22-Feb-2008 -- On the map this confluence seems to be very near to the hill town of Bukittingi. So, when I stayed there, I gave it a try.
Bukittingi is probably the most touristy place in West Sumatra. Today, with the decline of tourism in Indonesia, this means that there were not more than 20 westerners in town. To make the trip easier I hired a motorbike with a driver in my hotel. Mr. Fonzy from the hotel wanted to do the trip with me. But since he had his job to do, we couldn´t start before noon the next day. As it turned out, this was a bit to late.
The first part of the road was on the Trans Sumatra Highway, a sometimes very narrow road with many potholes, going in curves up and down the mountains. Though in a beautiful landscape this is a very time consuming way of traveling.
After about 50 km from Bukittingi, in the village of Kumpulan a smaller road turns to the left, leading towards the confluence. In the first part it leads north, away from the confluence, but later turns south again. On my bigger map I saw this road leading to Kinali would eventually pass the confluence. But the road lead along a river valley to far to the south, away from the point. Fortunately there was another smaller road leading more to the west. But that one too later went south again. We turned around and still 3,5 km from the point there was a small dirt road in northwestern direction. After some 100 m it turned out that the road was to bad for a motorbike with two people on it. So I decided to continue on foot. Since it was already quite late in the afternoon, I said I would be back one hour later, to drive back to Bukittingi before dark. I was lucky to get a lift one another motorbike for the next kilometer. Here a path through oil palm plantations forked off to the east, but after another kilometer it turned north up to the Talakmau volcanoe, away from the confluence.
I crossed a small creek, climbed up a hill and stood in front of a rice field, 1,6 km away from the point. Since I saw a motorbike crossing the field, there should be a possibility to continue further in direction to the confluence. But I didn’t have more time to proceed and I went back.
On the way back we took another road and passed Lake Maninjau. This could be a faster approach to the confluence, but for the return to Bukittingi it turned out to be a detour. So it was already nine o’clock when we finally arrived in Bukittingi.