It was with more than just a little trepidation that I was looking forward to my trip to Gitgit Waterfall. I am by no means an adrenaline junkie. I do enjoy surfing every now and then along with a few other adrenalines pumping sports. However, I would much rather spend my time enjoying the beauty of the waterfall instead of jumping into it. My mates had insisted on bringing me along to enjoy the extreme sport of cannonying. One of them even mentioned one of the quotes of his favourite authors in order to inspire me: “The adrenaline and stress of an adventure are better than a thousand peaceful days”.
That is how I found myself at the base of Gitgit Waterfall. The waterfall itself is spectacular. The cool waters dashed down into the azure pool below while the dense verdant foliage surrounded and sought vainly to conquer it. It was a sight I was enjoying till I remembered that soon I would be the one trying to conquer the waterfall.
Our guide informed us that the cannonying challenge at Gitgit Waterfall was divided into four different courses based on difficulty and time. While many of my mates were adrenaline junkies, most of us were rather unfamiliar with the concept of cannonying. As far as I could gather, cannonying or canyoneering involves travelling in canyons with the help of a variety of techniques. Apart from walking, swimming, abseiling, climbing and scrambling are also required. This activity is quite popular in Bali especially in near the Gitgit Waterfall.
The presence of the guide was quite reassuring as it was quite difficult to locate the waterfall. Moreover, we needed to locate and follow the route to the starting point. Since most of were beginners to this extreme sport, our guide suggested that we start with the easiest course called the Kali Kecil. The tour was simple and took us across some beautiful spots where colour filled up our senses. We had a great time exploring the stunning locales all the while familiarising ourselves with the various activities that is necessary for cannonying such as using a zip line, sliding and abseiling.
I began to feel more confident about myself and was looking forward to the next challenge. I had to say, I was rather enjoying the trip so far. The place’s beauty and graceful atmosphere added to my sense of comfort. However, I was slowly becoming thirstier for more excitement. Like my mates, I, too, wanted to experience a good adrenaline rush. My guide suggested we visit the Kalimudah route next. He received a unanimous ‘Yes!’ in return. It was evident how thrilled we were.
The Kalimudah tour proved to be more of a challenge but we were up for it. Even though this tour was meant for novices, we began to realise and discover for ourselves how much of a challenge cannonying could actually be. It took us 20 minutes to walk towards the starting point. There were volcanic rocks in this part of the canyon, their black making a fantastic contrast with the green forest. This route involved abseiling from a height of 15 meters and jumps from above 8 metres. Unfortunately, it was all over rather too quickly. I felt rather disappointed when the trip finished before I had time to savour the adrenaline flowing through veins.
I could see that my mates were feeling the same as me. Thankfully the day was not yet over and we still had time to take in another course. The guide warned us that the next course would be more advanced. It would over three hours to complete. After a small break, we headed off to the Kerenkali canyon of which Kalimudah canyon was only an extension. Our guide seemed to be doing his best to warn us about the dangers we needed to face to overcome the challenge. However, we were more concerned with the challenge rather than the difficulty. Someone once said that, ‘the greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.’ However, we weren’t in search of glory. We simply wanted to enjoy the exhilaration that came with overcoming a challenge.
The guide informed us that we would be taking in the Kerenkali as well as the Kalimudah canyon together. As promised, this tour proved to be a considerable challenge especially for me with my meagre skills in extreme sports. However, I am proud to say that I did not give up. After walking for 30 minutes to the starting point, we prepared for the descent. The views were unforgettable and the experience was a unique one. We had to make jumps from heights of nearly 10m in some places while abseiling heights were a maximum of 26m in one place. These were the times I experienced the thrill of an adrenaline rush even though I had become receptive to the feeling of the hormone in my blood. I enjoyed the water slides, some of which were as long as 6m. We even had to swim across distances of 20m in order to reach our destination.
At the end of our trip, we were sore and tired. However, a passer-by would have not realised that from our voices. As for me, I leaned against a tree and found solace in the tranquil sight of the Gitgit Waterfall. As I closed my eyes, images of my cannonying trip began to flood back in and I knew I would be back here to experience the surge of adrenaline again.