Matu Jitu Falls
Ocean Rival Journey Log
Adam Power Diana Power
Mon 30 Sep 2019 09:58
Position 8 14.250S 117 19.300E
Hoping for a gentle overnight sail at the usual 3 knots to reach an anchorage at dawn, it was inevitable that the wind got up to over 20 knots and we were flying along at 6-7. I reefed down to loose speed and lower the loads but still arrived off the village of Labuan Haji an hour or so before dawn. I dropped the sail and drifted until it was light and dropped anchor as the guide suggested just off the stone pier.
I chose the stop for a walk to some waterfalls highlighted in the cruising guide.
Ashore in the little village I was offered a lift on a motorbike but looking forward to the 5km hike I resisted temptation.
It was an enjoyable walk gently climbing on a part cement part dirt track through groves of trees I didn't recognise but later found were cashew. The land was cleared in other areas for coffee plantations I think.
A sign announced the falls and the path dropped to a clearing overlooking the main fall. Not the most impressive in terms of volume or height but in beauty it was well worth the hike. The stream cascades over arcs of calcium deposits forming lovely clear pools between them. I walked further up the bank and swam in one of the pools before crossing on collapsed and part submerged log bridge. Dropping back on the far side I found that the tour from a galleon anchored near me had arrived and were breaking the peace with their noisy antics in the pool under the main falls. I detected Australians not just from the loudness.
The air was filled with butterflies and bright red nymphs. I was hearing noises in the tree tops and then spotted a monkey which vanished before I could aim the camera.
Walking back to the village a steady stream of motorbikes were carrying tourists up and I was glad I had made an early start to beat the crowds.
I stopped in the village for a drink of juice and asked about the cashew trees. The red fruit hangs under the nut and has juicy sweet flesh that leaves your mouth dry. I was easily tempted to have an early lunch and enjoyed a plate of spicy fish with beans and rice. I didn't quite get away without paying for the waterfalls. A man produced a ticket and relieved me of a couple of pounds.
Back aboard I had another bottom scrape as the goose barnacles were beginning to develop and now have a light northerly pushing me a little off course to the south. Heading for Medana Bay to check out a marina.