20 September 2007

A great outdoorsy adventure at Mt. Manalmon

Picking up from the spelunking adventure...

Manalmon is a really nice place. We went to the place via private vehicles (thanks Sir Sam!). From the point where the road forks up into Biak na Bato to the right and Manalmon to the left, the picturesque hills and trees would beckon to persevere in the 7km dirt road as butterflies flutter about. The trip ends beside the river basin. We were immediately enthralled at the wonderful sight! Clear waters with schools of small fish wandering about. At the shallow part of the basin, some women were doing their laundry, pounding the dirt off the hapless pieces of cloth while they would occasionally throw curious glances at us newcomers.

At the other end of the river is the registration area so we walked through the shallow water and rested beside the bamboos that rustled and swayed gently with the wind.
We had lunch here. Some campers were also in the area but there's more than enough space for all. Of course, we had the walang-kamatayang "adobo"! And Harry's sauteed veggies with oyster sauce! Yes!

We were staying in this area because we're batch 1 in this trip; Ruben and company had matters to attend to in the morning and will be making the trip at lunchtime so we were to wait for them. However, we calculated the time and determined that they were going to reach Manalmon by mid-afternoon so we decided to make the spelunking trip. We'll be back when they arrive. Which was exactly what happened. So with the group complete, we took a quick rest and proceeded to the trek.

The first nice thing that greets you on your way is the Manalmon Cave. This actually looks more like a natural tunnel, for you exit at the other end and continue on. The cave was a short one, and is unfortunately the victim of vandalism. Darn people who don't have anything else to do! Shame on you to write your names on the cave!

Ahem ahem. Sorry about that. Continuing with the story...

We crossed grasslands and canopied pathways and rivers. The trek is not really difficult. We were actually surprised when the guide led us to a plateau and said our trek was done. It was a wide expanse of tall, green grass surrounded by the mountains and the river below.

"It's a level zero trek!" exclaimed Ruben. We were so happy and surprised that it was very easy.
Going up to the first campsite

But when we asked the guide where the summit was, he pointed a long ways off. Which got us thinking, why not travel the rest of the way to the summit so we can see the view in the morning? Besides, this campsite smelled of goat pellets.

So with majority voting done (democracy ini), we resumed our trek. This time the path led upwards through winding pathways in dense vegetation and in grasslands. But still, we found the trek relatively fun and easy. And so the Mt. Manalmon trek became level 1 once more.

Taking a breather (and a grape or two)
Time to set camp and socials!
We awoke the next morning and the glory of God's work surrounded us. It was wonderful!
It's views like these that make the trek worthwhile.

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