Seven people, including myself, headed up to Green Park which has camping and cabin rentals. We spent the night in one of the cabins on Saturday night(actually two because they slept 4 people each). It's a short drive up the road from my town. The main goal of the trip was to swim in waterfalls and hang out. I can testify that the waterfalls were not a let down in the least bit.
On Saturday morning Lachlan, another friend, and I made it there first and hiked down to the waterfall. I wore my flippies but a pair of shoes would have been a better idea. It's steep and narrow. There is a rope that someone has strung along the path down to help climbing down and back up. If this had not been there it would have not been much fun to get down there.
This is a great waterfall and swim spot. The picture is a bit over exposed and I should edit some of the pics I want to share before I make them public. Oh well. Anyway it is a great deal cooler up in the hills but still was a warm enough day. A bit cloudy though. The water was very refreshing and cold. It is so clear because there isn't much dirt in or around the river. It goes down deep in the middle and that makes it good for jumping in. A little while later the other six people showed up and joined us. We had a good time messing around.
This fall is a good height but Lachlan had never jumped off it for as many times as he has been up to it. So he waged a path through the bush and was the first to jump off. I have a video of that and will upload it after I resize it. I was half tempted myself to jump off but I didn't have shoes to wear to get up there and for the impact. Two of the other guys did. I will do it when I come back another day if I feel like my testosterone is at a peak level. There is another smaller rock to jump off of which is fun as well. But really the biggest jump only needs to be done once and then you can relish that you come out unscathed another day.
After the waterfall we went and checked in and got our cabins.
It was only like 18 bucks per person and they have wide bunk beds inside. They are nice but I didn't get a picture of that. Then we drove to another part of the park up some winding roads. There is an old go kart track way up in the hills. Close to this area is an old four wheel track. According to Lachlan someone got their hand cut off and they closed it all down. The machines are still sitting in an unlocked trailer. You could probably get them to start somehow (I really shouldn't consider this). Close to the area is a big playground, big open hill, and stage. They have a fall festival once a year at this location but other than that it is pretty forlorn.
We on the stage listening to Mia play her guitar and playing sword battles with cardboard tubes. I really enjoy places like this that feel so unused. They cut the grass and the playground is nice but I can't help feeling a sense of neglect. Later on in the day we drove back down to my town for the little festival they were holding. It was at the middle school grounds which is just the gravel/sand area where they do baseball and sports. A bunch of food stalls setup with grilled meats, Japanese foods, and sweets. Lots of people drinking beer and gorging themselves. It is fun if you can get away from the fact everyone looks at you. These festivals really bring out the locals. I never imagined so many people were in the area. I'm sure people drove in from surrounding communities. There was a drinking contest that I didn't participate in because I don't chug well when it comes to liquids. One of the guys we were with won the first round but got beat by a Japanese woman in the next round. After the drinking contest they threw out tons of plastic balls with numbers on them and then pulled numbers out of box ala raffle style. I was fortunate to win a box of yuzu drink. Yuzu is a local citrus fruit and the drink is delicious. The festival ended with fireworks and some dancing by the little ones. I may have seen Japanese people dressed in black face but you should just see if you can spot that in my pictures. The fireworks were pretty good for such a small town/village. The question is where they get the money for these...
In the morning on Sunday we got all our stuff together to hike out to one more waterfall location. This drive took us high up into the mountains with some nice views along the way. I'm not sure how others feel but the mountains make me smile inside. It feels great to be out in nature. These forests are so lush and green. I love it. But I hear they can look pretty depressing in winter but that won't be here for quite some time.
This waterfall is a bit different because you can't really swim at the bottom of it. It just looks nice more than anything. You can walk down to the fall and look out. That is where the next picture is from. There are great views of the mountains up here. There is an actual trail down to the fall so anyone could get there.
We swam a little up from here in a smaller pool of water. Not as deep or big as the previous day but equally relaxing and nice. I think it was even a bit colder. You can get a nice massage under the little falls here. Left my back feeling like it was itching. I love swimming in natural pools. For the longest time I have dreamed of swimming in creeks or rivers. Makes my mind beam when I get to experience these places. Best yet is that there are more places to see and experience. Even if life is slow here during the week. The beauty makes up for a lot of that. I'm just glad I wasn't put in flat rice paddy area. I would have stayed in Illinois if that was the case.
This week should be interesting because I have to go to a cooking club at a local middle school and teach how to make something. I believe I have settled on making macaroni and cheese (more on this in another post). We also have orientation for Kochi Jets this Thursday and Friday. That should be interesting and fun. I could write volumes every time I sit down here but it probably doesn't matter to include so many details. I'll save those for my own memory and when you talk to me personally.
Until tomorrow or whenever...