Erin Ijesha/Olumirin Waterfall
With iyan (pounded yam) in our bellies, we headed back to the bus and drove down to Erin-Ijesha. Now the waterfall is actually called Olumirin Waterfall but for some reason, everyone refers to it by the name of the area where it is located hence the popular label “Erin Ijesha Waterfall.” The Olumirin Waterfall is a seven-level waterfall that is not for the faint-hearted like the pepper at Olorunwa. There’s a flight of stair that leads to the first and second levels but beyond that, you have to crawl, hike and climb your way to go higher. And as expected, this was the point that separated the warriors from mere men, the brave from the lazy bones ? Those who didn’t climb are lazy bones, ? ? ? Come and beat me in my house.
Is there any significant landmark that exists without its folklore? None as far as I know and Olumirin Waterfall has its own interesting tale. The waterfall (according to our tour guide) was discovered in 833AD by a hunter named Akinla who was married to one of Oduduwa’s daughters. Oduduwa’s daughter had left Ile Ife (with her loyalists) because of a near-violent clash that broke out over custody of the religious figurine of the goddess ‘Iro.’
After wandering for about 17 days away from Ile Ife, Akinla came across the waterfall and because of the eerie nature of the environment, he reasoned that the waterfall was another god hence the name “oluwa imiran” or Olumirin translated as “another goddess.” The group of wanderers from Ile Ife decided to settle in the area around the waterfall and they called the area ‘Erin Itadogun’ which means the place of the seventeenth-day journey (Irin Itadogun). They later discarded that name for Erin Ijesha. The waterfall became an important site for the worship of the other god ‘Olumirin.’ Abridged folklore ends.
Only a few members of the Irinajo party were willing to follow in the footsteps of Akinla to go as far as the 7th level but unlike the famed hunter, we didn’t have the luxury of time and so we had to stop our journey at the 6th level. And the climb was not without huffing and puffing, a few stops and slips along the way and some sweat and blood (Yeah I hit my leg against some rock, thank goodness it wasn’t a big cut). I didn’t mind the cut though. The view at the 4th level was entirely worth it. There’s a church at the 6th level and several interesting rock formations, almost as though someone/nature deliberately arranged the rocks that way. Stones in groups of six and five all littered around the 6th level, maybe it had something to do with the church we saw. These churches.
After some few minutes taking pictures at the farthest point we got to, we headed back to the point where the rest of our party was gathered. There were a lot more slips on the descent but no injuries this time. When we got back to the 2nd level, the lazy bones were done and had left but the party was just getting started for us. Into the water we went and my was it the kind of therapy we needed after the long climb up and down the hill.
Into The Waters
I don’t think your journey to a waterfall is complete till you go bathing under the natural showers. Okay, maybe not at Victoria Fall or Gurara Waterfalls but you know what I mean. If it’s a fall that is not too powerful, you should, by all means, go for a dip in its water. Olumirin waterfall affords you that opportunity. The water felt so relaxing and therapeutic and I could have stayed here all evening long but for the fact that we were on a schedule. The water was quite cold but the height from which it was falling and hitting our bodies made it quite an exciting experience. I didn’t even feel the pain on my bleeding leg anymore or remember I had a cut on my leg. Such is the marvel of the Olumirin waterfall. Now I am grateful for that cut, made me appreciate the captivating nature of the waterfall.
After playing around in the waters for about 30 minutes, we headed back to the bus completely refreshed. Irinajo had provided music for the other half of the group via a public address system and they were having a quiet party by the time we got to the bus. We jumped on the bus and a few minutes later, we were on our way back to our hotel in Ilesha. Quite an eventful day.
Barbeque, Games & Dance in Ilesha.
The day may have been over but the night was just getting started. Irinajo plans these trips such that there are never any dull moments. That night we had roasted turkey with chips and there was plenty to down it with. And after the meal, we played a fun game called Lemon. Now what happens at Ilesha stays at Ilesha but I’ll just say if you invite some people (namely lemon 11 & lemon 17) to your wedding, just know they will out-dance you. ?All in all, it was a good way to end an already exciting day.
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