It was world news when a 6.2 magnitude earthquake devastated the island of Lombok, killing close to 500 people and injuring thousands. There are no words to describe the sadness I feel for the beautiful people of Indonesia who lost loved ones and had their homes and businesses destroyed.
Lombok, being known for its beautiful beaches, stunning waterfalls, and incredible volcano hike, was a place that I had had always wanted to visit. So on my last trip to Gilli Trawangan, a nearby island to Lombok, I decided to head over to visit some of these waterfalls and see how the island was doing.
When trying to find a guide to take us we were told mixed things about the waterfall and whether it was still reachable. Some refused to take us saying the path had been destroyed, however we found a guide who said it was safe and would take us, and so booked our boat trip for the next morning.
The boat took about 30 minutes to reach Lombok and on arriving in the main harbour it was evident that the tourist side of the island had taken a hit. there was hardly any Westerners but we were greeted by smiles from the locals and offered a whole range of things from tours, to restaurants, to jewellery, before finding our driver. The drive took about an hour and gave us small view of the destruction that had occured and how much work still needed to be done to restore the beautiful island.
We were soon making our way into the mountains and the scene changed completely as we arrived at the starting point and were introduced to our new guide. He explained that there had been very few tourists since the earthquake but was hoping it would pick up again soon
The first waterfall we passed was surrounded by giggling locals enjoying a swim in the cascade of water which came from what looked like, inside the cliff face. It was absolutely beautiful to see with monkeys following us on the walk down.
I decided to save the swim in that waterfall for later as the walk to the next was a little longer and I didn’t want to be wet, so we started our hike to the second and biggest waterfall named Tiu Kelep. there was a high and thin bridge that we needed to cross at the start of the walk, and I was very surprised to find it hadn’t fallen in the earthquake as it would have made reaching the waterfall impossible. However the path onwards was covered in fallen trees and large boulders, with makeshift ladders built over them to aid the way to the waterfall.
Our guide told us the path had changed slightly due to the fallen debris, but over all it wasn’t too difficult, and after about 30 minutes our path led us to the most beautiful waterfall I had ever seen. The water was falling so hard that the spray reached us almost 40 meters away. it was absolutely stunning and the closer we got the more intense the wind and spray was. never the less we went for a swim and loved every second of it. The best part about the experience was that we were the only people there! On our way back we stopped a the first waterfall and I went for a swim, this time walking through the icy waterfall and standing in the clearing behind, it was really quite amazing.
The walk back up was definitely harder then walk down, and I stupidly decided to open a packet of chips so had the monkey mafia following me until I shared. it was an incredible experience and im so glad we went, and really hope that the tourism starts to pick up again in Lombok.
TIPS: wear plastic flip flops or water shoes as you have to walk through water, also try go early in the morning to avoid crowds!
Some good friends of mine in Bali have started a charity called The Shelter Project, which aims to provide shelters for families who have been left homeless after the earthquake. I have added a video below produced by The Shelter Project to explain a little but about it, with the link to donate below. Any donation would help, with each shelter costing $700 and providing shelter for a whole family for 2 years.
Terimah Kasih !!
xxx Love Kaitlin