Part 5 of our series of ten posts on our stay at Telunas Beach Resort. For the other posts, do check this link.
One of the suggested highlight activities of a Telunas stay is the Jungle Waterfall Hike. This is by no means our first visit to a South-East Asian waterfall of course, and that a 12 km hike was necessary to get to the waterfall was daunting. And to get to the start-point of the hike involved a 20 minute boat ride to the other side of the island. However, the payoff would be a dip into a freshwater pond supported by two jump-off points too.
If we were the only two travelers, this would had been an easy decision. But we decided early on that Hannah would love the experience of dipping into the freshwater waterfall pond too. We just had to mentally prepare ourselves of cajoling/carrying/piggy-backing her the 12 km each direction!
Fortunately, Ling’s always thoughtful when it comes to preparing our party for this sort of thing. We were armed with military grade sunblock and insect repellent that was so pungent that all the mosquitoes in the vicinity probably ended up feeding themselves on the numerous chickens or odd cow we hiked past in the trail. We brought our a piggy-back harness for Hannah too, but ended up using the superior harness the Resort offered for loan.
The boat ride was through fairly calm waters, and took us through very shallow mangrove swamp waters. Our jolly Telunas staff guide, Nick, explained that ideally, visitors should make the hike when it’s high-tide as it’d mean we can take the boat further in and shorten the hiking distance. Moreover, we were a pretty small group of ten – our party of four, another family of four, Nick, and another local guide who was also one of the two boatsmen – which meant that the boat they used was a pretty small one that could fit through the narrow and winding streams of the swamp.
The vast majority of the trail was muddy, which thankfully was made easier to walk on through long planks for the worst parts. The ground was pretty wet from earlier rain however, and it wasn’t easy navigating through numerous sections of the trail. Hannah initially wanted to walk, but she quickly lagged so far behind the point-man that she gave up and asked to be carried 10 minutes into the hike. Ling and I took turns to carry her, and the sum of that experience is one word: painful LOL.
The 12 km hike took us a total of about 100 minutes. Earlier visitors had noted that they spent about 15 to 20 minutes at the waterfall, but we ended up staying for 50 minutes! The water was marvelously cool and also reasonably clean. There is an alcove too that you can stand at and enjoy the full blast of the onrushing waterfall waters. It felt like a power massage!
Our Ang mo bud didn’t try the waters himself, despite all our encouragement. He was quite contended to stay on the rocks and got in some nifty long-exposures of the fast-moving waterfall and also streams.
The return journey was a lot quicker than getting-there. One of the boatmen offered to carry hand-carry Hannah, which we took up the offer for half the journey back before I took over again.
In all, was the 24 km hike both ways worth it? Definitely, and more so if you don’t have to bring/carry a three year old.=) And for visitors to our blog, you really should stay longer than the 30 minutes the Resort review suggests. The Telunas staff didn’t (of course) pressurize us to leave early, and we made up for the time by double-timing on our return journey. Or maybe it was just that we were so hungry for lunch by the time we were done!
Next post – Part 6 – on the Malay Village Lunch event.=)