leaps and bounds

It was an early Friday evening that I fired up my laptop again and checked directly my Facebook. Earlier that day I was reading into travelling blogs catering to mountaineering, beach bumming, and backpacking on our archipelago. I didn’t notice that I am checking entirely the whole mountaineering blogs on my search engine, somehow before this aroused my interest I was just like making a pass at pictures of an acquaintance at Facebook of her trekking experiences and I adored the scenery. No feeling of wanting to be involved spiked through me then. A year later, I saw my cousin trekking a mountain leading to a beach, right then and there, bang, when I saw her uploaded her experience, I was completely jilted, like I was really crushed. Hoping that I could also make that triumph, not only the dare adventure itself, but that of conquering and just maybe I could see committing myself into doing this, not as part of my bucket list in life, oh do I have list eh, but really finding what it truly meant for me.


The Lady in Red. After having to read those mountaineering blogs, my cousin Aliw had a plan of going back to this mountain, not that by the beach, but the one she recently trekked with a friend. She directly asked me if I can come with her because whether she has company or not, she’ll pursue her trek for she is preparing for a major climb later of this month at our home province. *As of this writing, she’ll trek tomorrow with her mountaineering mates.

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I said yes. While she’s telling this and that plans of hers, and that she asked me to come with her, a sudden rush of excitement filled within me. I started nervously perspiring because the excitement build up was so heightened in me. I realized that I really want it. Trekking is not new to me, had childhood experiences of trekking hills but not mountains.???????????????????????????????
She pushed me to come, she’ll take care of the guide fee she said. She began giving me tips on this and that, on Dos and Don’ts about mountaineering. She was perfectly my mentor. She got that spirit of sharing through one of her friends/mountaineering buds as well. We talked about trail food, lunches and the rides and most especially the principles. We’ve just been there at the jump off point a month ago so we’re okay with the travel time. More stories to share and some fats to burn while perched on the bus for 3 1/2 hours.???????????????????????????????
Good to go at 6am. We were anxious at the bus terminal, no bus yet. We opted to wait at the main thoroughfare but our luck was busted. No choice but again to patiently wait for the bus. Risking of having several trips would be impractical since we are running on a budget adventure.

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No breakfast at Tiffany’s. With a full packed bag on her back it was too much of a load for the trek, she expected that she’ll be able to leave it at her friend that I will have the chance to meet too. Unfortunately, this friend was kind of busy so we settled to directly head to our jump off point. I was posing a smile on my face the whole time she was on the phone, I just can’t help hearing it for obviously we were seatmates at the bus. I meant to keep this private, this supposed breakfast at Tiffany’s, well, I cut it just up to this. Period. 😉

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I am in awe. Upon reaching the jump off point, my eyes opened to this lush greenery. I knew I love the land, green and now the mountains. Vast ups and downs of grass fields cover the slopes. I stand at one moment, breathe, and closed my eyes. Feeling the cold summery breeze. It was 10:30am that we started our trek but the breeze was still refreshing even the sun was blazing up in the sky like a fireball.

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Relax. Breathe. Hike Ahead. Up in my head, no information overload of facts about this mountain, how long will be the trek, how many meters above of whatever. All I was thinking was to move forward. Enjoy the adventure. Take in as much as I could. I was excited and anxious at the same time. I was really going up this mountain.

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For beginners. Based on my cousin’s and from the mountaineering blogs I have checked and read, this Mt. Batulao was a beginner’s assault. It was an easy climb because of the trails, all but ups and downs, traverse, rocky slopes, all good for training. Trail running was even a grand event here. But for some, trekking this would be a feat already on their own.???????????????????????????????
Again the Lady in Red. It was a good time having to accompany her for that trek not that I got the chance to be baptized to her growing interest but it was such a real good time to reach out and spend the company away with this cousin of mine whom I spent my childhood days of summer “staycation” at their house. Thank you, Ma’am.

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Finally, I reached the summit. The feeling of triumph was over me. I climbed a mountain, it was like a risk that was worth taking at that time, that was my train of thought at that point because indecision was creeping into me a couple of days before that climb. Honestly, it was an escape and to get into focus thinking as well.

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Bit sad. I feel for Mother Nature when this happens, when out of people’s overconfidence and that one really wants to show the world that they’ve been there, for real, seriously? What happened with leave no marks, leave no trace? Wouldn’t pictures be enough as souvenirs and proof? Be responsible. Respect. ???????????????????????????????
A bliss. Conquering something like this was a first for me and I wouldn’t deny the fact that there was a part of that traverse that I was nervous and asked  myself if I can really do this but still the will of reaching that summit was just pure awesomeness pushing in my head. (Though I may sound exaggerated on this but it was something of a fix for me, for myself.) DSC04250
Peace and a dirty finger, just because. I was playfully taking some shadow shots of mine at the summit when I invited my cousin, while resting at the makeshift shade of the buko vendors, to pair with me on this shadow photo of us together and here’s what we’ve got. I found out that she wanted to take that walk again just to clear her head. Period. ;P

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This won’t be the last. It’s my awakening. I think I want this. I would want this for quite a long time. My eyes have been opened. Definitely, my feet were made for walking. I gained some company and planning for the next trekking adventure would now be close to reality. Wait. I’ll breathe. Relax. Take it all. Breathe out. Come, let’s take a walk.

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