After another break in Taruko at Ngarai Sianok, Bukittinggi, Andy and I then continued to our final destination, Danau Maninjau (Lake Maninjau).
It took us around 30 minutes to reach the area.
Danau Maninjau is famous with many ‘turns’ that you should take from above the hill and down to the lake. It has 44 turns, and it’s popularly known as ‘Kelok 44′. So in each turns, there’s a sign of ‘number for this turn’. They made these many turns, I think as if they just made a straight road from up to down, it’s going to be very very steep . My friend, Adhie, who has been to Danau Maninjau, told me that it is expected that for a car that coming from below to sound the horn before making the turn. This works as a signal for the cars that coming from above. Well, I guess this is only a precaution, as not all the people did this, or probably that they have known these turns quite well :-).
This lake is magnificently wonderful, as when we’re coming from above, I could already see how big this lake is. We then decided to stop beside the street to take photo of the lake from above. It’s so beautiful that I didn’t want to miss this chance. I wonder why I didn’t take any photos in one of the ‘turns’ sign … *sigh*
Danau Maninjau is similar with the famous Danau Toba in North Sumatra. It’s a caldera lake, which has an area for almost 100 km² and located at an altitude of 461.5 meter above sea level. The lake itself was formed by a volcanic eruption many many years ago, but for the local people, there’s actually a folklore about this lake.
There was a time when a family of 9 brothers and 1 sister live in a village. The 9 brothers were known as ‘Bujang Sembilan’ or ‘Nine Bachelors’. The only girl in the family named Sani was then met a young man, Giran, and both of them were fell in love.
One day, when they met on a field, people thought they did something amoral, even though they didn’t, and was punished by the people. They had to jump to inside of the Mount Tanjung crater, but before they jumped, Giran begged to God. If they were guilty, God may crushed their body in the lava of this mountain, but if they were not guilty, God can let this mountain to erupt. And after they jumped then the mountain erupted so strong until everything around it were destroyed. The remaining of the mountain became a caldera, which then became the lake that we know now as Lake Maninjau.
After 44 turns, finally we reached the village beside Danau Maninjau. This place is already known as a tourism place, so there are already quite a few of accommodations and eating places. Andy said that the water from this lake is used to generate power, but when we went to see it, the water level was quite low. We then decided to make a stop in of the restaurant beside the lake and just enjoyed it.
The restaurant is called the Waterfront restaurant. The place was located just nice beside the lake. While we’re waiting for our food, I just felt that this place is so serene … so calm … and I wish I could stay here for one or two or even more nights to just enjoy living here. Not only enjoying the lake, but it has so beautiful view around it. The hill covered with plenty of trees, it’s so green …
When I told my friend about my visit to Lake Maninjau, they always asked me whether I tried eating the small fish there. They said it’s quite popular there, but unfortunately I didn’t try it. I did see plenty of fish farming or karamba floating on the lake, and I think they ‘farming’ that small fish there. I guess not only small fish, but any kind of fish
It’s almost dawn, and Andy told me that we should hurry to go up before dark so we could get the sunset from above.
After we passed the Kelok 44, we then parked our car near a hotel. It’s the best spot to catch the sunset on lake Maninjau. Although I couldn’t really see the ‘sun’ but the light from the sun produces picturesque horizon above the tip of the caldera. I regret that I didn’t have a tripod at that time, as I would get plenty of beautiful photos of the sunset, but there’s always an ‘emergency tripod’ around. I just placed my camera on the side mirror of the car, and hold the camera as stable as possible! Haha
It was a good closure of the day, and glad that I put Lake Maninjau in my list to visit.
Just like what the great Soekarno said in the poetry about Lake Maninjau:
Jika adik memakan pinang,
makanlah dengan sirih hijau.
Jika adik datang ke Minang,
jangan lupa singgah ke Maninjau.
If you eat areca nut,
Eat it with green betel.
If you come to Minang lands,
Don’t forget to visit Lake Maninjau