Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Lake Sebu: Zipping through five falls in (about) 60 seconds

Lake Sebu - Zipline II
Intrepid adventurers launch into the green void from Falls One
I wasn’t really keen on getting on the zipline, much less lugging C-Dreepio, my Nikon DSLR, for the ride but that was the way things panned out. After the rains had come, the usual long line of kibitzers and gungho tourists have petered out. Our group was odd-numbered so it was a shame to let one of our participants zip by her lonesome.

I got paired off with Abie, the most animated and loquacious in our contingent and once we took off, she wasted no time in asking where we should look. Here we are suspended over 700 feet above sea level and zipping across 740 feet of wire and we were actually having a casual conversation.
Lake Sebu - Zipline Qai and Agnes
BP participants Qai and Agnes came in for a soft landing
Well, we didn’t exactly jumped into a void as once we got past the clearing, we found ourselves hovering above an expanse of forest. Each succeeding increment of the short ride revealed falls after falls otherwise hidden by forest cover.
The roof of the Falls One Clubhouse stands out among the green
Spotting Falls One was a cinch as the red roof of the clubhouse was a giveaway. Falls Two was identifiable by its tall cascade and dramatic sheer rock walls. I later learned that the series of cascades that snake through the jungle were falls three, four and five.

The ride was over before I can even contemplate on getting scared out of my wits or start ruminating on the meaning of life but it was one incredibly scenic ride. Perhaps, it’s the only way to get a glimpse of the hard-to-trek-to series of falls but I’m amazed at how much forest seems to be intact.
Lake Sebu - Falls Two Layers of Textures
Falls Two's dramatic layers of textures
From the viewdeck, there’s another, shorter zipline to take us to the jump-off for falls two about 400 meters away. The falls was as awe-inspiring as I remembered it, the raging cascade made more thunderous by the rains.

Plans are afoot for providing rock climbing activities for Falls Two and a cable car ride across the five falls. I just hope that these wouldn’t be unsightly distractions like the clubhouse of Falls One. But I must admit, the zipline and jumping into the green void were swell ideas. After three years of being away, the falls of Lake Sebu bid us a splashy welcome.
Lake Sebu - Falls Two Cascade View from the Roadside II
From a distance, Falls Two evokes raw power and beauty
INFO: The Lake Sebu Zipline is acknowledged as the highest in Asia at over 700 feet above sea level. There are actually two ziplines: the longer one (740 meters) takes one from Falls One to a viewdeck overlooking a portion of Falls Three to Five. The second zipline (around 400 meters) takes the rider to Falls Two. Fee: P300/pax. Operating hours: 8-5pm except during storms or heavy rainfall.

Coming up in Lagalog:  Gumasa: Escaping to the beach


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