Sumatra : I’m back!

Yessss, we’re back!! For those that didn’t even notice we were gone… We arrived yesterday from a almost four week trip to Sumatra. And it was amazing… Hot, tiring, mosquito-rich but also relaxing, beautiful, impressive and fun… 😉 Yesterday I downloaded the 2000 photos on my computer and still need to edit and go through them but here is already a brief preview of more to come.

On Paper Travels you will find most of the travel stories. I’ve been writing those while travelling and also on the plane (the way back took close to 30 hours so that gives enough time to do some writing and kill time!) but the wifi connection in the jungle was … non existent for the most part. But of course there will be a few food related stories here as well. We had a great local cooking session in a Batak house. That was great fun and you can’t get it any more local than that (even though I found out that cooking on the floor requires some special skills) But the report on that will follow and maybe I can find the original recipe of the fish curry we made to go along with it. At the market in Takengon (province of Aceh) we were the tourist attraction more than anything else. It makes a change finding out how it is to be the photographic subject for once!

We saw orang oetans in Gunung Leuser jungle, drove across dangerous roads .. well a bit dangerous… Slept in cabins with nothing and hotels with just a tiny bit more and mostly showered with cold water… Brrrrr… (not so bad in hot water though) We saw the remains of the tsunami with our own eyes in Banda Aceh. At the time of the tsunami (December 26th 2004) nearly 70.000 people were killed in Banda Aceh alone. Most of the building were new or had been renovated, but the stories of that day was what impressed me most Nearly everyone who lives in the city has witnessed it first hand.


The weather: we were close to the raining season and yes we did notice that. There has virtually been no day without any tropical downpour. But usually it stayed dry until later in the afternoon so not too bad. Fine for doing jungle hikes, visiting markets and more. But yes, we’ve also been surprised by a few showers as well. And that literally soaks you within two seconds….


And now it is back to the order of the day! I missed cooking!! And even though this was our second trip to Indonesia and the food in general is food, we were often in areas with literally nothing other than whereever we were sleeping and at some point you do get tired of eating nasi goreng. I do have a few nice recipes I want to make at home but first for tonight a good old fashioned Dutch stamppot…. Yum!!

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Written by
Simone van den Berg

Travelling makes my heart beat just a little faster. Ever since I can remember I have wanted to discover the world and experience other cultures. Ever since our first far away trip to Mexico in 1997 I love to explore outside of Europe. Having said that: there is so much to see closer to home still! Combining travel with delicious food is the ultimate combination as far as I'm concerned. Of all my travels I have kept journals. That's why this site is called 'Paper Travels"

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Written by Simone van den Berg