hiking, hiking diary

Hiking Diary: Pico de Loro

I am writing this blog post on a Tuesday, two days since our day hike. My body is so sore, I just had to take a sick leave because every move I make kills me.

“Ginusto mo yan,” my mother told me when I got home from work yesterday. I asked her if she could open the gates for me since I didn’t have the strength to do so.

I’m not complaining. I’m really starting to develop an appreciation for hiking. I’ve always been aching to go on adventures and now I’ve finally found somebody to go on adventures with. I just wish I conditioned my body well enough to handle all that strenuous activity I had to go through. On the bright side, after thinking of all the hell (exaggeration) that we went through, I am proud to say that my endurance is a bit better now! Unlike that time we went to Maculot, wherein I had to ask my boyfriend and friend once in a while to catch my breath, I fared tons better during the assault up Pico de Loro. If you are rolling your eyes, then let me say that it was a 45 degree assault to the second campsite and it was HARD. When I finally got home from our dayhike, I admitted to myself (and to all my followers on Twitter) that I, Vanna, underestimated Pico de Loro.

The fact is, I grew complacent during the first leg of the hike. But we’ll get to that later.

I guess it’s safe to say that the day started not according to my plan, and I get stressed when things don’t go my way. I won’t get into the nitty-gritty, but let’s just say that we were supposed to be heading to Ternate at 4:00 AM but the clock struck 5:00 AM and we were still waiting for a friggin bus in Cubao. So, if you’re planning to go hiking to PdL and you’re coming from Cubao, I guess it’s better if you commute all the way to Coastal and board the Ternate bus from there.

We were behind schedule, and it’s problematic. Late boarding means we get to our destination late, which would mean we’d also start the trek late, reach the peak late, and start the descent late. We were so behind schedule that my group and I were still on the last leg of our descent at around 6 in the evening. Yes, folks, nighttime caught up with us. I thank my boyfriend for his readiness (he brought a head lamp) and for the inclusion of a flashlight in iPod touch devices. If we didn’t have those things… I shiver to think of what might have happened.

The hike from the jump-off site to the first campsite was easy enough; it was mostly flatlands with occasional ascents and descents. Rocky but bearable. This was the part where I got complacent. I even joked that we could finish this hike with my bangs not being drenched with sweat. I was so wrong. Things got increasingly difficult once we passed the first campsite until we reached the start of the assault. Things were bad enough because my new hiking shoes unfortunately chaffed against the skin on my ankles and while I wasn’t bleeding profusely, I was experiencing a little pain. It was also the second day of my period so yay!!! See, things weren’t going the way I planned.

But I made it. And I only stopped two to three times to actually catch my breath. It was a long trail to the second campsite/ridge, but we made it. Thirty minutes later, my boyfriend caught up with us and yay, we’re complete!

We decided to start the assault to the peak after eating a few snacks. The ground was looser during the final assault and we actually had to crawl all the way up to the peak (and slide down). The view was worth it! We reached the peak around lunch time. After resting for a bit, my boyfriend and some of my friends decided to climb the monolith. There were a lot of people so they took their time on top of that thing, and we finally started our descent to the second campsite at around 3 in the afternoon, which was late. After a few drinks and snacks, we finally made our way down to the mountain. Nightfall soon approached and we found ourselves in the middle of a dense forest with only three small sources of light. BUT WE MADE IT!

Overall, it was a really tiring but fun experience. The friends that came with my boyfriend and I were all fun to be with. It’s true that the people that go along with you for the ride greatly affects the whole experience. I’m lucky to be friends with such fun people. Time to improve on my endurance again for the next hike.

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