12 September 2007

Spelunking at the Bayukbok Caves

One thing I like about our nature trips is that there is always something new to see and experience. Waterfalls, rivers, dazzling sunrise views, caves. Caves are of special wonderment to me because there aren't that many caves to explore in our vicinity.

Trivia: I haven't explored Baguio's Crystal Cave yet! Although they say I'm not missing much because the place has been heavily vandalized and bereft of its crystals. What a waste of what could have been a wonderful tourist spot.

While we had experienced entering one in Dolores, Quezon, that one was a rather claustrophobic one. Traversing the cave involved walking half-stooped most of the time, which obviously made it a popular site during Holy Week as part of penance.

The Bayukbok Caves on the other hand, is located up north in Bulacan within the territory of Biak na Bato. Biak na Bato is a national park, and has an important place in our history involving Emilio Aguinaldo. Bayukbok Caves is located near Mt. Manalmon, also a popular trekking destination.

This is the Manalmon River. To the left is Mt. Manalmon, to the right is Bayukbok Caves. Choose your adventure!

It takes 2 hours on the average to explore the caves. There are areas whereby you have to climb or descend using a portable bamboo and rattan stairway provided by the guide. There are narrow passageways that test your body's flexibility. There are even areas where you are right beside the cliffs. It's an adventure like no other.

The adventure starts with a short, uphill walk to the caves. The rocks here are something else. They're jagged and really rough. It looks more like it was created from lava flow, or an ocean bottom rather than terrestrial.
Here's the start of the adventure: a narrow passageway...

... that leads to this place where you have to climb down using the rickety ladder! Yipee!
Ummm... guys.... how were you able to fit in through there?!

Wonderful stalactite formations abound, sparkling as we trained our headlamps on them.
This looks like a flimsy shot. haha. Help!

Indiana Jones, here I come!

Land, ho!

After two hours, we finally saw the light. Whew! Now, that was one unforgettable adventure!
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