Hi! I just got out of a very tiring but fulfilling weekend. It was divided into three parts: Hike & Party > Camp > Despidida (farewell party) & Massage
In my previous blog post (Summer Escapades: LaBurot), I mentioned that I was supposed to climb a mountain on May 2, to be specific, Mt. Maculot in Cuenca Batangas. However, I was invited to a beach camping trip and I chose to go there instead. Luckily, an opportunity to climb Mt. Maculot reappeared and without any hesitations, I took it – even if it entailed taking a leave from work and exerting extra effort in saving up what’s left of my half-month pay (which I can honestly say wasn’t that much because I paid for several things and went to several trips so it really made me financially miserable)
Really proud of myself for being able to budget my money though. Read on below for the first part of my weekend!
[Disclaimer: Image-heavy post beyond this point]
Last Friday, May 15, I took a leave from work to climb my second mountain – Mt. Maculot in Cuenca, Batangas!
Before anything else, let me share part of the itinerary I made that summarizes the details on how to get there and the other expenses covered by our trip:
The amount of the required tour guide varies depending on the destination. Php400 (1 person – 5 persons; additional Php100 per succeeding person) is only until Rockies and Php800 (1 person – 5 persons; additional Php100 per succeeding person) is for the summit-grotto traverse.
We originally planned to hike until the Rockies only because one, we had plans to attend a party later that evening so we wanted to be home early and two, I didn’t have enough money to spare because I still had a beach camping trip the following day. But if the situation was different, I’d gladly take the traverse.
Mt. Maculot is said to have a difficulty of 3/9. I can only compare this with Mt. Batulao (difficulty of 4/9) which I climbed last month. What’s difficult in Mt. Batulao is the dusty trail and the long hike while in Mt. Maculot, it’s the all uphill trail. In short, Mt. Batulao is a test of stamina while Mt. Maculot is a test of endurance.
We started the hike at around 10:00AM already. Leg strength is really needed for this climb as the trail is mostly steep uphill with little to no flat areas. And even though I was already sweating thirty minutes into the climb, I loved it! There are 12 camps/pit stops in total (including the campsite). We skipped the first four camps but stopped over the succeeding ones as we needed to re-hydrate and rest our legs every now and then.
My plaid polo was already drenched in sweat 45min into the climb. It wasn’t as windy here unlike in Mt. Batulao. Even though we were still far from the Rockies, we already saw the view of Taal Lake. Seeing this made me more excited to get to our destination.
When we got to the campsite (camp 12), the trail became easier as it wasn’t as uphill anymore. After some time, we encountered a group of hikers who took the summit-grotto traverse and who just came from the Rockies. We chatted for a bit before we ascended to the Rockies.
It wasn’t difficult reaching the Rockies from the campsite, we just had to climb a bunch of, well, rocks (as seen from the photo above). We got there at around 11:15AM, so that’s an hour and fifteen minutes of ascending.
Before we started taking photos, we first walked around and savored the view. Because it was a Friday, there were only a few people who hiked. To be specific, three groups including us. And because of this, we had the Rockies all to ourselves and there wasn’t any pressure to take photos quickly.
I tried taking photos around the edge of the Rockies and it came out like this:
I wasn’t satisfied with it so I looked around and saw that I can still go down from those rocks to be nearer to the edge. I must applaud myself for being brave enough to do it because I have this fear of heights I’m trying to conquer.
I was supposed to go to the other end of the Rockies as well but it was getting really hot so we decided to begin our descent. I was complimented on how I improved from always slipping in Mt. Batulao to rarely slipping in Mt. Maculot. It wasn’t as scary to think about descending anymore because I was having fun.
When we got to the part where people write their names on the rocks, I asked for a picture because I didn’t have my marker with me and the photo will serve as proof that I have been there too.
We got back to the jump-off point after forty-five minutes of descent. I took a bath at a nearby house for Php15 a pail because I was really sweaty and my clothes were already drenched.
After freshening up, we rode a tricycle back to Cuenca town proper and rode a bus going back to Buendia.
Here’s a short video of our hike to the Rockies of Mt. Maculot:
Here’s the 180-degree video I took near the edge of the Rockies as seen from 1:20-1:32 in the video above:
Special thanks to our tour guide, kuya Junjun,for being patient with our pace and helping us reach the Rockies safely.
My second hike made me feel tired but fulfilled. Looking forward to climbing my third mountain in the near future!