3 years ago, I was a bum and trying to surf the net of things to do. Because of my love for the outdoors, I chanced upon Pinoy Mountaineer‘s website. My love for the mountains was calling again, I was addicted into clicking the Philippine map on that site and even planned on hiking at least 30 mountains listed.
I guess, I just hiked Maculot, Manabu and Bud Bongao among the mountains listed (of course, I’m not adding to the list my fave mountain- Mt.Makiling). So, I can’t believe when I get connected with Sir Gideon the past month, he is one of my blogging inspirations. Thanks to the blog and Twitter!
So on the 9th of July, I met with THE Pinoy Mountaineer at Victory Liner, Kamuning for our planned dayhike to Mt. Palali in Nueva Viscaya. Why Mt. Palali? Why Nueva Viscaya? Those questions are harder to answer after reading the whole blog post.
For the day hike itinerary, please see Hiking Matters: Dayhike up Mt. Palali
Anyway, to encourage mountaineers let me say that this is the hardest trek I ever did in my entire life and I won’t hike that mountain again. How about hiking for 10 years, I mean 4 hours and 50 minutes straight to the summit? Yes, we were that fast I think we broke the world record. hahaha The pacing was perfect for me, a short stop here and there to breath or to refill our canteens. But seriously, the scene will take your breath away. Yes, I was gasping for air every time we are approaching a steep ascend.
Good thing that along the way, we heard lots of birds singing, as if trying to psychologize me that everything would be fine. Those chirping somehow helped me not to curse the trail but to go on instead. I also saw some interesting plants and creatures along the way like snails who just finished having sex.
After about 2 hours of the hike, we began to see some boulders and just a few more minutes Haring Bato. Haring Bato is a sight to behold! I actually hoped this was also called the summit, but it was not. We just enjoyed the romance of plains and mountains of Nueva Viscaya, then the clouds turned into drops of rain that we needed to carry on to the summit.
When the birds stopped singing, the moss-covered trees and rocks would take their place to somehow take away tiredness. I was trying to imagine I was hiking Mt. Doom like Frodo, I was doomed, I’m not carrying a ring but my bag is becoming heavier (I don’t know why). It began to rain and we need to hike faster, what a challenge, let’s go!
So after about 5 hours of continuous hike we reached the summit. YEHEY! The rain stopped for a while and the clouds somehow became like a curtain in an opera slowly opening for a scenic view of more mountains. hahaha But seriously, it was amazing to see more mountains when you are tired. I guess the tress and fresh air have their way of relaxing the muscles.
We are challenging ourselves to be back at the jump-off point after 3.5 hours, so we ran the beginning descent for almost an hour, I was enjoying it! My only inspiration is a hot soup called “Papaitan” (a bitter soup with goat’s innards).
After 2.5 hours of running down, we felt our knees beginning to show signs of retirement. By this time I felt the trail became longer, harder and slippery too. Oh, it rained again. The short rest at Haring Bato was the most enjoyable moments- we saw more mountain ranges, Magat River and the towns of Solano, Bambang and Bayombong. I’m glad that rain stopped again just in time for some photo ops.
Ohh, I forgot we have lots of trail foods- peanuts, biscuits, dried fruits, chocolates and trail bars.
By the time we where climbing downward from Haring Bato showers of rain appeared again. But we carried on until we finished were we started. I checked my phone and it said- we were in the woods for 10 hours. WHEW!
Of all the mountains, why Mt. Palali? Why Nueva Viscaya? The answer is I don’t know. I guess I’m just in love with the idea of going to places not known to many. Plus I don’t have a blog about Nueva Viscaya yet. So there you go, climb Palali. I encourage you to climb mountains that are not that famous.
Yes, the climb was hard, in fact it was my hardest ever experienced, but it was rewarding the birds, the trees, the moss, the rain, the boulders, Haring Bato, the friendship and more mountains were worth the tired muscles.
338 Manila-Solano (Victory Liner Bus bound for Santiago City), 11:00pm
91 Breakfast McDonald’s
40 Peanuts, biscuits
100 Tricycle to Purok 3, Brgy. Maddiangat (per trip)
20 Tricycle to jump-off
800 Guide fee (it is supposed to be Php500/day but we did an extended dayhike)
50 Entrance fee
100 Tricycle back to Solano
Contact Person/Guide: Roldan Mina, 0935-292-1029
More Photos on Facebook:
This climb won’t be possible if not for Sir Gideon’s tagging me along. Thank you bosing for the dinner treat and of course the tiring hike, I learned that I can hike for 10 hours straight, so maybe next time, a little harder than this?