21 May 2007

Pico de Loro

We had our first trekking trip early this year, and it was in Pico de Loro located in Batangas. Pico de Loro is so named because the outcrop above looks like a parrot's head, hence the name which also means Parrot's Peak. Can you see the the parrot?

This trek was made possible by the Anino Mountaineering Club located in Baclaran. They have close ties with the Baclaran Church, and this was a benefit climb for the street children. A fun climb with a community awareness goal to it, both activities I like doing. So why not join? And join we did. A lot of people signed up for this activity, resulting in close to 80 participants. They rented two buses for the trip going there and back.

The trek going here was more difficult than the previous climbs we have done (and that's considering we stick to level 1's). An hour's trek from the magnetic road going to Caylabne Resort will lead you to the camping site.

Hold on... a magnetic road?
Yes, a magnetic road. The road goes uphill but if you turn off your car's engine and set it to neutral, your car will move upwards. Strange huh? Bit I can attest that it's true. We have done it years ago.

Back to the story
We were overjoyed when we saw the camping site. Yay! We haven't full broken out into sweat and we were already there! We later realized that we were just taking a break there and have our lunch. So while the organizers cooked lunch for the huge crowd, we whiled away the time taking photos, making small talk, playing cards, and goofing around.

Time for lunch!

After lunch was when the "fun" began. There were medics in the group (from the Philippine Red Cross) and when we broke off into groups, a couple were left with us. Soon my comrades were taking breaks more frequently (not that I needed it too... I realized then how badly out of shape I was) and the medics urging us on.

There were a lot of interesting things to see along the way. Nature tripping!

After about four hours we finally made it to the top. At first glance I didn't see the parrot resemblance. You actually have to be in a certain area to see it. After a few steps, the parrot emerged. Amazing. It was windy and fresh, and you feel like you're on top of the world! The view was spectacular, the company amusing.

This one goes here, that one goes there, right?

Breathtaking views
Here comes the sunset

That night, we had socials. We had a group prayer, and sang songs and had sharing of sorts about why we joined in this activity.

The Parrot worshippers of the morning after
We dropped by the falls in our descent. We were a bit disappointed to see it reduced to a trickle (which they said happens in the dry season) but we still took a shower here to cool off.

This was quite a long way down from the summit. We learned that this was where the organizers got the water that night and in the morning. I must say, I salute them for their dedication to the activity. This was really a long way from the campsite!

Thanks, Anino Mountaineering Club, for this memorable trek.
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