revelations are awaiting you.

Young people around the planet are being forced away from the complicated, chaos of modern life into seeking a minimalist approach to life.  The pendulum swings. Lake Toba is minimalism incarnate.

For the past 18 years we seem to have been drawn to Lake Toba, to Samosir Island, in the middle of this vast, deep lake, in the middle of the remote Indonesian island of Sumatra, in the middle of S. E. Asia.  Here, one of the planets largest catastrophic volcanic explosions, with an ensuing type of nuclear winter that lasted for an estimated 8-10 years, changed life forever.  Once the ash dissipated and seasons returned, a natural wonder remained.

Left behind was stunning Lake Danau Toba, an 80 mile long, blue, 1500 ft deep lake, fringed by green forests and small villages of the Batak peoples. Here the altitude offers a cool, comfortable, spring like, year round climate.

As nomads traveling the globe continually for the past 17 plus years we have kept our eyes open for spots to recharge our batteries for longer stretches of time.  Out of the current 205 countries on this planet, two places repeatedly filled this need; surprisingly both in Indonesia.  Bali out in the rice fields or on a secluded beach, and the village of Tuk Tuk along Lake Toba.  Our few belongings from mountains of possessions in 2 large homes in Hawaii, were sorted sold or given away years ago when our adventure began. Our daughter and husband kindly stored our things above their washer.  Four boxes each were slowly brought over to Indonesia and stored while traveling.  Not much to own (try putting everything you want in only 4 small bins!!) but we were shocked to have "stuff" once again; after 15 years with only a small 18" suitcase and a daypack.  Thanks to the kindness of our new landlords we figured a system to temporarily set up and 'play house' on these two islands in S.E. Asia for 4 months each a year.  Just what our souls were craving.

Traveling is exciting, and being retired we were able to do so at a slower pace than most people, thus restoring our energy and maintaining our curiosity.  When on a particularly strenuous bus journey around Ethiopia for 3 months then up to Jordan and Lebanon we realized the time had come to slow down even more.  It had reached a point where we longed to just settle in and not move for a few months, and Lake Toba is the perfect spot.

We have a routine now.  Within 1 day of arrival we have our new little home fixed, photos of family hung on the walls, 'treasures' from around the world in place, and the relaxation begins.  At the end of the time we still start getting 'itchy' and within 1 day all things are sorted, packed and stored away awaiting our return.  I wrote this to family and friends within the first week of arriving at this remote gem:

"We are settling into our little routine at Lake Toba.  The ever changing lake 50 feet in front of our cabin, beckoning us to swim daily.  Calm, peaceful.  Greeting old friends and meeting new ones.  My garden is planted.  Reading, swimming, walking, cooking 4 nights a week. Adding little touches to the cabin to make it ours.  I am an "only for enjoyment NOW" interior designer.  A challenge but fun at the same time to see my little things appear from their hidden boxes."

Nanda, the manager/owner of our little 16 cabin resort, on the edgeof the lake beyond Tuk Tuk peninsula, is an amazing, helpful, down to earth woman.  Migrating from Holland 38 years ago she has a straightforward answer for most questions or ideas, "Why not?"  And so thanks to her and her friendly family and staff; and our good friends Lenny, Bill and Rose of 18 years, we have etched a new life into the fabric of Danau Toba. (our honeymoon 18 years ago was Kashmir, Thailand, orangutans in N. Sumatra and Lake Toba thrown in as an added bonus).

The world awaits and as the urge strengthens we head off on yet another adventure, refreshed and ready.  Where next?  Who knows?


And so it goes.........................................Next on the road again, continuing our look at Rajastan.  Until next month remember to stop being so busy all the time.  You are the only one who can make a change and prioritize your precious time.  Appreciate and feel and experience the other seven wonders of the world around you:  To see, to feel, to touch, to hear, to taste, to laugh, to love.  Thanks for stopping by. We love getting your emails and news!  Take care and keep in touch!



Love, Light & Laughter, 


xoxoox  Nancy & Joseph


I wrote about the Hawaiian story of a man in the 1800's who was moving so fast towards his goal that he collapsed .  The Hawaiian Kahuna or healer, told him that he had to lie still in bed until his spirit caught up with him.  I can relate to this as we relax along beautiful serene Lake Toba in Sumatra, after completing our around the world adventure last year.  I write the webpages in order of us visiting each place and finally we have caught up with our spirits.  I hope you enjoy this glimpse into our life along the shores of Lake Toba, a respite from our travels; if you don't call 4 months in remote Sumatra an adventure!  If you look close you will see us waving to you...................


A tour of my garden.....





Travel notes:

1 United States Dollar equals 14,500 IDR


Visit George Carlin's STUFF for a good laugh.  Stuff rules our lives.  Just watched it again. Only 3 minutes.  Funny every time.   Take the time NOW to LAUGH! 

Lake Toba:
Resorts beyond Tuk Tuk Peninsula:

Wonderful places. The peninsula becomes very loud and busy on weekends and holidays as locals from Medan discover the lake.  They often come for 24 hours and don't sleep at all.  Take the hint. Very quiet, resorts right on the lake between Tuk Tuk peninsula and Ambarita.  Great, reasonable food wherever you stay.  Scenic boats right to the resorts from Parapat for 15,000rp. or the resort will drop you off at the Tomok car ferry.
Rooms start at 200,000rp.  Other lower prices for basic cottages and Batak houses.

Buddha's Cafe
Tolping  Phone# 0821 6073 0877
Just 3km past Ambarita
Great local potato rendeng, chicken sesame (soy), juices,  Best vegan ice cream, coconut based mango, strawberry, dark chocolate.  Daisy is a pleasure and makes you feel welcome.  Ayu is the owner and creator of this little hidden gem.

Bop Son -Bechuck Driver New Bagus Rig
Responsible, honest prices, good, slow driver  75,000 to 100,000 round trip to Budha Cafe - wait 1.5 hours

Bechek - fancy covered for 3 pax
Lagan  100,000 rd trip - wait 2 hours

Panjaitan - Driver - old suburban
Medan airport to Parapat 100pp 300 total


Cargo bechek - 50,000 rd trip from Timbal:
Rudy 08 2167 410851

Gunung Leuser Nat Park - Northern Sumatra
Ketambe Tengahan - elephants

Bukit Luang - Garden Inn or Jungle Inn
Medan north to Bukit Luang.  Then Bus to Berestaggi - Then to Parapat.  All day.

Bande Ache - Great remote islands on the north coast of Sumatra.

Gunung Leuser Nat Park - Northern Sumatra
Ketambe Tengahan - elephants

West Coast - Niaz Island, surfing


Fly into Medan via Air Asia.  Go outside to the right and ask for NICE transport shared taxi (van).  About 80,000 to 100,000rp per person.  Arrive by plane by Noon as the trip takes 4-5 hours and the last boat crosses the lake to the resorts at 6:30.

Or you can take a green modern type bus to Siantar for 50,000rp.  Then a taxi to 200 - 300,000 rp to Parapet - 1.5 hours.  Total trip time, including haggling with the taxi drivers still 4-5 hours.


Silangit Airport (DTB)


Airlines flying to Silangit Airport

Batik Air Indonesia

Garuda Indonesia

Sriwijaya Air

Wings Air

Air Asia through KL to Silangit as of Nov 2018

Currently 400 to 500,000rp for transport, 1.5 hours, to Parapat, where you catch the boat over.  Transport prices will get more reasonable as the market develops.


We would like to introduce you to the work of Ivan Roca, founder and head of Biotherapy Asia.  This remarkable man has been developing and perfecting the healing art of Biotherapy for decades, both in Europe and now in Asia.  This technique activates the energy in our bodies to accelerate our own body's healing power.  A fantastic healing option to alleviate the health challenges we all face in this stress filled world.  Good health is Freedom; especially living a Nomadic life on the road continually for 17+ years as we have.  I can personally recommend his ability and integrity from his treatments received.  Check out his website: 

















View from our porch!


Lake Danau Toba, is 80 miles long.


Delicate lake lily.




The favorite form of crossing the lake.


A new fancy tourism boat.


Local fishermen set nets from dugout canoes. 
He forgot his hat so a plate worked well.


Sound asleep with a bucket on his head for shade.


They set the nets then smash the water with a
plunger to scare the fish towards the nets.


Accents of color everywhere.


This massive lake is 1500 ft. deep.


Our view in the other direction.


Shady spots to enjoy the view.


Bright sarongs for sale in the village.


A cheeky monkey watching the cars going by.


Our mini van from the Medan airport stopped
for a refreshing coconut.


Local Batak dances at the 'Stone Chairs'.


Everyone joined in the festivities.


Picking up a few new moves! (Thanks for
the photos Garry).


Our fearless leader and friend, Nanda.
A great lady.


A new batch of Mamacita's puppies.


The bounty of the local Thursday Market
in Ambarita.


Happy locals from Medan on tour
around Samosir Island.


Always thankful for the beautiful birds,
flowers and trees.


Gazing across the tranquil waters of the lake,
helps calm ones 'monkey mind'!


Scattering a few of my Mom's ashes in the calm
waters. She visited here with us when over
80, and loved it.


Off on an adventure with my good
friend Lenny.


Lenny and sweet daughter Wulan.


Our good friends Bill and Rose enjoying
dinner together at Buda Cafe.


Home Sweet Home!  (for 4 months that is!)


Soon the flowers are blooming....


And the garden is growing.


One of my favorite roses.


A peek inside our little home for 4 months.


Papyrus paintings from Egypt and
necklaces made with village women
from around the world.


Prayer flags from Tibet and a watercolor of
Machapuchre, Nepal.  We have a few special
things from around the world.


Our 'kitchen' is next to Joseph's 'den'. 
We enjoy our basic but simple cabin.




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