Somewhere in the countryside of Ekiti, tucked away in a huge crevice within the massive Effon Anticline, boulders of quartzite clog water-wet foot slopes, glistening in the excited mid-day sun. Thick forests loom above the crevice, kissing the sun-clad skies at a beautiful skyline. The sound of plunging waters and the smell of dense moisture filled the air. I was held spell-bound by my first glimpse of the alluring waterfalls. Large rock boulders and giant fern vegetation adorned the foot-slopes and plunge pool of the waterfall. In an instant, my soul became overwhelmed with awe as I beheld one of the most beautiful sights in Ekiti land- the seven cascades of Arinta Waterfalls.
Arinta Waterfalls is located in Ipole-Iloro town, separated from Ikogosi-Ekiti by an arm of the Effon Anticline. A smooth and well-tarred road branches off the main road that leads to Ikogosi Warm Spring and ascends the steep anticline, beyond which lies the rustic Ipole-Iloro enclave. On ascending the steep slopes of the ridge, panoramas of a beautiful valley trapped between two arms of the massive anticline meet the eyes. The landscape displays a sprawling expanse of plush vegetation set with a patchwork of rust-brown roofs of village houses at a distance, and a sky-line bedecked with gently undulating ridgetops on the other side. The noon-day sun energizes 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. The stream is highly-revered by the people, and it is believed to possess spiritual powers that can cure any kind of disease. The enclave holds a total human population of about eight hundred people. Aayo Stream, one of the important streams in the valley, winds its way across the village, dividing it into two parts. The first part towards the south, was where the ancestors of Ipole-Iloro people first dwelt before expansion took the boundaries of the village beyond the river to the northern flank of the stream. This cultural landmark constitutes a major landmark in the enclave and it is very much treasured by the people.
I decided to hike from the village to the waterfall. The long hike took an hour. The first cascade of the waterfall leaps from a rocky ledge above, scrapes a polished slope and hits the rocks below with a deafening thud. As it falls, the crystal clear plunging waters belch a cloud of water vapour into the air. Sharp rays of sunlight pierce the air and refracts a rainbow at the plunge pool. I hiked up the side slopes of the waterfall to explore the other cascades of the step-like 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 bottom of the ridge). Another wonderful attraction at one of the seven cascades of the waterfall is a small boulder-sized rock called ‘The Wonderful Stone’. The stone is believed to be so mysteriously heavy that even the strongest and the heftiest of all men in the world cannot lift it.
In is important and fascinating to note that both Arinta Waterfalls and Olumirin Waterfalls (in Osun State) are located on opposite sides of the same ridge. Olumirin Waterfalls is also believed to have seven cascades. However, the cascades of Arinta Waterfall remain a deluge of joy in my memories, each time it comes to mind. One cannot but wish for an unending treat as the one that cascades of Arinta Waterfalls offer.