So after getting the quick introduction to Mt. Pulag and the rules (very, very important!) on how to behave in the mountain, the four of us got onto one habal-habal each (motorcycle rented to take us up to the ranger’s station). Let me just say that this ride was not on smooth and paved roads. It was also not a quick ride. This motorcycle ride was the first time I’ve ridden on a motorcycle for so long! I was jumping off of my seat because of the rocky paths! However, even as I feared for my life (rest assured, I had a death grip on the bike and the manong driving the bike), I knew that this too shall pass and I most probably would survive it. I did survive the trip but it resulted in shaky knees. Thankfully, I was not the only one!
So, it’s time to tell the story about the actual climb. When we got to the ranger’s station, we met our guide, paid our dues and went on our way. It started out easy-breezy! I was lugging my huge bag, all of us had huge smiles, and we had lots of time to take photos along the trail. And then, like all things, the easy part came to an end much too soon for me. As soon as we left the pine forest, I saw the entrance into the mossy forest, a steep uphill climb, I knew that the climb may have been too much for me to handle. This was the time I gave up my bag to the boys for them to carry.
For over 16 kilometers, I struggled to keep my smile in place, my step strong, and my will high. I was so tired but I would not let myself think about how tired I was. Instead, I took it one step at a time. If I needed to rest after a particularly steep area, I would rest. Of course, the boys outpaced me even if they were carrying my things and I was carrying none. I was happy to have been with the group that I came up with. They were physically well-trained… Did I forget to mention that they work for the Bureau of Fire Protection?
The climb was characterized by extreme moisture. When I say extreme moisture, I actually mean extreme moisture. The weather was very gloomy and it even rained for the most part, hence the raincoat. I was lucky to have been able to get Joeffrey’s rain poncho because otherwise, I would have been more soaked than I already was. Since we started our climb at about 1:30pm, our 4-5 hour climb ended in darkness.
To be continued…
***Quick note about the photo: I think I took this photo… I’m not so sure. In this photo you will see Joeffrey, Bert, and ate Novy. The photo has been edited by playing with the contrast and brightness once again.