MOONLIGHT KAYAKING (09/25/10)
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The North Face "Thrill of the trail" Trail Running Series (Bohol)
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MT. CANLAON 2009 EXPEDITION
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Climbing the highest point in Visayas, Mt. Canlaon which is 7,800 ft. ASL, also called as "the killer mountain in the Philippines" requires a lot of mental, emotional and physical preparations. It claimed the said title because of the number of people who died on the number one cause of death in the mountain, hypothermia. But behind all of this, Mt. Canlaon contains a paradise.
I can still remember on the eve of June 11 when I'm too excited to sleep. Excited for the climb on June 11-14. I was still not yet done packing my 7kg. load. I need to get up on 4:00 am, travel for how many hours, take a bus, a vessel, and another bus again, to reach the mountainous place in Canlaon. Then we arrived at the foot of the mountain. I looked at my wrist watch and saw that it's 9:00 am already. Looking at my cousin as my climb buddy and all the other climbers that are now ready to start trekking, i told myself "this is it!" The view caught my sight. The ground was filled with verdure. I can see green! Then we started trekking until 12:00 noon. The trail was less slippery. We took lunch on the trail and resumed to trek. "At last the sun's heat is gone", I thought to myself as the shadows cast by the trees rapidly lengthened and shifted as the sun sank lower on the horizon. it was around 5:00 in the afternoon when we arrived in our first campsite. We pitched our tent, cooked our food for dinner despite the coldness we felt at the knee of the mountain. We ate then took a sleep early because the wake-up call is 4:00 am the following morning. The coldness in that part of the mountain is mild compared to the higher part of course.
It was already light when I woke, and a beautiful sun was gliding everything around me. I helped my buddies cooked food for breakfast and packed lunch. We ate, packed our things then break camp was announced. We were about to leave when we saw some armed men coming towards us. A wave of terror seemed to rise up from my belly and spread through my body, thinking they are NPAs. But I felt a protective presence from the moment we realized that they were military men. We knew then that they were having an operation because some of their co-armies were killed by the NPAs. They said that they noticed us since last night because of the lights coming from each of our headlamps. We're cooperating with them as they took pictures on each of us, took pictures on our I.D.s. The funny part was when we borrowed their guns and bullets and took pictures on it. Cool. We were hold and delayed for about two hours already. The armies released us by 9am and we started trekking towards makawiwili peak. As we climbed up higher and higher, entering the forest line, the trail turned out to be more difficult than I imagined. The ground was slippery, covered with fallen leaves, already out of vegetation. It was replaced by mosses and many exotic plants and flowers. I felt exhausted as we trek farther. I leaned against the trunk of a tree or a rock, relaxed for a while then resumed trekking. Images of snakes and other slimy organisms that might be living inside the forest began to rise up from the depths of my imagination. But it did not hindered me for reaching the top. The exhaustion we felt was gone as we all witnessed the view of the makawiwili peak. We took pictures then resumed trekking towards the saddle. Darkness fell as we were walking. The cold was gripping my body as we arrived at the saddle. We rushed on pitching our tent, cooked our food,then ate. My whole body was chilling and I could hear the sound of the spoon I was holding as it bounced on the cook set as I was eating. Dang! It was really really very cold. We rushed to our tents then prepared to sleep as the stars were barely shining on a moonless sky outside.
Seeing the sunrise at the saddle the following morning was priceless! Add up the bed of clouds. But the view from the crater was the most breath-taking of all as we climbed the very peak of Mt. Canlaon. I can't believe that I was on the top of a volcano. My eyes were fixed on the view. I don't wanna take my sight away from it. Around me lay the mountains and the forests that we have crossed since day one. It was all worth it. After savoring the most amazing view in my entire life, we went downhill, and prepared to trek down towards the other side of the foot of the mountain.
The lights in the near villages were beginning to come on as we went down. It's already 8:00 pm when we reached the village area. We stayed on a non-catholic small church, let the night to pass. Then we rode a bus, a vessel and a bus again the following morning going back to Cebu.
I was privileged to be there. I first doubted my abilities but I was proud of myself and of what had brought me there. To sum up all. it was one hell of experience! rock and roll! \m/
About the Author
Carla is a free-spirited lass who wants to discover every nook of the Earth. She dreams of visiting all the places she has read on books and blogs. For her, she was born to travel, read, write, blog, climb and surf. She loves any form of adventure from sea to summit. Right now, she works as a writer as she travels across her motherland, wishing to conquer Asia and the rest of the world soon.
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