After sufficient rest, we fed and (coconut) watered ourselves and made plans for our first stop of the day; Curug Cikaso. Curug Cikaso (pronounced ‘churug chikaso’ – and which in my opinion sounds like an Italian term of endearment) is a group of waterfalls that was only half an hour away from where we were based. Time to hop back into the Black Mutant and make our way there. Luckily Jack had been here four years prior to our trip, so he had a rough idea of the way to go. Due to a missed right turn, we had minor detour which really was more of a happy surprise than a hindrance, considering that this was the view:
We turned back and found the right track. After paying a fee of 3000 Rp (around 20 pence) we went through and parked up in front of a little roadside café. We followed the path up until a little booth where we had to pay for a boat to get to the waterfalls. We climbed into the long, narrow blue boat and we sailed calmly through the water, the propeller of the boat happily humming away. The water here is a wonderful jade green colour, and the place is surrounded by humungous, regal hills, completely enveloped by dark green jungle. If hills could speak, I’d imagine these to have sagely voices akin to Ian Mckellen. After a short trip, we arrived at our next stop and carefully scrambled off the boat. I gasped and smiled at the same time, ‘I can hear them!’
We could hear the thundering sound of falling water in the distance. Flippin heck they must be big, I thought. With a guide, we followed the sound of the crashing water, and came to an area that was considerably muddier and rockier. We looked ahead. Looming up above us, stood two breath-taking, scarily formidable, 70 metre tall waterfalls, gushing out white water that sparkled in the sunlight.
An enticing, darker shade of jade, the water was beautifully cool. It was a Goldilocks temperature; not too warm, not too cold, just right. It was seconds before Jack had dived in, whilst Samantha and I cautiously followed in after. We entered the right side of the pool and headed for the smaller, less tumultuous waterfall. Beneath the surface, the bed of the pool held a few rocks here and there, and we were able to leapfrog from one to the other to get closer. Under the smaller, (yet still pretty tall) waterfall, was a small formation of rocks, perfect for us to sit upon and perfect our mermaid poses. The water spouted out above us, and with what felt not unlike a rather angry massage, our shoulders and backs were showered in sharp white droplets of water.
Jack had learned from the ranger that the right side we were on had a depth of only a few metres. The left side of the pool carried a depth of over thirty. The pool was remarkably small in size to possess such an abyss-like drop. Jack later told me on our journey back to Jakarta (as he knows any stories of ghosts, spirits and other such supernatural creatures make me turn into a crazy insane person) that the ranger had told him of a myth of people who swam on the left side of the pool being dragged under by water spirits. As the waterfall on that side was far larger and far more powerful, I could imagine some unwise people swimming a little too close and being taken under. We very wisely appreciated its awesomeness from a safe distance on some rocks just before the drop.
We leapfrogged again to a smooth, large slab of rock (which we named Jack’s Rock), further away from the waterfalls. We lay down on them and let the transcendent view consume us.
We stayed until the sun had left us, and it wasn’t long that mine and Samantha’s foreignness had been noticed, and we were asked for a few pictures. If you haven’t travelled round Indonesia yet, (which you should) this is a very common occurrence if you’re a bule (pronounced bulay – meaning foreigner). In Jogjakarta, I was asked by around eleven different groups of people within an hour for some pictures. Personally, I love it. Who doesn’t want to feel like a celebrity?
We reluctantly left the beautiful falls, wondering if people back at work would notice if we didn’t come back. Wishful thinking. We hopped back into the boat and had a little somethin’ somethin’ to eat in the café we saw earlier. After an energy boost of noodles, fried chicken and omelettes, a little chick and cockerel watching and bubble blowing, we returned to the Black Mutant and climbed in.
*Tune in for next time, for some isolated beaches and multicoloured sunsets…
Go Go Go!
Where Curug Cikaso waterfalls, in Ujung Genteng, South West Java
Why: Beautiful beautiful waterfalls that you can swim in to your hearts’ content. Did I mention they were beautiful?
When: We traveled around June of last year. Around this time the water level of the pool is higher. At the start of the rainy season it tends to become lower.
How: The boat to the waterfalls cost 60,000 Rp per person (approx. £3) and entrance costs 3000 Rp (around 20pence).
If you do come to Curug Cikaso, beware. The steps to get closer to the waterfalls are not for those with weak knees. Rocks are big and smooth, the ground is watery and muddy, resulting in a very slippery trap. Despite having the ranger help me and hold my hand (whom, I might add, must have the sturdiest balance I’ve ever seen) I slipped over twice, thwacking my back on the hard rocks underneath me (I and my camera very luckily escaped bruise free). The slipperiness was however, entirely worth it.