Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Chillax Camping at Papaya River

There’s always a season when work loads are getting heavier than the usual. 

And I really felt like climbing to divert my mind on this particular weekend..

This May, I knew from the start that more works are expected in the coming weeks but the first weekend is still safe for any  getaways  or  commitments. However, I was afraid I might fall short of the time for reports preparations, so decided to have a half day Saturday overtime.

The original plan was a Cinco Picos traverse to Silanguin Cove. But as mentioned, I decided to have a short weekend overtime. My buddy Dennis and I  agreed for a Tarak Ridge trek in Mariveles, Bataan. And I really thought, it would be ok. All I wanted was a relaxing getaway that’s why an idea of Papaya River camping sounds good. For all we know, what we could only get was stress in getting there, since we would be leaving Manila on a Saturday afternoon after the overtime. We had our meet up in Genesis Transit terminal in Pasay City and no bus was available when we arrived there. We decided to transfer to Cubao terminal and it was really hard to find a bus, we walked and walked and walked. We could not find the exact location where buses could stop to let us ride. Hassle ride.. traffic.. crowded bus.. what more can I say?  But it’s alright.. we learned new things.. On this specific day, I believe we were the only mountaineers who did this. Sounds like crazy.. but the climb pushed through even though we almost got frustrated when during the trip it was raining so hard particularly in Pampanga and some areas in Bataan.

We arrived at around 9pm at the jump off point. This is what I love about Tarak Ridge climb—easy transpo and it's only along the highway. We registered in barangay office and after a few minutes, we started the night trek. After 20 minutes, we reached Nanay Curding’s house. She was already sleeping by the time we arrived and she was so nice when she still opted to entertain us for some coffee break and short conversation. This was also my first time to talk to her as the first time I climbed Tarak Ridge, I never happened to know her nor say Hi to her. 

I admit I was a little afraid to do this night trek. I was in fear that at any moment, we might encounter snakes along the trail. But I just prayed to God and trusted my buddy. I missed this! Oh night trek! The great thing about night trek is you won’t get tired nor get perspired easily unlike when you’re trekking under the heat of the sun.

Of course, it was really dark and the only surviving light for us was my head lamp. It was difficult as we crossed the landslide part. After 2 hours, we arrived at Papaya river, thank God one of the mountaineers/campers there was like a good Samaritan to us as he let his "super" lamp light as as we set our tent. ("super" because its extreme light is really awesome)

Dennis cooked our dinner while I was sleeping like SeƱorita. :)
The next day was just relaxing. Long sleep, food trip, picture taking, and Papaya river swimming. Although it rained  at noontime, we still didn’t find it difficult to trek on our way back.

What was funny was, we learned the easy way to cross the landslide portion there, but it was only after we took the the riskier & harder trail.To think, there was actually an established trail. We just didn’t see it..

I couldn't believe, we didn't have enough money on this climb.. waaah, we forgot to withdraw money from the ATM when we left Manila. And so before going home to Manila, we had to go first to the town proper of Mariveles to look for an ATM.. and therefore, t'was a lesson learned (don’t bring exact money, make sure to have extra)

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