Canyoning is an activity based on searching rivers, canyons, and waterfalls and bringing together a variety of techniques such as scrambling, rappelling, abseiling, river-hiking, cliff jumping, and swimming. Canyoning begins in France and the European countries then flourished to America and the rest of the world. Initially, canyoning was intended for hydrological, meteorological, and other research. – Some of the information I get after browsing the internet with the keyword “canyoning”.
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Canyoning: The Begining
December 5, 2013. The beginning of the month at the end of the year, a few days ago I again received an invitation from Baturraden Adventure Forest (BAF) to try canyoning. Time to try the canyoning package they offer. The term is indeed familiar because I have been in the rock climbing. But honestly, I’ve tried it. And the offer certainly made me quite interested.
That morning I left with my friend Satrio Hapsoro, a friend of mine Jalom Norr, and a friend of the Wiwit Yuni community. Two guys from BAF became our guide, Hadi, and Sardi. The trip starts from the BAF location to the entry point (entry point). To get to the Entry point, we have to pass bush and bamboo grove in the middle of the heterogeneous forest. We also passed Telaga Putri which will become our exit point (exit point).
Canyoning: The Lake
The clear lake that became our entry point was a two-meter waterfall metered with a crystal clear watery pool beneath it. The waterfall is one source of water that blends in the flow of the River Pelus. The Pelus River is a river that divides the eastern city of Purwokerto, while the upper reaches are in Baturraden sub-district and are included in one of the BAF areas.
At that point, we have to decline with rappelling techniques. To me who is familiar with such activities feels quite ordinary. But for Rio and Jalom who may have just done it, they seem to have to adjust. No exception with Wiwit.
At the bottom of the waterfall, at the edge of Telaga Bening, I looked at the cliffs on our right and left. Cliffs covered in scrub and dense plants typical of tropical rainforest make me amazed. As long as I’m exploring the forest, this is the lowest level of forest base I’ve ever explored. An unusual sight to me, with unusual beauty.
Previously, I read a canyoning article from National Geographic magazine that covered about canyoning in Australia complete with lively photographs. I did not expect to find a kick that is not much different in my city. Truly a hidden paradise.
Canyoning: Pelus River
It took me long before we finally moved along the stream of the Pelus River. Along the way, we set on the slippery andesite rocks covered in moss. Occasionally we had to plunge ourselves into the water puddles created by the flow of water trapped by the rocks.
The waters of the Pure River stream are clear with temperatures I estimated at about sixteen to eighteen degrees centigrade. It was so clear that I could see the shrimps moving at the bottom of the river. The water varies from the depth of the ankle to the waist. But behind that calm, I’m sure the river will overflow and become fierce when the flood comes. Quite often I visit the BAF, and several times I find a flood that in minutes changes the flow of the Pelus River into a turbid flood that is ready to sink anything. Not surprising considering it is the upstream character of the rainforest rivers.
Almost three hours of our journey across the base of the Pelus River. The stone gate greeted us that required us to duck over it. No name given to locals by locals. Probably because it was untouchable, except by the amateur canyoneer before us. But the shape is quite unique. On a narrow river contour about eighty centimeters there is a pinned stone that leaves a half-meter wide aisle. I wonder how many hundreds of years the stone is in its place. One by one we crawled under it.
“About twenty yards ahead is the exit”, our guide said.
Canyoning: Waterfall Story
And a five-meter-high waterfall welcomed us. We are right above the princess lake, the exit point we have been through. There is a little local story about the lake with no more than fifteen widths. Local people believe for those who are a difficult match, will quickly get a mate if bathing in this lake on certain nights. The tradition faded with the times, especially after the area of BAF. Do I believe it? I’m more confident the mate is easy to come if often on campus. Haha.
In this lake, One by one from us jumps from the top of the waterfall leaving Rio and Wiwit are hesitant to come jump. Long enough until they decide not to cliff jumping. Forced our guide to install a rope for rappelling through anchor hanger that has been installed.
Inspired by the article about canyoning I’ve read on National Geographic, I’m very confident about the future of this activity. In Indonesia, or at least in Baturraden. Through a brief conversation, Twitter account @Canyoning_ID was created. Which is the first step for us to re-perform similar activities? Whether it’s a hobby, or whatever it is.