a journal on hiking and traveling around the Philippines

Monday, February 13, 2012

One for the Books - A Lazy Noon Hike

Up until the night before our departure, I felt uncertain about our decision to hike Mt. Kalisungan. Nothing against this mountain really. I just wasn't in the mood for a new destination. With stress in my system, I craved for a familiar place that reminds me of happy thoughts.

One of such is Mt. Batulao. Views of its  rugged peaks and the cold mountain breeze that typifies beloved Tagaytay City, 20 minutes away from the jump-off are great reasons to come back. It was also a place I frequented with college friends to train for major climbs. That's more than a decade ago. Ah, time really flies and snippets of school life flash in my head as though it was only yesterday. :P

A few hours before I met with Jules, an old friend who's a skyrunning addict and equally loves outrageous mountain adventures, we agreed to deviate from the plan and go to Mt. Batulao instead. (Ooh, here's Jules' post on her Mt. Apo day hike last year.)

And so we both thought we were climbing that day.

"Why are we doing this again?", I asked my friend for the nth time that morning. I  felt slightly dehydrated, my hands started to bloat, my head hurts from the heat and to top the experience, my face was accumulating dust from all the passing vehicles that whizzed by the Tagaytay-Nasugbu Highway. It was nearing 12:00 PM and we haven't had a decent rest. 

More than an hour has passed since we decided to walk from Jollibee at Mendez Crossing to Evercrest in Nasugbu so we can burn the hefty lunch we had just consumed. Neither one of us could recall how far we were from the jump-off but we were determined to get there on foot.


Since we started walking down the highway, we had been receiving curious stares from by-standers and motorists. It was a rather eye-catching site for visitors to be walking on this part as most travelers were on wheels.



During our walk, we met some friendly locals who wondered why the heck we were walking aimlessly around town. Funny, we were both wondering the same thing. 

Taal Lake from afar


10.5 KM later, we stopped at a blue waiting shed to rest. There was a trail behind it which we didn't bother checking out. On the other side is an area side abundant with sunflowers. Across the road, we can see trees that had nicely shaped branches. A few meters away, we can see the final curve to Evercrest, Batulao's jump-off. We happily slumped on the bench and continued our girl talk. We started to snack on what was supposed to be our trail food.  


Wind continued to blew. After about an hour, we impulsively agreed on a ridiculous idea   "Let's just go back to Manila and eat at The Old Spaghetti House!". And just like that, we hailed a bus and traveled back. Inside the bus,  we shook our heads and laughed at ourselves on what we just did. 

We have our crazy days where we hike until we are close to fainting and we have our extra crazier days where we just go anywhere, hike and stop, just because we feel like stopping. It was a testament of our appreciation and passion for nature, be it a breathtaking scenery or as simple as wild flowers growing at the side of the road. Once again, we were reminded that it's not always about the place, but the nice people you meet and  friends who put up with your silly ideas that make up an amazing adventure. :)


*Some photos are courtesy of Jules. Follow her adventures on Facebook or through her blog at The Trail Running Mistress

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