The trek after the stop at the farmer’s was a series of steep switchbacks as we dropped into the river gorge. At first I could see the water running below us between the gaps in the trees. Fifteen minutes later it didn’t seem appreciably closer, and then shortly afterwards there we were! The water poured out of the gorge around large boulders that seemed to be jammed into the steep sides of the cliffs the water had gouged out of the mountain. It looked mostly impassable to my eye, other than to the water, which always finds a way. The water then broadened out into this beautiful, shaded pool which then spilled over a fall to a larger pool about eight feet below. I am assuming that my “Holy” vibration was lacking as I’m pretty certain that this “Holy Spring” was the origin of my “Bali Belly” malady. Even though the water flow didn’t look to be very fast, I had to swim out of the main flow in the center and approach from the side along a rocky cliff. Even here, the water was too fast and I was reduced to pulling myself forward using the rocks on the cliff. Eventually, the rock ledge was attained and I sat under the spring to get inoculated 😉
Jumping back into the shaded pool, the water quickly took me headfirst over the eight foot drop to the lower pool. The cool water was pouring with enough force to hold me under the water. At first, I waited for my natural buoyancy to assert itself, and then quickly realized that the force of the falls was going to keep me at a depth of ten feet or so. Not making a lot of progress upward, I swam forward getting help from the water flow to push me out of the turbulence and then to the surface. Good thing I’d been practicing my breath holding! At this point I was feeling tired from the exertion and cold water, and was grateful to swim out of the main flow and into the shallows. We climbed back to the trail head and then Margot and Bob went out to the edge of the next falls for photos.
The water flowed back into a stream before cascading into another fall that was over fifty to sixty feet high. The pictures of Bob and Margot posing are taken at the top of this fall. The stream kept dropping on its’ way to the ocean, and so we were back on the trek to the next set of falls. As we geared up, we were met by a German couple and young child, the only people other than the farmer that we met along the way.
We continued to the last part of the falls which we again meant a trek downhill for about half an hour. The final set of waterfalls are a popular destination and can be reached by road, eliminating the trek we took, but missing out on a beautiful walk through the rice fields, jungle, and mountains.
The pictures of the people in the chute were from a wedding party from Australia. Bali is close to AUS and is a very popular vacation spot. They all had life jackets on, but we went down the chute with just our suits on. It was a very fast trip down and you hit the water fairly hard. My sinuses benefited from the rinse, so it was all good. After we climbed out onto the rocks, our lunch of steamed lemongrass chicken and rice was delivered to us and we had a delightful and well deserved lunch.
Bob, our guide, has organized the local boys into providing a “lifeguard” type service at these falls. They get the guests suited up with life jackets, help them to cross the main stream of the falls into a calm “waiting” pool, and then hold on to the slider until they’re lined up properly for the drop. At the bottom, there is a “guard” waiting to assist anyone if needed and to direct them out of the water. They also delivered our lunch to us. On the way to the car park, one of the young men graciously relieved me of my water hydration pack as we had a steep climb back out of the gorge. We had to stop half way up to catch our breath and I was only too happy to surrender the water weight to him.
All in all, an amazing trek, fabulous day, and just another beautiful day in Paradise!