Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Tawag ng Tarak

Last Friday was a big disappointment for some 120 mountaineers. The reason: we were all set for our Pinatubo climb that didn't happen. Even brought my gear to the office because I want to make it to Dau before midnight. But got a text from our guide at 4pm that said a shootout with the NPA broke out that morning. Which means postponed ang climb until things cool down. It was hard mentally for us to go home with our backpacks and supplies unused so a few quick text messages led us to find an alternative - Mt. Tarak in Mariveles. With no itinerary on paper, we made a hasty decision. Magkita-kita sa CCP terminal of the Mt. Samat ferry to Mariveles at 4am. Kulang man sa tulog, we pushed for our climb and I wasn't disappointed. Not at all. 

After around 2.5-3 hours of trekking into the forest, Papaya Falls was a refreshing sight to see. Had lunch there before pushing forward. We reached the campsite before 4pm and it was a blessing that the good weather held up until we had the time to pitch our tents. Nabinyagan yung dome tent ko and while it was rather cumbersome to lug around, blessing in disguise pala to have a big tent kasi the rains kept us from having our socials outside. So the six or seven of us boys ate dinner and had our happy hour inside our tent.

Nursing a slight headache in the morning (kami nila Ghanie ang umubos nung Emperador kasi), we went for the summit at around 8am. The view of the bay as well as the adjoining Mt. Mariveles was fantastic. Sarap mag-camp sa itaas if only there was space for all of us.

Anyway, we descended towards lunchtime and ate at Papaya Falls where the group lingered until it was way past 3. We nearly missed the last bus headed for Manila and it was a classic habulan scene when the group literally had to chase the bus with us guys half-naked, hehehe. We changed sa loob ng bus mismo (standard fare sa mga namumundok but still funny everytime) and bahala na if the airconditioning further spread our two-day smell.

Salamat sa Pangkama for hastily organizing this trip and to Roy who unselfishly shared his Dragonfly (drool, drool) and cookset. Hanggang sa muli. Hopefully, we'll be together again sa Pinatubo.

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