This was actually my first time hiking. I never thought I could do it or even get to the peak but then I did. Hardest part was actually waking up at 2 o’clock in the morning. Yup, read that right. So we did book an accommodation near the foot of the mountain and asked around as soon as we checked in. Their advice was to start the hike by 3 in the morning.
As soon as we arrive at the barangay hall, we took flashlights to rent since it was really dark then. The tour guide assigned to us led the way soon as we’re ready.
The first part of the trek was actually pretty easy. Then there were large boulders here and there where hikers would rely to strong roots and trees to hold on to. That and the darkness were the greatest obstacles you’d face into. However, being cheered up by the other groups were really comforting.
It took us almost 3 hours to get to the peak and were quite disappointed because it was cloudy then and there were a LOT of people there already. Picture taking at the peak was by turns and the tour guides fall in line among themselves to represent their group. Waiting took an hour or so but it was actually a good time to take a rest and eat in preparation for descent.
We actually passed by the heart’s peak where there was a man-made big heart “nest” at a cliff. Didn’t get a decent picture but the view there was majestic. Again, groups fall in line to get a photo but this spot wasn’t as crowded as the peak so the waiting time wasn’t that long.
After a quick photoshoot, we started the real descent.
There were 2 path options to go back. One was through the same way you went going up and the other ends at Tinipak river. Since we already went to the river the day before we chose to go down the same way. Descent seemed longer and harder.
A total of 5-6 hours. The sun was so high up in the sky when we got down. Nothing compared to the cold while we were going up the mountain. Again, it was my first hiking experience but it was definitely a good one and I promised myself I’d do a hike again.