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From a distance, the water flows gracefully, ordinary and seamlessly undisturbed. The quiet serenity from afar can give one the thought of a quiet atmosphere under the fall as the water hits the ground. The truth is, questions were racing my head as we hiked towards the waterfall. The hilly terrain to our vacation spot did little of encouragement to our legs but the sight of the waterfall kept us going. Severally we would stand and wonder if we would ever get there. The closer we got, the further it felt from us. The stories of previous hikers about the amaze of the place and the nature on the way gave us the audacity to decide, why not take the challenge.
This was not just another nature walk or tour for me and therefore preparation was part of the game. I had imagined being in the middle of a thicket with no one and wild animals chasing me from all corners. The aerial view of the waterfall from the maps made it look so adorable. It should have been the colors used which exemplified the nature itself. The lawn just next to it appeared to be magically placed there and the thought of lying there, with someone shooting the aerial picture left me more eager to go. I am not the hiking type or nature enthusiast but this time, I was the mobilizer getting as many friends as possible to join in. It did work actually as several people who were unexpected to come did come. This made the journey more interesting with all the jokes as we climbed one hill after the other.
What was more interesting was the journey up the hills through the forest. There were seven hills in total and a countdown was our way of encouraging ourselves to move on. Something about nature startles me. When you look at the expanse down the hill, nature seems quiet, in harmony with the wind, as though it was just built for that. The trees arranged symmetrically and forming a sleeping bag at the top. The still bushes which seemed partly lifeless glittered in the sun. At some point, a bush would shake and one could tell the fear around as eyes poked towards it. The quietness in the group at such instances was so loud that one could hear the soft steps of every person. A bird emerges from the bush and one can hear the snares from the group and the laughter mixed with fear, sigh and relieve as we passed each bush.
We passed a canopy which was designed like a shed. The accompanying guide narrated how the buffaloes would come in the evening to enjoy their sleep. One could tell the double fear effect at the thought of buffaloes or wild animals at the sight. We had come this far but the deeper in the woods we went, the more traumatizing so to say it felt. Memories of narratives of buffalos’ aggressiveness came to me and the only thing I could do was hasten my legs past that site. It is though that would help the situation but somehow it did. Once out of the scene, I actually felt relieved.
The path we were following was in the middle of the forest. It majestically stood its space in this wild atmosphere and defended its presence in the assurance of an existence of human by passers and cattle grazers. The Slopes on each side displayed the diverse terrain of the forests. Somehow nature did not mind the disorganized landscapes. Actually, nature looked organized or better said, organized the irregular landscape. One could see animals at the edge of the slope and the guide did a lot in informing us that those meant no harm. The grazers as he called them avoided as much as possible any interaction with human life and since this path provided that, they would be found at the extreme ends of the forest.
On top of the fifth hill, the fall looked larger and it usually was, though smaller than it felt in the Google maps I checked before the hike. Something about nature makes it look so enormous but still small at the same time. This could be experienced only at the top of the hill. Trees seemed small and bushes almost insignificant but as one approached them, they grew huge and even scaring. Actually, the aerial view gave a feeling of human dominance over all nature and the layout of the various ranges across the huge forest, looked harmless. There is such harmony in the whole place and peace that I imagined owning a house at the middle of this ecosystem.
Something though struck me all while. Birds were not evident in this ecosystem with their melodies and humming. The various pictures I had seen on the internet had suggested such an existence and it only dawned how real the reality can actually be. By this fifth hill, we were almost thinking of enjoying the view from the top and head back, but the thought of un-accomplishment kept us going. Some relaxing at this stage gave us a good feel and view of the surroundings. At either end of the forest, houses and towns could be evident. This was shocking due to the thought that once in the forest, that’s the end of human life. The reality dawned on me that actually, we are all in an ecosystem interlinked to each other. I could not figure out how the forest was actually at the center of the ecosystem with human life surrounding it. It felt like, we are surrounded by the wild at every corner.
As we made to our last hill, just next to the waterfall, the atmosphere changed. The cold breeze from the water and the humid air gave a different feel. One would want to spend hours and hours at this place. I still wondered why such an amazing atmosphere would be so deep in the forest, inaccessible to people and in the middle of nowhere. The lawn adjacent the feet of the waterfall brought life to this thicket. Birds could be seen in the various branches and trees and their humming and singing could be heard loud and clear.
The noise from the waterfall became louder and louder as we approached which became a nuisance rather a solace. Nature wonders seemed endless. From a distance, the waterfall looked quiet and graceful but at the scene, it’s noisy, somewhat looking dangerous. We climbed on top of the fall to have a feel of the aerial of the place. Apart from the noise from the falling water, the land lay before us in a majestic and flawless nature. The perfection of the art seemed like dots joining together with ease, effortless like they were meant to just be. A moment of thought and the quietness, the serenity, the harmlessness, the solace and the beauty of nature was complete.
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