After being assured that there is no way to get from Tuk Tuk to Sidikalang other than by a shared tourist bus that would pick us up at 7:30am at our penginapan (150,000 rph pp) did a bit more digging and instead walked 4km to the main road to catch a local Damri (20,000 rph pp) to Pangururan. Before the Damri got there an unregulated minibus came by and offered us the same fare. Since that was 30 min less waiting, we took it.
It was picking up people ad hoc instead of only at bus stops so that was more fun.
Once we got to Pangururan (dropped at a local transport spot operating in front of a small resto) we were able to book another minibus to Sidikalang for 40,000 rph each. AND we get to talk to locals instead of tourists.
Also, despite the fact that the minibus drivers are invariably, continuously smoking, because the windows are open on the minibuses, I think our covid infection risk is significantly lower than on the sealed, air conditioned tourist buses. AND many of the locals wear masks (no tourists that I’ve seen are) CO2 on this bus is 501.
(I sure wish I could figure out a photo solution but haven’t yet. I’ll get there.)