Sunday, October 18, 2009

a beautiful waterfall in Sumatra - Lubuk Hitam

Literally means Black Hole. Scary name eh. Maybe the locals just have a black sense of humor :) or it could reflect a darker past, in which case I prefer not to know...

We were in this part of Sumatra over the labour day weekend (30 April - 3 May 2009). It's a lovely place that I would like to come back to... after I'm done visiting a lot other places (on my places to visit before I die list) in South East Asia.

I'm putting this up because of the recent earthquake in Padang. :(

During our short stay there, we made friends with a few locals and a fellow traveller. When I heard about the earthquake, I sent text to Raoul, the guy who ran the losmen (Losmen Tintin) where we stayed. No reply. The next day I sent a message on his facebook. Still no reply. I was sorry that I might have lost a friend. Then 3 days later he sent me a message on facebook saying he and his family were ok!! Relief! :)

The trip :
I didn't want to do the tourist routine - going to Bukit Tinggi - as on the flight to Padang, I heard the others talking about going there. But even before I knew just exactly how many planned to go to Bukit Tinggi, I'd already decided I wanted to do something different. Something the locals would probably do - go to the waterfalls on a Saturday morning :)
I had checked online, and I checked again with Raoul. He confirmed that there was a waterfall nearby, but that we'd have to do it on our own. No matter. :) more fun that way :)
He did get a friend to give us a ride to the waterfall tho. And what a ride! Three on a motorbike, helmetless, zipping on a narrow meandering road through a picturesque village. Definitely no regrets there! :) I think it cost us Rupiah3000, but one can negotiate down :)

The early part of the trail was easy enough to get through.

Parts of the trail ran alongside the river. There were quite a number of locals bathing in the river. In their underwear or nothing at all. I was too polite to take pictures :)

It rained earlier in the morning, at dawn, so as we got closer to the waterfall, the climbing became a bit harder not because of anything else but the wet boulders. Some of them were huge and mossy and so slippery! Good thing we met some local boys who were on their way up - for their morning bath! - and they offered to help us :) pretty good huh? :)

The place where we stopped gave us a lovely view of the waterfall. The boys stripped down to their underwear. I think if we hadn't been around they'd probably have gone au naturel :)

The sound of the waterfall was lovely. I can still hear it in my head if I concentrate just so :)


  1. All of the photos on your site are really great. It sounds like it was a lot of fun to see the waterfall. I'm glad your friends were alright.

    I remember when I was around seven, my family went to Hawaii and we found a place off the beaten path that gave guided hikes to a waterfall. We had to rent these old tennis shoes. They looked like they had been washed in muddy water. We walked forever along the river edge, climbing the winding path. Our shoes kept getting stuck in the mud. Finally we reached the waterfall and it was beautiful.

    I think your pictures are a lot cooler than ours. Thanks for sharing. I wish I was at that waterfall right now, everything looks so peaceful.

  2. Thank you! I wish I were there too, right now. It is peaceful, nothing but the sound of the jungle and the falls.. bliss!! :)

  3. Thanks Raoul! Your pictures on your blog are great too!


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