A couple Sundays ago, we were having another gorgeous weekend in Okinawa, however, the sea conditions were not looking good. So, we opted for fresh water instead - River Trekking. I'd heard about this trek awhile back, but just hadn't gotten around to checking it off our "to-do" list, when our friends Nick and Amanda invited us to go with them. The trek basically leads to a gorgeous waterfall (Tadake Falls), however, the reason it is a "trek" and not just a "hike" is because there is no trail to this waterfall - the river IS the trail.
To begin, we simply got into the river and started walking up-stream. It was definitely a little workout - not only walking through water that ranged from a few shallow inches to so deep we couldn't touch the bottom when swimming in it - but a lot of climbing up rocks and "little falls" were required as well. We saw some little Japanese kids on the way up, but I'm not sure I would bring a child under the age of 10-12. It was definitely a real "nature" experience. No man-made wooden walkways and staircases here! The only assistance of any kind that we received were a few strategically placed ropes that previous trekkers had tied to tree limbs in order to assist themselves and others across difficult sections of the river or up steep hills.
Check out this video clip of Matt and Nick jumping off rocks into the river:
It took us about 45 minutes to get to Tadake Falls - the waterfall was awesome, and there was a gorgeous pool of water at the bottom to swim in
Check out this video clip of Tadake Falls:
If you're real adventurous, there is a trail (and I use this term loosely) at the end that you can hike up into the forest and come out up on the top of the falls. Naturally, we had to do this. I kid you not, the "trail" was basically us climbing straight up a steep incline into the jungle. Without the ropes that previous hikers had tied to tree branches and roots, we would not have been able to climb it. There is no way a child would be able to do it - on our way back down, we were literally repelling backward using these ropes!
Matt at the beginning of the "trail" to the top of the falls
We ended up spending a few hours out there by the time we made it back down the river to our trucks. It was a great experience, and I loved that the trek was so natural and rugged with no man-made walkways. Definitely an Okinawan experience we'll have again before leaving!
Thanks everyone for following! 'Till next time:)