Friday, November 3, 2006

Camiguin V.2 - Reachin' the top of Hibok-Hibok again

The air is still. The silence deafening. The only sounds I can hear are the intermittent sloshing of the last few drops of water in my Nalgene, The crunch my feet makes on the leaves on the ground, and my steady breathing. The sweet, pungent aroma of grass as well as the smell of the earth surround and intoxicate. 

I'm treading familiar grounds -- the trail of Mt. Hibok-Hibok I've hiked last year. At times, I'm the only one within sighting distance. admittedly, I'm a fair hiker, not really a strong climber. But I enjoy the hikes and don't fear the prospect of getting lost in the jungle. It's my second time to climb this beautiful volcano with dramatic peaks and a mossy forest. My only regret is leaving behind my Nikon point and shoot camera as the clouds cleared to give us a breathtaking view of the crater lake - a glimpse of God's immense hand that took our collective breath away. 

Details on climbing Mt. Hibok-Hibok: Elevation - over 1320m • Register first at the DENR office in Mambajao, Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm • Fees: P100 for locals, P500 for foreign nationals. • One can secure the services of a guide at any resort; standard guide fee - P500 for two climbers. • Trail: mossy forest • Difficulty: moderate, with boulders & loose volcanic rocks • Water source: none • allow 3-4 hours for ascent, another 3-4 hours for descent (Esperanza trail) • Must-bring: arm protectors (cogonal trails) and insect repellent (Crater lake picture courtesy of Tina Galido, MFPI)

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