Day One: Trekking the Madakaripura Waterfall

*This is a guest blog entry. For more details of our guest blogger, please scroll to the end of the entry!  

[This is part 2 of a series of 4 entries for my 4D3N trip to East Java, Indonesia. For my previous entry, click here.] 

Itinerary for the day

Airport -> Lunch -> Madakaripura Waterfall -> Cafe Lava Hotel at Bromo

Our first stop for the day was Madakaripura Waterfall. The waterfall is named after a great prime minister Gajah Mada, who was a vital character in unifying Indonesia. Legend has it that he eventually chose this place as his final place for meditation, before vanishing spiritually and physically. Also known as the eternal waterfall, it endlessly pours down rains of blessings on those fortunate enough to walk under it! Today, the tradition perseveres and locals visit this place to pay their respects and pray for their blessings.

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Getting to the site of the waterfall was a new experience for me! From where our driver parked the car, we had to pillion ride on 2 different motorbikes (as there are 2 gantries) before we reached the starting point of the actual trek. The rides are pretty short (not more than 5 minutes each) and exciting for someone who hadn’t ridden a motorbike before.

The trek can be split into two parts – the dry and wet sections.

For the first part, we walked on proper wooden walkways/ discernible gravel roads alongside the gentle stream that flows from the waterfall. This was a pretty easy walk, lasting about 30 minutes, with little/no elevation. Then, you will reach a point where used raincoats are strewn over a large rock (please dispose of your disposable raincoats responsibly). This is where you should gear up for the wet section – wear your raincoats, keep all valuable items, take out your waterproof action cameras etc.

For the second part, we had to trudge through the streams with water levels that are knee deep (with reference to the knees of a short person) to get to the site of the main waterfall. You will then pass through sections of the waterfall raining down on you, and after approximately 5 minutes, and bouldering over a cluster of rocks, you will be greeted with the spectacular sights of the Madakaripura Waterfall :D.

 

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Pictures will not do justice to portray the grandeur of the waterfalls (as they never do), but a video, or a vertical panoramic photo might come close 😀 Our guide was really enthusiastic in taking panoramic photos for us.

While some blogs and websites suggest that you can swim in the waterfalls (and I did wear my swim suit just in case), my guide advised against it as it is dangerous, and it would be difficult for them to help us if we do get into any life threatening situations. However, it is ultimately up to you to perform your own risk assessment and decide if you think it’s safe enough to swim! (although I would think it only right and courteous for you to consider the advice of your own guide, since he would feel responsible for your safety).

While it might seem the position where I am standing (behind the waterfall) is shallow, IT IS NOT. As my feet felt its way around in the water to get to where I was standing, other than the rocks I stood on, my feet could not find the ground in the water surrounding those rocks.

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If you do want to swim in a waterfall, please see our trip to the Coban Sewu and Goa Tetes Waterfalls on Day 3 :D.

Some useful tips!

  • Attire: You will need a poncho. (You can always buy a disposable poncho on site and contribute to their economy). You might want to wear knee length/three-quarter pants if you do not want your clothes getting wet. Please change into slippers or sandals (sandals are highly recommended) unless you don’t mind getting your shoes soaked on the first day of your trip.
  • Photography: At the main site of the waterfall, the cascading waterfalls will feel like fine rain and your phones might get a little wet, but you can still use your phones to take pictures (as we did). If you are not comfortable with your phones getting a little wet, either bring a waterproof camera (e.g. GoPro), a waterproof jacket for your phones, or you can purchase a waterproof jacket for your phones at the entrance to the trek. It is possible to bring your tripod and DSLR to the main waterfall if you are an avid photographer, as the trek there is not difficult. However, do remember to give adequate protection to your DSLR against moisture, and try not to fall into the streams on the way there – otherwise, it would be better not to bring it.

Next, we headed to our accommodation for the day at Cafe Lava Hotel at the Bromo area. Our guide was really hospitable and he offered to bring us around the village after we checked into our accommodation.

The village is a small village and there isn’t much to see (or eat), except for the view of the Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park with the sunset as its backdrop. Notice that in this photo, the terrain is visible – KIV this as you will see later, the terrain is no longer visible at sunrise as it is hidden amongst the “clouds”!

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With the sun setting and the fog settling in fast, we decided to head back near our accommodation to fill our bellies, and get ready for an early start (3am) the next day.

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Stay tuned for my next entry, where I bring you to Mount Bromo! 🙂

More about our guest blogger

Yumi is a full-time lawyer who enjoys travelling to remote places and going on hikes. She is an advocate of solo travel and loves interacting with locals. To get in touch with her, email her at: bongyumi92[at]gmail.com 🙂

< Previous: 4D3N East Java, Indonesia Overview

Next: Day Two – Mount Bromo and about >

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