The Kingfish

When we wake up we are immediately followed by 4 kids from the surrounding villages. In the beginning this is a bit threatening, but when I return later to talk to them it turns out that they are bored and are looking for something to do. It is Saturday and there is nothing else for them to do. When I talk to them I call them boys, but soon I am being corrected by one of them. He points at the others and says: “ They are boys, I am a man”.

A brochure about local culture tells me that boys need to do a ceremony of a certain period in which they do assignments and rituals after which they become a man. Apparently the kid I called boy previously already completed the ceremony while the others had not.

The sun slowly crawls its way up in the sky and we know our morning hours are over when it begins to burn in our faces. We quickly pack up a day backpack with lunch and the camera and start on our hike towards a waterfall that ends in the sea. A narrow track leads us through the hills and down to the banks of the river. This river turns out to be famous, because this is the only river where the Kingfish, who normally only lives in deeper waters swims up. They swim against the stream until they reach a small island, they circle this and swim with hundreds of them back to the sea. Numerous scientists have done research on this phenomenon, but so far it is unknown why they do this.

We have to cross this river and I let my eyes skim over it with the story of the Kingfish in the back of my head. Nothing to see. The path continues on the other side of the river. We put our clothes in a dry-bag together with the camera, the daypack and our shoes. We quickly wade into the water and push the dry-bag in front of us to the other side of the river. We can feel the cold water pass by us, but we manage to reach the other side and we quickly get dressed again to continue the small steep track up the cliff.

 By the clattering of water on the rocks we can hear we’re getting closer. We’ve been walking for two hours now. We wade through some thick bushes and the waterfall appears in front of us. Litres of chrystel clear water crash down on the solid stones and from there into the sea. Via slippery rocks we find our way down and fill up our water bottles.  It’s late in the afternoon when we start our journey back. The wind is softly blowing, caressing our shirts and pushing us gently in the right direction. Our footprints from before lead us back to where we came from. 

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