Heading back from the west of Bali after a satisfying week of surfing, we took an unpredictable turn and went off the beaten track looking for Blahmantung waterfall near the small village of Pupuan. Lying in the middle of the jungle this 100m high waterfall was thoroughly hidden, making it quiet hard to find. After we had asked around, coming up with funny Balinese translations, we finally got a lead on the exact location.
Many locals were confused about what we were talking about. We got a lot of empty answers before one motorbike driver took the generous deed to guide us to the hidden entrance. Apparently it wasn’t supposed to be far, so we left our hiking shoes in the car and kept our flip-flops on. Big hell of a mistake!
The scary walk
As we were walking in the jungle between random coffee plantation chasing off mosquitos and all kind of weird insects we were terrified by the violent sudden bark of dogs. We didn’t know where we were exactly and started having all kind of pessimistic thoughts imagining any possible mishap with its rescue scenario. We even wondered if we got intentionally mislead by the motorbike driver so that he could break into our car and steal our possessions!
With all this nonsense grumbling in our heads, we reached a small farmhouse and exhaled our fears away. The farmer showed us the way through a small hidden path, which was impossible to find on our own, and told us that we had to hike down for about 20 more minutes. At that point we were relaxed and happy that we had finally found the waterfall. Spotting the tip of the hidden water giant, we got excited and pasted our steps. Little did we know by then that the road down had saved some serious challenges to overcome. Mud started accumulating between our toes and under our feet making it impossible to walk with our flip-flops without shaking and twisting our bodies in asymmetric moves trying to maintain our balance.
At that point, going back up to the car to get our hiking shoes was out of the question. The sun was setting and we were running out of time. We could either continue with this unpleasant slippery walk and reach our goal or give up and head back. We retained our stamina and courageous spirits and moved further. We weren’t disappointed at all.
Reaching the waterfall was like finding a pearl in a seashell. The long strip of white refreshing water took our breath away. The flow was intense and powerful making it impossible for us to reach the center. Just in front of it, a small Hindu sanctuary was built and plenty of offerings were displayed on a perfectly square shape rock. It was clearly a sacred place. Just like every natural Balinese wonder, Blahmantung waterfall was honored as one of the gods precious creations.
We were very fortunate to be there on our own without the touristic chaos. In fact, that’s one of the major advantages of going off the beaten track. We had the whole waterfall to ourselves and we enjoyed every second of it. It was the perfect place to showcase my photography talent and Bea’s fashion model potential.
After that photo-shooting session, we barely had the time to go in for a small dip before getting all the way back up. We were chasing the sunlight as it was fading away leaving place for darkness to rule. On the way back up we suffered from the same slippery conditions to the point that we had to take off our flip-flops and continue the walk barefoot. Although small cuts claimed some of our painful yelps, the true torture here was the unbearable burning rash caused by poison ivy plants.
No for flip-flops hikes
As short as the hike might be, especially in wet and muddy conditions, it is merely impossible to walk in flip-flops. Always aim for hiking shoes or sandals. We learned that the hard way. It is always very exciting to wonder in unknown virgin grounds, but better be prepared than sorry. We will never go for a hike in flip-flops, that’s for sure.
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