Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Land And Sea (Part 2)

Napping on the road.

In my last blog post, we've encountered a whale shark and her offspring at one of the beaches here in Pangasinan. When we got back on shore, we accepted an invitation to a family friend's farm at San Carlos. I wasn't really sure what to expect since he told us to wear comfortable shoes for trekking.

 My mom's highschool classmate is a farmer-slash-entrepreneur and has a piece of farmland somewhere in this area. We rode in his FX which was filled with organic fertilizer and some plants. It was hot and humid as we passed through a couple of towns. When we went uphill though, after an hour, the air was much cooler and cleaner.

Up at Mapita.
 We stopped for a moment at the side of the road to appreciate the hills and a bird's eye view of the towns and cities below. As we breathed in the fragrant air, my mom's high school friend- Tito René- told us the hills would've been more lovely if illegal loggers didn't touch the place. Sure enough , there were bald patches of hills and land.

Christ,  can't a person enjoy the gifts of Mother Nature without these illegal shit ruining it?

Anyway, we continued with our little road trip uphill, stopping a few times for Tito René to greet a fellow farmer on the way and dropping off the plants and fertilizers at the workers' area.
Halfway there.

We eventually reached an extremely narrow road that   not only was unpaved- it was steep, rocky with hair-raising pinturns and absolutely no guard rails. Talk about literally living your life on the edge.

While my mom and her friend were freaking out, I was actually having the time of my life. I mean, seriously, what's the point of adventure without risk? As the FX ventured on to what seemed to be some sort of point of no return, we were like tossed salad inside while Tito René casually joked about how we'd have to push the FX through the same road if it rains.

We finally stopped at this worn out trail that was going downhill. Covered in rocks, rotting wood and grass. He wasn't kidding about wearing the right shoes for trekking.

After 10 minutes of negotiating with the rough trail, we finally came upon this.

For some reason, this gave me LOTR feels.

This river path is where the fun actually begins.

 I was totally unprepared for this. But it was actually a lot of fun traipsing through the river, jumping from one rock to another, going boulder to boulder while wild birds and different species of butterflies flitted about. Yes, it was physically challenging at first but nature tends to make you forget about such trivial stuff.

"I'm off to an adventure!"

  We only carried some necessities like food , drinks, our phones and extra clothes just in case . After trudging on for what seemed like an hour, we could hear the waterfalls.

We were at the top of the small but really steep waterfall. It's roughly more than a ten-feet drop to the deep, blue clear reservoir below.

Cue "Colors Of the Wind" soundtrack

Just a couple of things I've learned in this mini-adventure:

Wear your swimsuit already under your trekking clothes if you plan to swim because there's no changing area or a bush to hide behind at.

Have a good meal beforehand but nothing too heavy.

Bring a towel or scarf to cover yourself with if you're going to change back to your dry clothes.

Chillin'. This is much higher up than it looks
 Oh, also, Spider-Man skills are helpful if you want to conquer the rough trails, boulders, and climbing down to the reservoir.

DENR knows about this spot but preferred  to keep quiet regarding its whereabouts for good reason: they want it untouched by the general population as much as possible to preserve its state as it is.

So if any of want to visit this place, I require hugs, red velvet cupcakes by the dozen, or a Waite tarot deck.

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