North Sumatra & Aceh in 10 Days (6): Sei Bahbolon


Sunday morning and rain isn’t falling, today is fun-rafting day at Sei Bahbolon.

Our meeting point before heading to the rafting site is an adventure gear shop in downtown Medan. There are some people already waiting outside. There are kids with their parents, a few highschool and college students, several working class heroes and two suspicious tourists with thick Jakartan accent, guess who?

We’re separated in a few group cars, mine is a black rugged Luxio with a lot of dent, scratch marks and battle scars. This car’s driver is either very stupid or very crazy. Half an hour later in the car, I have my answer: the driver is really crazy. Normally, it takes 3.5 hours to reach Sei Bahbolon, but our driver only needs 2.5 hours. It’s a hellish ride, the crazy driver doesn’t give a rat’s ass whether it’s a bump, a hole or just a plain smooth road. They’re all the same and requires the same treatment. Thank God this isn’t my first time experiencing the formidable skill of North Sumatra drivers so I can adjust my positive mental attitude.

Luxio from hell is the first one to arrive at the site, the others follow in 1-1.5 hours. Apparently, their drivers aren’t as nuts as mine. It’s one hour preparation after all of the groups have assembled. I put my helmet, life jacket and grab a paddle. It turns out that now we’re on the finish line and in order to reach the starting point, we have to ride a truck. The road is awful, not to mention the ugly suspension makes everybody’s ‘dancing’ on the truck’s floor.

One hour later, we’re all arrive at the starting point, El and I choose the last boat with our skipper: Ardi. And then….. it’s a loooooong way to the finish line. 4 hours long exactly, with half an hour rest in the middle of the route.

If you’re on the inflatable boat for four hours, one thing for sure when you reach the finish line: a serious killer appetite for a meal. I have a significant portion of lunch after this fun-rafting. The lunch seems like the best lunch I ever had.

Full and tired, it’s time to go back to Medan with another 3.5 hours of hellish ride. It’s already dark when we arrive at Medan, we’re safe but shaken (courtesy of  Luxio from hell). We choose to eat at “Sate Mang Ayep”, so the driver drops us at the restaurant, which is located in the Chinatown. After dinner, we decide to walk to the hotel which isn’t too far, while enjoying the city lights. Another day is done.


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