Brief pre-note about the title: I never used to think that I had a Canadian accent, but since coming to Singapore, Singaporeans and Americans have loved pointing out how I pronounce words like “out and about” as “oot and aboot”. I’ve only caught myself doing it a handful of times, but apparently it’s a pretty regular occurrence.
Anyways, after all the waterfall free climbing and sunrise volcano trekking, I was ready for a little bit of R&R. Luckily for me, the Sibayak volcano is also home to a natural hot spring. Located partway down the volcano’s slope, this free pit stop is the perfect way to unwind and take in the scenery.
The cool mountain breezes make the springs ideally tranquilizing (even the family of kids that was visiting was peculiarly calm) and different pools offer varying degrees of heat to suit everyone.
Even though I had hiked up and down a volcano and soaked in the springs, it was still only 9am (timing gets thrown off so much when you start your day at 3am) and we had plenty of time to explore the surrounding area. The next stop was the Lumbini Buddhist Temple, just outside Berastagi. Another free attraction, the Temple itself was meant to be the main draw of the site, I ended up spending most of my time prancing around the gardens, perusing around the cheerful flowers and taking silly pictures with Buddha.
Last up on the tour was Gundaling hill. Definitely just a hill, not a mountain (especially when compared to Mount Sibayak), Gundaling nonetheless offered some distinguished views of the town.