Wednesday, June 23, 2004MOUNTAIN #3: MT. TALAMITAM
Sorry guys, I didn't have a cam last weekend so I won't be posting any pictures. Pero shucks, i super regret not having a camera with me coz the place was a cam whore waiting to happen.
Met G and J at the bus terminal in Pasay after lunch. We left for Nasugbu, Batangas at around 230pm. Was informed that 6 other mountaineers will follow.
By the time we reached Silang, Cavite, I desperately needed to pee. By the time we got to Tagaytay, one of my worst fears when traveling via public transpo began to unfold.
It was the longest and most unpleasant bus ride of my life. Basta, Imodium became my bestfriend. Hahahaha! I think it was a blessing in disguise that the conductor dropped us off infront of a Baranggay Health Center (the wrong jump-off point) so I was able to relieve myself there. We then took another jeepney to Brgy. Bayabasan (the correct jump-off point).
Some mountains require mountaineers to register and pay a small fee (20 pesos for Talamitam) before proceeding with the climb. We registered with Kuya Nicky (who will inspire me to enjoy my life and to go for what I want, later on). The 3 of us wanted to keep on trekking but our tent's fly sheet (layman's terms: the roof of the tent) was with one of the mountaineers who was following. And because it was drizzling, we decided to just hang out at Kuya Nicky's place because pitching a tent without a roof in the rain, would just be plain stupid.
Kuya Nicky sat down with us during dinner and I had one of the most interesting conversations of my life (I think G and J will agree with me). Here's a guy who's lived his life to the fullest. Here's a guy who can tell me, "I've been there and done that". He used to be a hunter, now he's a conservationist. He used to be an activist during Marcos' time and was given a choice to either leave the country or be put to jail. He left for Hawaii, and it was there that he became a journalist. When he went back to Manila, he became a writer for the Manila Times. In 1999, he became part of the Marlboro Adventure Team and competed with other countries in Moab, Utah. He was also Recreation Manager of Amanpulo for 2-3 years (i died with envy). Today, he's an artist who carves wooden furniture for a living. He lives in a kubo-like house with his pretty wife, Ate Tess and their cute, hyperactive kids, Jessie and Nicole. Kuya Nicky doesn't have to tell you how happy and content he is with his life because it's written all over the wrinkles on his face, in the baldness of his head, the smile of on the lips of his wife and his children and even the perkiness of his dog, Hoodie.
I love Gin!
After dinner (tocino, rice and spicy pancit canton), the other members of the group still hasn't arrived. In our boredom, we decided to start drinking. 1 gin bilog and 1 kwatro kantos later (orange juice as chaser), the others finally arrived. Surprising fact: G and J were drunk, I wasn't. How that was even possible is still a complete mystery to me. We pitched our tent in an empty lot infront of Kuya Nicky's house and helped G and J get some sleep. Our companions wanted to push through with the climb and they didn't want to camp infront of Kuya Nicky's house because there were a lot of mosquitos. So they proceeded with the climb and we agreed to just meet them at their campsite the next morning before the assault to the summit.
Had a hard time getting some eye shut because of a very talkative and kulit, J. Slept at 2am and woke up at 530am to the sound of pigs being fed at a nearby house.
After breakfast,we left Kuya Nicky's to meet with the other mountaineers. Hoodie, kuya Nicky's wonderful dog (he was named after Houdini because when he was a pup, he would always manage to escape from his leash, no matter what they did) came with us during the trek and this dog knows where he's going. We actually got lost for about 20 minutes (coz J refused to follow Hoodie, hehe!). A couple of footbridges, a rocky river and a whole lot of land later, We found our companions camped under this peaceful duhat tree.
We weren't even halfway to the summit and my water bottle was almost empty plus I was already completely exhausted. I'm thinking that it was because I was dehydrated the day before. But the trail to the Mt. Talamitam is so beautiful that instead of being discouraged, the scenery pushed me to just lift my legs and keep on walking. I got scared of the cows that were grazing by the fields coz some of them had horns and I was wearing a red top.
Now, there are 2 things I regret not bringing with me during this trip: a camera and a long sleeved shirt. I hate Cogon grass! Thanks to them, I now have slash-like gashes on my arms and they're itchyyyy! They were everywhere and I had no choice but to hang on to them for dear life! The vertical assault to the summit was ha-ha-haaaarrddd. I had to stop and rest a million times before I was able to reach the breathtaking peak.
I think that the thing I love most about mountain climbing is that it pushes you to the limit. Even if you want to quit, you just can't. Coz if you do, where would that leave you? In the middle of a mountain surrounded by nothing but land? So you're forced to just keep on moving and I think that does a lot for me, especially at this point in my life where more often than not, I just want to give up.
Hhmm....enough of the emotional crap.
When we got to the summit, G said that I looked like her. So everyone started agreeing and singing "Bulaklak" and kenkoy me started dancing to it. Wahahahaha!
On our way down, my legs were already shaking from exhaustion and for the first time, I fell flat on my butt! But it's all good.
From the Batangas highway, 3 of us girls took a jeep to Tagaytay. As soon as we got to Tagaytay, we started walking around to look for a bus bound for Manila. I was approaching a group of vendors when one of them loudly said, "Alokin niyo, alokin niyo! Viva Hot Babe yan, Viva Hot Babe!"
Loves the beach, wishes she had more time and money to travel, recently got hooked to climbing mountains, reads anything she can get her hands on, frustrated writer, adores her 3-year-old Lhasa Apso, Tashi, constantly needs caffeine,
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