Mt. Batulao (2015)

(Re-post from my old blog with some revisions.)

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Ascent

What makes this journey up this mountain distinct is its straightforward, open-view trail, to which one enjoys the scenery as much as the sight at the peak. The downside is the excruciating heat, especially when hiking at noon (to our misfortune). There were plenty of rest stops, however: the ice-cold drinks and snacks bringing solace to the mountaineers. Thank goodness the wind decided to fan our way that sunny day. 

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Assault

My natural fear of heights made this climb one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. Certain parts of the climb were too steep, in which a beginner needs ropes to conquer. There was a part where we had to climb down rocks on an 80-to-85-degree slope. With 20 kilos on my back, I braced myself in a sitting position, and carefully stepped on rocks to secure my footing. Darn right I cried, but there was pretty much no way out and I didn’t want to be known as a dead weight. I guess that’s what I signed up for. 

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The Peak

…And well, the view was certainly worth it. 

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Camp-site

We arrived at the campsite early afternoon. Since we had plenty of time in our hands, we decided to kill time by playing card games before setting up our tents. After which, we prepared for dinner. Our group-mate took it as a challenge and made risotto that evening. Boy, was it good. 

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Sunrise

Some of us woke up a few minutes before 6 to catch the sunrise, and so, as usual, I decided to take some silhouette snaps (my form of ‘art’ or as far as my ‘art’ can go. Haha!). Unfortunately, I could only capture so much of the wonder of seeing a sunrise from a mountain. 

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Breakfast

I was tasked to make breakfast for our group. I admit I was an amateur, managing only with chicken-longganisa and tomato paste on penne pasta. I’m sorry, guys. Better safe than sorry stomachs. Haha!

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Descent

Going down was more of a breeze as we went back on a different trail. As we arrived at the jump-off point, I couldn’t have been happier to stand on flat ground. 

As soon as we retired, we cooked lunch by one of the sari-sari stores where the buses stopped, and played a few rounds of card games while waiting for our ride home. It was my first time to climb in a small group, but I’m glad we did it. 

Here’s to conquering myself once again!

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