Twin bridges to twin waterfalls. A waterfall I encountered by luck makes the title of this piece I want to share with all travelers. My name is James HS Cameron, but like all people I know, you may call me Jem (gem stone). Growing up as a child I already figured out to have a desk job in an office is not a life I would live. Personally, there is something about cities which makes me feel claustrophobic and paranoid, the buildings and roads close in and seems too narrow for me to see freedom on earth.
I found the “Watu Ondo” waterfalls by coincidence; a beautiful gem not many people are aware of, including locals. Located near a public hot spring in a town named “Batu” (rock) I found the waterfalls when one of my good friends from United Kingdom, came to visit me in Indonesia. His name is Gordon also known as “Gee” and works in the UK as a tree surgeon/tree doctor. I became his local guide here to show him the country, took him to the area to show him the rain forest for wildlife and tree spotting. The area is under protection of the national department of forestry and wildlife.
The hot spring area is famous for fermented forbidden rice (black/purple rice), so we had a swim and decided to find something to warm our bellies. Travelers will be able to find the fermented rice in the hot spring area but usually already in a liquid form and not fermented long enough to make our bellies feel warmer. I decided to take Gee to one of our spots, further up the main road passing the hot springs through the rain forest, travelers will find twin bridges, the first bridge passing over a canyon. We parked up my vespa in between the two bridges to purchase from a rice seller; the exotic snack and also a liter of the liquid form. Whilst sitting on the bridge overlooking the river flowing through the canyon, we had our snack and drank, taking pictures. When we were sitting peacefully, the both of us heard the sound of nature; of water dropping in our ears, at first we thought it was the river underneath us but soon realized it would only be the twin waterfalls nearby, unseen from the bridges but not unheard. We left the area because we needed to water the plants in the backyard of the house, but I had a gut feeling to go back. We already visited all the main waterfalls in Batu, but we almost missed out on my favorite. The feeling never left me and on instinct we went back to the area with the mission to find the sound, passing the bridges about 50 meters further ahead there is a clearing on the right, we almost missed it!
After parking the bike there are steps made out of stones leading down, these stone steps are named after the waterfall. As travelers go down the steps you will see immaculate views of nature between rest points, only 5-10 minutes to get to the waterfall the final resting point is the best. Gee and myself spent some time awestruck at the view, turned out to be two twin waterfalls in perfect view of each other! Each with a shallow pool under each waterfall. As we enjoyed the view, we noticed there was a romantic local couple and we did not want to intrude their peace. We waited whilst having our fermented forbidden rice and went down when they left. We were literally the only ones there and spent almost a day there enjoying the nature. The beauty you will get is indescribable. A place a traveler must witness themselves, because no words can explain it.
Watu Ondo is now one of my favorite spots on earth and yes, I see freedom there. You might be lucky to find a Javanese hawk flying around or the friendly, peaceful Macaque monkeys enjoying their habitat.
My entry goes out to all travelers and those who daydream about leading a life of adventure but is working in an office in the city. There are certain moments in life where your instincts tell you something, but is put to one side and then forgotten. The feeling you get is nature calling and talking from personal experience, this is where you will find magic in life, not through coincidence or luck but through this calling which might take you to unexpected moments of beauty and adventure where you may encounter romance, friendship and experience. In my own words; age and time is just a bunch of numbers, you are as old as you feel and you have all the time in the world. So go travel and enjoy your life.
About the Author: James HS Cameron is co-founder and CEO of Archipelago Encounter. Born in Indonesia on 14.11.1989 from an Indonesian mother and British father. His final dream in life is to be one of the best tour guides for Indonesia and to save up for a Phinisi schooner that will take him and travelers to sail all 17,000 islands of Indonesia.
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