“Arinta… ever wet ever flowing, the obsession of Ipole people, ever plunging ever splashing”
In Ekiti State, SW Nigeria, boulders of quartzite dot the foot slopes, glistening in the excited mid-day sun. Thick forests loom above, kissing the sun-charred skies at a verdant skyline. A smooth and well-tarred road branches off the main road which leads to Ikogosi Warm Spring. At the turn, the road ascends steeply and confronts the gigantic Effon Ridge beyond which lies the rustic Ipole-Iloro enclave, the land that homes the magnificent Arinta Waterfalls.
On ascending the steep slopes of the overawing ridge, panoramas of a beautiful valley trapped between two ridges meet the eyes. The landscape features a sprawling expanse of plush vegetation set with a patchwork of rust-brown ‘tabs’ at a distance, and a sky-line bedecked with gently undulating ridgetops on the otherside. The noon-day sun energised the verdural flavour of the valley below, casting it in a harmonious romance of bright and dark shades of leaf green. The tarred road descends down the other side of the ridge to meet the sleepy enclave of Ipole-Iloro. A small stream meets the road at the village entrance. It is called Oluwa stream, and being highly-revered by the people, it is said that the water can cure any kind of diseases.
The enclave holds a total human population of about eight hundred people. Aayo spring can be seen winding its way across the village, dividing the village into two parts. The first part towards the south, holds the area where the ancestors of Ipole-Iloro people first dwelt before expansion took the boundaries of the village beyond the river to the other side. This cultural landmark constitutes a major landmark in the enclave and it’s highly treasured by the people.
The long trek to the magnificent Arinta Waterfalls takes an hour and the wide but graded road to the falls narrows as one moves towards the outskirts of the village, with the relatively low bushes subtly evolving into thickets of forest vegetation as the topography diffuses into a montage of rugged hills and narrow river valleys, interspersing small streams of crystal-clear spring waters, exuding from the majestic peaks of the ridge.
After trekking for about an hour, the dusty road stylishly narrows again into a footpath which winds into a dense forest clothed in a palpable ambience of heavy humidity. The muddy path bursts into an open area within the enclosing forest canopies. Giant rock boulders lie strewn everywhere. The noise of heavy rain and the smell of dense moisture imprison the air. I look around to catch my first glimpse of the alluring deluge. The large boulders and surrounding giant ferns obstruct my sight. In an instant, my baited soul is sated as I behold one of the most beautiful sights in Ekiti land- the seven cascades of Arinta Waterfalls. The first/basal cascade leaps from rocky ledge above, brushes a polished slope and hits the rocks below with in defening deluge. The crystal clear waters belch a cloud of water vapour on the vicinity. Sharp rays of sunlight pierce the air and refracts a rainbow at the plunge pool.
The remaining moments of the trip was greater fun as I explored the other cascades on the step-wise waterfalls. The multiple cascades of Arinta waterfalls is said to consist of seven distinct cascades in all, but I was only able to access the first four cascades (from the base). Another wonderful attraction at one of the seven cascades of the waterfall is a cobble called ‘The Wonderful Stone’. The stone, which is about 25cm in diameter, is said to be so mysteriously heavy that even the strongest and the heftiest of all men in the world cannot lift it.
The characteristic similarity in the number of cascades on Arinta Waterfalls and Erin-Ijesa Waterfalls is exceptionally fascinating, as well as the specular siting of the two waterfalls on opposite sides of the same ridge.
The cascades of Arinta Waterfall remain a deluge of joy in my memories, each time I remember my visit to her domain where she, forever exerts an unquestionable dominion.
Directions to Arinta Waterfalls:
Akure » Igbara-Oke » Ikogosi Ekiti » Ipole-Oloro Ekiti
Lagos » Ibadan » Ilesha » Igbara-Oke » Ikogosi Ekiti » Ipole-Oloro Ekiti
Abuja » Lokoja » Kabba » Omuo-Ekiti » Ado-Ekiti » Effon-Alaaye » Ipole-Iloro Ekiti
A VIDEO OF ARINTA WATERFALLS:
Now tell us what you think about this wonderful waterfall; paint your thoughts in your own words and let your words take the mould of your own thoughts.
This article was written by Folarin Kolawole
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