Monday, July 31, 2006

Dayhiking Arayat

Curious to note that the more I tell myself to sleep last Friday, the more I can't summon the sandman.S o prepared my daypack at 1.30am and went to Victory Liner-Malibay at 2am to head for Dau.T he lack of sleep took a toll on me later sa descent when hyperacidity made trail-walking painful. Pero all in all, it's worth it.A fter three months of not climbing, was able to go back to the mountains kahit dayhike lang, to smell the familiar odor of cogon dampened by dew, the earth wetted by drizzles, to see low-lying clouds kissing the Arayat summit. Now, I don't have to wonder whenever we pass by Dau kasi now I've climbed both mountains -- Pinatubo & Arayat -- in the vicinity. 

The overcast conditions made taking good pics tricky.T he clouds kept the views obscured. Puting Bato also claimed my decade-old favorite cross pendant (but that's life). Thanks to Erwin for making the trip possible kahit na half of the original group canceled at the last minute. The reduced group size has its blessings kasi mabilis kami. Jumped off at 6.30, reached Puting Bato by 10, topped off at 11.30. Descent is just almost 3 hours, 1.30-3.25pm. 

Quick facts: elevation- 1,026m • classification - extinct volcano • trail - Ayala • difficulty: easyhow to get there - hire jeep in Angeles and head for Magalang (jeep rates: around P2,500 round-trip; capacity - around 18-20) • water source - 1 or 2 streams during the rainy season • register first at the Ayala-Magalang military installation (free of charge) • campsite - at summit helipad beside the military installation/tower • photo-op - over 180 degree view of Pampanga, Tarlac & Nueva Ecija • bus fare to Angeles - around P 120-130 • what to wear - long pants/long bike pants; long-sleeves or arm protectors (mosquito-infested upper forests and cogonal lower areas) • must have - Off/Autan mosquito lotion


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