Indonesia is a paradise on earth
Rice terraces, tall palm trees, aerial haze hiding mountain peaks and small villages on the slopes. This is the shores of Lake Maninjau, Sumatra Island, Indonesia.
Paradise on earth? Maybe…
This is the year 2014, we began our hitchhiking trip in Vietnamese Hanoi and reached the Indonesian Sumatra, a neighborhood of Lake Mananjau.
We set up a tent right next to the water on the outskirts of the village.
And already on the very first evening these places really seemed to me a paradise.
Rice fields are located here not only on the slopes of the mountains, but also on the plain, where there are no terraces as such, the fields are only aligned in the horizontal plane, due to which there are small differences in height.
There are many fields, they occupy all the free space of the coast, not occupied by housing. Now rice is just in the juice, fresh herbs are very animating the surrounding landscapes.
The farther from the coast and higher into the mountains, the more difficult the conditions for agriculture.
But the locals are hardworking people, they are coping.
I met on the path the kids coming from school. The surprise was mutual.
In villages, houses with gabled roofs are classic for these places.
For some peoples, the feeling of beauty is as if in blood, and sometimes it seems that all these ordinary people, peasants, have a design education)
So beautiful are their homes and their surroundings. I had such a feeling in Norway and the same in Sumatra.
For the first time I saw a buffalo with such beautiful brown eyes)
Only such should live in paradise.
The population is almost entirely Muslim.
Although, perhaps there are immigrants from China.
Water flows everywhere, flows down streams from the mountains, and it is simply distributed over terraces and vegetable gardens.
It flows continuously, day and night, provoking the rapid growth of vegetation.
As soon as you go outside the village and climb the mountains, the jungle begins almost immediately.
A characteristic feature of these places - almost all the houses in the village are built either on stilts, and below, under the house, pools with fish.
Even around mosques, schools, under houses, standing high on the side of the mountain - everywhere there are ponds with fish. Craze for fish farming!
Many houses have two or three pools, they are made at different levels, water flows from one to the other in a cascade, creating a pleasant, soothing sound.
But this is all the little things compared to the grandiose fisheries in the lake itself. Along the entire village (100 meters from the coast) is a whole fish farm.
Every day, from early morning until almost evening, people are visible on the walkways, small boats constantly float back and forth around the lake, in which men sit in cone straw hats and row with one oar.
I swam with one of them to his fish farm, I almost drowned)
The boat is so shaky and unstable that even just sitting in it is not easy, one careless movement - and you are in the water.
Growing rice is really a very difficult job.
I can’t imagine what can grow here! But it grows ...
Evening falls on the banks of Mananjau, fields empty, people rush to mosques and to their homes, fly over the lake, responding with a distant echo, the lingering suras of the Koran.
Definitely a paradise on earth ...