Bukittinggi had a subterranean past. During the war, the Japanese forced Indonesians to build underground tunnels where they stored their ammunition. We found the bunkers disturbing, so headed out with a guide who promised to show my daughter giant bats.
We hiked across the Sianok Canyon and climbed steps up the opposite side that seemed to never end. When we reached the top, the valley stretched out below but the journey wasn’t over. My daughter bounced ahead with all the enthusiasm I lacked past a mosque, on to rice paddy fields where finally in the distance, our guide pointed towards some trees, promising the elusive giant bats.
With my daughter’s curiosity quelled, we returned to the friendly town relishing a final visit because the following day would be a fourteen hour bus ride.