How Mount Batulao Killed All My Fears

It’s easy to climb a mountain. Just tell someone you want to, come to the meeting place a little late, bring an action camera, feel the blazing sun and the wind’s cold breeze, take jump shots at the summit, suffer two cramps on the way down, and call it a night.

Seven months have already passed since I last climbed a mountain. I was ready for another, but my body was not. I don’t EVER work out, and climbing a mountain while living a sedentary lifestyle is pretty much a recipe for disaster. More on that later. Right now, here are some pictures from the trip.

Batulao-1
The trails were very visible and quite easy to follow. The downside is there’s almost no shade so you get exposed to the sun and get tired quite easily. We stopped every now and then to catch our breath for a few minutes.
Batulao-2
We passed by and greeted this group of mountaineers that was going down the new trail.
Batulao-3
Does a mountain need saving?
Batulao-5
Dora striking a pose.
Batulao-6
Picture, Picture
Batulao-7
Isn’t this worth it?
Batulao-8
I jumped seven or eight times. The last one caused me to have cramps on my left calf. I will never do this again!
Batulao-9
This view really amazed me. The sun was shining down some parts, while the clouds were covering majority of the area.
Batulao-10
So many fields!
Batulao-11
Look closely to the left and you will see it was raining there.
Batulao-12
My last snapshot on the way down using a rope, after I had a cramp on my left calf, and before I had a cramp on my right calf.

I survived Mount Batulao, even after two calf cramps! I need to thank my friends for helping me get through it. For Dora who held my hand every time there was an uneven path, and Tathel who carried my bag for an hour or so. I also need to thank the guy who massaged my leg with a little Katinko to get rid of the pain. A minute after my second cramp, the caretakers of the old trail suddenly appeared after us. I’d also like to thank them for staying behind us in case I get a third cramp. I didn’t get their names because I was shy (I should never be shy again!) but at least I got to tell them how grateful I was.

No More Fears to Fear

Because we started the climb at 1:00 p.m. and I slowed everyone on the way down, the sun set on us. We enjoyed a good hour-long night trek with our cellphones that served as flashlights. Overall, it was a journey like no other. We got to experience a lot there. The climb was easier than my first mountain, Pico de Loro, but scarier. There was one moment on the way up when I just froze in fear because the cliff is literally just inches away from me. Dora said it’s all in my mind and it’s actually easy to get through that part. Okay, so I closed my eyes for a few seconds and just went for it. Moments after, I was already looking down that frightening cliff with no fear at all. That was a first, and I am proud of myself for that. Maybe I was just too busy appreciating  everything that my eyes could see that my heart had no space to feel any fear.

This is Endurance

We rode a tricycle to and from the jump-off point. We were five people (with two very healthy ones including me, ha!) and half of the time the road was extremely rough, but go figure, the tricycle survived! I will never know how the hell tricycles can withstand such heavy loads and rough roads! All I can say is it’s the epitome of endurance and I will forever be amazed by it, no matter how uncomfortable it is to ride one.

Hungry for More

I pretty much can’t walk straight anymore, so I asked my mom to pick me up at Pala-Pala (I know, I’m such a baby). But no matter how hard this climb was, I’m still ready to climb more mountains. Tara? Tara! 🙂

Panoramic-Batulao

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