Rainy season has begun, but that didn’t prevent us from making plans of another day hike. Last July 12, 2015, we planned on hiking the newly opened mountain in the province of Rizal which was Mount Lubog. But due to difficulties in getting hold of the Brgy Kagawad and the concerns about the weather, we opted on changing our destination to Nasugbo, Batangas instead. And we were all happy about the sudden change of plans.
On board an early morning bus going to Nasugbo, it was like a dejavu. We were taking the same route that we did a year ago when we climbed my first mountain, Mount Batulao. Only this time, we are climbing Mount Talamitam.
The weather was teasing all throughout the trip. One minute, the sun would peak, then it would be all dark and cloudy the next.
We had to cross two bridges, one is concrete, and the other a rickety bamboo bridge suspended a few feet from the raging river below.
Due to heavy rains the previous days, the trails were thick with mud. We had to be very careful with our steps or we’ll slide and fall.
After the grueling slippery and muddy trails, we reached the first station. At first glance, the hills and green pastures reminded me of Mt Gulugod Baboy.
Groupie at the first station. We were treated to the view of Mount Batulao in the far distance.
Jump shot at the second station with Mount Talamitam summit at the backdrop.
On our way to the 3rd station.
We were told that some part of the mountain is privately owned. It was pretty much an exposed series of hills, with vegetation. We were thankful that it was the rainy season, it would be really hot there if we hiked during summer.
We crossed this little creek as we approached station 3.
After the 60 degree assault which made my muscles curse in pain, we reached the summit.
We planned on having our lunch at the summit, but before we knew it, we were enveloped by thick clouds, we have zero visibility, the wind was strong, and sharp icy cold rain started to fall.
The thick fog stayed as we start our descent. We cannot see anything a few meters on. We had to tread very carefully or we’ll free fall to the unseen ravine below.
The rain stopped momentarily and we saw green again.
A few slides and uncontrollable laughter later, we reached station 3. Then the rain started pouring again. This time, the wind was more violent. But what else can you do when on that situation? As for us, we danced around and laughed our hearts out. Mountain rain is precious and just literally breathtaking.
We were taken by our guide to the river to rinse off all the mud. The water was so refreshing it soothes my tired feet.
This was one of my favorite hike ever! Though we were all muddy and wet, all of it was worth it. I’ll never exchange that experience for anything else. That day, I was reminded why I even started hiking and spending Sundays on the mountain. It is more than a communion with nature. To me, it is a closer encounter with God, closest than when I kneel on the church. To me, it is a way of getting in touch with my inner self, it is where I listen to my thoughts without judging it. Up in the mountains, I appreciate life even more. And because of hiking, I learned to appreciate my friends, the old and new who have shared the trails with me. The people who saw me as I struggle but are still there to wait, to offer a hand, to make every trail a memorable place.
Cheers to a beautiful life,