I was invited by my friend Lory to try hiking. At first I was a little hesitant to a point that I’m going to cancel my participation. But since it was already budgeted and to avoid hassle to my friend who setup everything I give it a go. So as a first timer I tried to list down the things that I need to bring to survive hiking. Initially I listed down:
- Extra shirt/shorts
- Extra Shoes
But it turns out, you need more than that,
- Hygiene: Soap, alcohol, wet wipes
- Extra towels probably 3 or more
- Neck band
Anyway our meetup point is at McDonalds in Gil Puyat. I met her colleagues Joem, Karla and Kenneth. At first I find it awkward, but during the rest of our hike I don’t feel like I’m a stranger anymore. They are so approachable. I was able to easily connect with them and I’m really grateful about it. We then took a bus ride going to Cuenca, Batangas. Mind you, the bus conductor, even had hint where exactly are we going. I think Cuenca’s prime attraction is Mt. Maculot. 😀 Anyway we told him to let us know when we reached Cuenca. We were dropped off at a Tricycle Station. We reached a station where you have to pay a registration fee and then accompanied by an accredited tour guide. Later on you’ve to pay for the Tour Fee. We then reached a road leading Mt. Maculot.
The first few meters of the trail looks easy but as we get inside the mountain, you can expect huge rock where you need to exert effort just to step on it. If you’re tall I think you’ll find it easy but for cute guys like me? 😀 you know what I’m trying to say.
I can’t remember how long it took us to reach the campsite but I think around 3-4hours with at least 20 minutes of rest on each Buko Juice Stand. Its a good thing they have something like that because the way up is really exhausting. There are less than 10 Buko Juice Stops on the way up. Take advantage of it to save water. 🙂
Btw, you’ll know when you’re near the campsite when your trail looks something like this. Since on top of the mountain the soil is dry.
I wasn’t able to take a photo of the campsite but its like an oasis on the dessert. 😀 They offer goodies like water, sodas and even liquors. But good luck going down if you’re drunk so don’t try it. 😛 They also have pancit canton, cup noodles, etc. We rested there for a while and then proceeded to The Rockies. The trail on the way to the Rockies is quite steep, but there’s a rope to guide you with your balance so its not as bad as it seems.
Here’s an overview of the Rockies. Do you see the rocks in the middle, yes!, you you to climb your way up. So be careful on each step. Don’t worry, your exhaustion will wear off once you see the spectacular view of Taal Lake as well as the Luscious Green Trees of Mt. Maculot.
As we reached the top, we greeted by the calm waters of Taal Like mirroring the clear sky. Looking on the other side you can see the relaxing view of trees over the Mountain. Its really a rewarding experience after a tiring way going up. Please note its this is not the way to the summit. You can reach the summit on the Traverse route.
Btw, I took those photos on the middle of the Rockies. A more spectacular view is at the edge of the rock. 😀 Spectacular it may seem but getting there is quite a challenge. I had to face my fear of heights because one wrong move and you know you’ll be in a really bad state. 😐
But the view at the back is breathtaking.. 🙂
Look at my smile, I was really really nervous. I just only take one shot because I’m so afraid. 😛
Well we stayed there for more than two hours and then went back to the campsite to take some rest and then decided to go down. If the trail going up is challenging, way down is a bit challenging because some part of the trail is dry soil the shoes that I’m wearing is not meant for such kind of terrain. Here’s my face on my way down. 😛
After overcoming the challenge of going down, there’s a house with lots of Rest Rooms to change clothes. As a reward for our achievement, we ended our day with a bowl of Hot Lomi. 🙂
Below is the breakdown of actual expenses for this Hike:
DLTB Co. Bus Ride from Buendia to Cuenca – 117
Jam Liner Bus Ride from Cuenca to Cubao – 130
Tricycle Roundtrip – 45
Registration – 20
Tour Guide – 400 for 5 pax
- Bag tag -100
- T Shirt – 200
- Magnet – 50
Buko Juice on each Station- 10/cup
Jeep going to SM Lipa – 25
I hope this will a good starting point for you if want to start trekking. Its actually my first time and I wanted to do this again. In fact I’m looking forward for more adventures with this squad. On your next getaway you can consider visiting Mt. Maculot. Just a few reminders, show some respect to our environment. Bring your own trash bags or place your litters on your bag. We are enjoying this view now, let’s allow the future generations to experience this wonder. Also, I know the view is really spectacular, be mindful of your co-hikers if you spend more than 30 minutes on a picture worthy view, give chance to others and try to find other spot. Specially if you’re just resting. Above all, have fun. 😀
Again thanks for dropping by. Till my next post. 😉