Monday, September 25, 2006

Mt. Talamitam - Back to the high life

(With apologies to Steve Winwood for the post title) It's been like a month or so since I've last hiked through a forest, smelled the sweet, pungent odor of wet grass and savored the fresh breezes away from the pollution of Manila. By chance, MFPI buddies Tina and Ericki were free to dayhike last Saturday and that's what we did at Mt. Talamitam in Nasugbu, Batangas. Ericki's officemate, Jeanette, was around to have fun dayhiking with us. 

While it was raining in Manila (according to a text from a groupmate), in Nasugbu, the sun was up from our ascent to the time we reached the summit. The grey skies threatened to pour buckets but happily, decided to head for the direction of the city. After eating our packed lunch, some photo-op and kuwentuhan, we all went for an hour-long siesta. Nothing beats waking up to the sights on top of a mountain! While we didn't had a particularly hard time finding our way up, going down is kinda maze-like. Maraming ligaw. It was a good thing we stumbled upon Mang Ganie, who turned out to be Mang Nick's brother-in-law. Call it serendipity.

Afterwards, it's bath and refreshment time at Mang Nick's house. While Mang Nick wasn't around, his son Edsel, accommodated us complete with rounds of fresh buko. Then, we're off to Dencio's in Tagaytay for that mandatory bulalo, kare-kareng gulay and crispy kangkong! Namit!  Sarap lalo ng piping-hot bulalo kasi parang December na yung lamig ng hangin. 

Hike Talamitam info: Location - Nasugbu, Batangas • elevation - 700+ meters; difficulty - easy to moderate; trail - forest and cogon fields going to slopes, cogonal to summit • campsite - summit, good for around 6 tadpole tents • water source: none (bring potable water); must-bring - arm protectors/long sleeved shirt & pants; insect repellent; umbrella/tarp (tree-less summit) • directions - board bus bound for Nasugbu (Crow Liner - P110 from Pasay), alight at Sitio Bayabasan, look for Mang Nick's house and register (P20 fee), ask for a guide or directions • important note - farmlands on the slope are private properties, please respect the rights and privacy of the landowners.


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