Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mount Pinatubo 03: Traversing the rocky, rugged trails to the crater

It was not a leisure hike going to the crater.

The sun was already scorching hot when we started the trek. I was dreaming for a cold splash but we always ended up gulping hot air as drops of sweat fell on our faces. With a huge pack in my back and a heavy camera bag in front, I could not even remember how I managed the five-hour hike to the crater with the harsh heat.

jump-off point

JUMP-OFF POINT. Everyone gears up for the 4-5 hour hike to the crater. UPM members enjoin that we do warm-up before starting the trek.

wide rocky trail

ROCKY TRAIL. The long and enduring trek started, a barren land with amazing rock formations along the vast horizon.

oasis in the dessert

WETLANDS. Along the way are little streams of water.

crossing the water

GETTING WET. These little streams are like oasis in this vast, barren land. It refreshed us somehow.

huge boulders

BOULDERS. I've seen rocks in all sizes as we reached a greater height.

steep rocks

PARTS & PIECES. Some rocks have funny formations.

going around rocky road

COVE OF ROCKS. From here it was all dusty and rugged.

crossing wet lands

GUSHING WATER. If your packs are heavy, it's difficult crossing the stream.

The trail going to the crater was far even worst than I thought it would be. Rocks in all sizes, huge boulders everywhere, and a never ending stretch of volcanic sands—the place looked forsaken. There were no trees to hide from and the water source for drinking was still a few hours away. I was thinking then, "What the heck am I doing here?"

In between bursting sweat and heavy hauls, I told myself, “That crater must be that feckin’ beautiful to make all this effort worth our while!” Motivating oneself has always been a very good resort and with the image of the turquoise-colored of the crater lake on my mind, I think no amount of pain would ever stop me from reaching that little piece of paradise.

Along that 5-hour hike I learned a lot of things.

I learned to endure pain more than I thought I could. It was mind over matter; pain is nothing unless you acknowledged it!

I learned to live with what I have. I was thirsty all the time. I was hungry most of the time. I wanted to whine but thinking that I was the one who encouraged my officemates to join this challenge, I kept my whining in silence. I had at least a hundred of thoughts running inside my head while I was making the hike and it somewhoe kept me entertained.

I lost my shades 15 minutes away from the crater. I had to go back to the trails and looked for it like some idiot looking for a cent in the bushes. That piece of eyewear has a sentimental value. I bought that during my Kota Kinabulu trip with Charl. The shades was on-sale and Charl coaxed me to buy one as a birthday gift to myself. Anyway, I never found it.

Next post... the crater lake!


Anonymous said...

"What the heck am I doing here?"

my thoughts exactly 5 minutes into the treck, barely off the jump-off point.

"I learned to endure pain more than I thought I could."


over-all, is it worth treating Mojacko to a Japanese resto for? yes. (but don't tell him that. haha)

Crim Foreva

my gulch said...

kung gayon, ako na lang ang i-treat mo sa Koi Koi, hehehe!

Anonymous said...

haha.sige, KK sa Koi-Koi. haha.


lagal[og] said...

happens to me all the time but i guess that's what the mountains (and crater lake) is there for.

my gulch said...

krimkk sa koi-koi...haler! libre nga eh.

oggiehappens to you all the time? alin yung mawalan ng shades? hehe. anyway, sulit naman lahat. and i would never even wonder why despite the difficulty, people are coming to Mout Pinatubo all the time.

the donG said...

good that you took the old trail. the last time we went there, we took the skyway route and the trek was only an hour and a half. so boring.

this reminds me of my first trek there. the five hour trek.

sad to know that you lose you sunglasses. i too lose my bonnet when we were in marinduque. it was the bonnet that i wore on every trip.

my gulch said...

dom:onga eh. pangalawang shades na 'to na nawala, una sa Pagudpud. pero okay lang wala namang sentimental value yun, itong huli yung medyo masakit sa dibdib. pagbalik ko ng trail para hanapin, nadulas pa ako sa batuhan na may tubig, o di ba? masakit talaga.

lagal[og] said...

rayts: i mean asking myself what am i doing this instead of cooling my heels and drinking lipton red tea back home :) hay, pinatubo's got sad memories for me so i turn wistful everytime i read about this mountain

paoruiz said...

i sure want to go back here again. =)

kyels said...

It's definitely a tough hike. Without the necessary stamina, one won't be able to do it, di ba?

pieterbie said...

Wow, that hike is not a picknick!
I wait impatiently for the next post.

the donG said...

ingat lagi. buti naman at ganun lang.

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