Friday 30 July, Waterfall Bay, Pentecost 15.47.18S 168.09.73E
Our initial introduction to this waterfall was some weeks ago while travelling North! A continuous torrent of water falling some 50 metres into a plunge-pool was a great sight through the binoculars.
And so it was that at 9.30am, we met our friends from the yacht ‘Bob’ anchored nearby (Bruce, Nicola, Ella(13) and Poppy(9)), and along with Jocelyn our guide from a nearby bungalow, set off to walk to the waterfall. All four of the crew joined in the adventure, as Mike now free of the bonds of medical records, was able to come ashore. After a brief 10 minute walk through sometimes muddy grassland and fording a river, we came to a gate barrier made up of six cross beams. Have to keep the cows out was Jocelyn’s response and a little later we saw the reason why. The area we were visiting was a prime area for growing the kava plant – a bulbous root plant with lush green foliage which I’m sure the cows would devour at their earliest opportunity. Given the significance of kava, it’s not surprising there were wire fences and gates protecting the area.
After a couple of minutes moving aside poles, we proceeded through the gate barrier with the crashing of water into the plunge pool getting ever closer. Another few minutes along the slippery, muddy and sometimes steep track, we were standing on a rock outcrop with the amazing waterfall plunging in a surreal vista before us. A great photo opportunity not to be missed. The full set of photos were taken, just like a formal occasion – father and son, full ‘Bob” family, Matthew, Lanie and Matthew etc, and finally all Mission 3 crew, (what remains of it) all with the wonderful waterfall in the background.
When this was complete, we all turned from this rocky outcrop to tackle the slippery track back down to the plunge-pool that we had all been so looking forward to. Not five minutes later, we were at the base of the waterfall and ready to pick our way through the rocks to the pool. “It’s no use hanging about, get straight in” was the call and within a couple of minutes the initial shock of cold water was over as we swam around this cascade pool. The waterfall has a series of cascades, with the one we entered being the first cascade after the main plunge-pool that received a 50 metre high torrent of water. A number of the more adventurous climbed into the main pool and under the waterfall, but the rocks were somewhat slimy and extra slippy. The less adventurous of us (ie me Mike) quickly retreated to the lower pool to relax in the more gently flowing torrent.
We had been looking forward to this waterfall for a couple of days and none of us were disappointed. We spent the rest of the morning in the water, and decided that as it was approaching mid-day we should slowly retrace our steps to the Guest House where lunch was being prepared by Jocelyn. Rob had earlier negotiated lunch with Jocelyn and struck a good deal. A very tasty lunch of rice, chicken pasta, river prawn soup and banana lap-lap was served to all ten of us – a couple on their honeymoon (Paul and Amy) who were staying at the Guesthouse joined us for lunch. Lemon drink was also provided and for the princely sum of 500 Vatu (AUD 6 dollars) in total – the four crew members were well fed.
Many questions were asked about the food and particularly the making of the banana lap-lap and it was revealed that lap-lap is the name of the process by which the ‘delicacy’ is prepared and can be made from many different ingredients. Today’s being made from banana, wrapped in island cabbage. This is the best we have eaten – but still a very acquired taste.
A walk along the road to the next village in search of ‘lady finger’ bananas was made, before returning to the beach, the dinghy and Chimere banana-less!
The family on “Bob” who are travelling around the South Pacific, came back to Chimere for afternoon tea and the obligatory MSM 2009 Video. This time Mission 3 (Banks and Torres) was played as Bruce had wanted to sail into the middle of the extinct volcano at Ureparapara as Chimere did last year. After a hour or so of additional chat and nearing dark, it was time to bid farewell to out new found Kiwi friends and commence preparing Chimere for a 3.00am start for the 14 hour sail to Lamman bay on Epi island.
A magical day visiting the amazing waterfall!
Smooth seas, fair breeze and a magical waterfall