While on Lombok we had the option of either snorkeling off the Gilis or a waterfall hike in the North. Knowing we had to travel the next day we figured we would keep things drier on the hike…. how misguided we were!
Several posts on Tripadvisor recommended Eko, so we booked a daytrip with him before we left the US. On the morning of our trip Eko met us in the hotel lobby and apologized that he couldn’t take us due to an appointment for his children, but had brought Omar to be our driver for the day. Omar was very personable with good English skills and a fine replacement. We started our drive north and had our first glimpses of the road in daylight – traffic was definitely interesting, with lots of motorbikes, trucks, etc., a theme woven throughout our travels on Lombok and Bali. Not too far from our resort were several overlooks of the coast and Gili Islands.
From there we had a long two hour drive to Senaru for waterfalls.
Eko had pre-arranged for local guide Jon to take us to the waterfalls – this wasn’t strictly necessary, as the trail is reasonably easy to follow, but more of an employment opportunity. Jon carried Leandra’s backpack and lead us down the trail.
Two minutes into our hike it started to drizzle, and then five minutes later the skies opened up and it was raining in earnest. It let up here and there but we can safely say it rained for the remainder of our two hour hike. All in all, harder to take photos, but better than sweaty, hot and buggy! Sendang Gila was the first waterfall and it had a small picnic area. We ducked under one of the shelters and managed to get a few photos of the waterfall without completely soaking the camera.
The trail to the second fall included a river crossing, which given the rain was flowing pretty heartily. Jon was quite helpful in picking a good crossing point especially for Leandra.
There was a small rock overhang near Tiu Kelep falls that sheltered the camera again but between the mist off the falls and rain it was a challenging photographic environment.
The base of Tiu Kelep has a nice natural swimming pool and we went up for a closer look. Given the rain the stream was really rushing with lots of downdraft so we skipped a swim- really, we were wet enough! The hike back took us through a water tunnel cut through the hillside.
Much of the tunnel was pitch black, with sections of small openings for light.
Needless to say we returned to the car absolutely dripping wet. In all the hike to the two falls was 3.75 miles of mostly easy walking.
After drying off a bit (and turning down lunch) we began our drive back. At the beginning we were behind a group of celebrating students on motorcycles (lots of engine revving). Further along were more interesting sights: cows and chickens, naked children, a baby held on a motorcycle with one arm by a smoking father, 750ml vodka bottles filled with petrol by smoking(!) men, rice fields, and an unfortunate amount of litter.
Omar was a good guide for the day, and we enjoyed our trip to the falls. I would certainly book other tours through them on our next visit to Lombok.