Thursday, September 9, 2010

A-Conquered Mt. Maculot and Mt. Manabu

I have been rearranging my photos and saw again pictures of our climbing adventures and I can't help but reminisce on it. It is one of the most memorable experience of the A-Life and I believe that it deserves a place in my blog. So for the next few days, I will be blogging about the highlights of the A-Life on top of a mountain.

Its been such a wonderful experience to be able to get to the peak. Awaiting the sunset and sunrise. The first time I ever packed my bag for a climb was so frustrating that I almost backed out.  I spent the whole night trying to figure out how to put everything in place only to find out that I have to put all my clothes first into a plastic bag to water proof it in case of rain. Imagine how I need to make sure the bag will stand on its own with my stuff then suddenly removing it again? But I have learned the tricks eventually. Sad, that either of us own a camera back then.

My Far-ouT was the one who introduce me to climbing and as beginner, the first mountain that yours truly was able to climb was Mt. Maculot. It was also our first mountain to climb as a couple. It was a popular day trip destination back then. It was an straightforward and easy climb. Along the way, there are already locals who sell food and drinks, and a sari-sari store even at campsite so nothing to worry about running out of water. I even took a shower as they were selling it for a minimal fee. Most of the trail are covered with trees shading you from the sun. Nothing to enjoy while hiking but when you get to the top, it is a great views of Cavite and Batangas. You can also see Batangas Bay and even Mindoro. The best part is panoramic view of Taal Lake and Taal Volcano. The cliff is also a nice trip down with the rocky formation but you should try it with caution. One wrong move might cost you big time.

I have heard also of ghost stories from this mountain. One was about a guy who committed suicide along the trail on one of the trees and one who jump off the cliff. Thank goodness, we were already far away from the mountain when Far-ouT told me this, otherwise, I won't even get near it.

The first was followed with yet another mountain and another until it became a habit for us.

My favorite mountain to climb is Mt. Manabu. Since it is the lowest peak in the mountain range, it is one of the easiest to climb. Along the way, you will see a lot of flora and fauna, interesting plants also endemic the area. Mount Manabo to some, is about 700 meters above sea level which is about same elevation as Tagaytay City. No wonder about the cool breeze of air at the peak.

The trek is easy which will only be for about two hours. It is more a long walk and a bit of climb. It is not a rough and tumble type of mountain climb at all. Final summit was wide with a clear grass patch sizeable enough for a big group to rest. To the west you would see Mount Makolot, to the south; is the mountain range of Mount Malarayat.

The best part of climbing a mountain is enjoy the scenery with people closer to your heart.

And see another sight to behold.

Take the South Super Highway (SSHWY) and exit on Sto. Tomas, Batangas exit. Take the road to Star Tollway and exit toward Lipa, Batangas. After the Star Tollway exit, turn right. Once you reach Lipa City, turn left on the rotunda with the Mcdonald's Lipa Branch on your right. The next landmark to your right is the Robinson's Mall and further down is the Shoe Mart Lipa City Mall. After that, take the road to the right leading to the Malarayat Golf and Country Club. From that corner, drive down about 6 kilometers more or less and turn right into a smaller street leading to the jumpoff point. If I am correct, the town or Barangay is named Sto. Domingo. You cannot miss it because beckoning right in front of you is Mount Malarayat.

At the jumpoff point, there is a parking lot where one can safely park their vehicles and a sizeable resting shed and toilet for you to prepare for the climb, the place is clean and well taken care of.