Published: May 11th 2010May 1st 2010 "Do you remember passing through this trail?"
... a guide
I asked wondering why I don't remember walking through a wide rocky trail.
'I'm not sure' stare.
We went on. "What are these cobwebs doing here? Are these mountain spiders really fast with making webs!?"
I felt more cobwebs constantly on my face later on. "The soil feels unfamiliarly soft",
We went on. "This fallen tree doesn't look familiar, does this look familiar to you?"
We went on. "There are piled bamboo poles at the side of the trail ahead! I definitely don't remember those!",
That did it! We were lost.
It was a long weekend so we decided to do a one-day climb up Mt. Pico de Loro and do camping at a beach somewhere the next day. We hired a taxi (FX) to take us all the way from Manila to the Forestry (DENR station) jump-off point in Ternate, Cavite where we registered and got led to where we started our ascend up the Mountain. The trail going up wasn't too hard to follow, we made it to the camping area after four hours. Earlier, we were told that it should only
take us three hours to get to the top and most of the articles say that the climb should be an easy one but we found it a bit hard, perhaps we were simply novices. After emptying our lunch boxes, we started our ascend to the summit and reached it after 15 minutes. The way to the summit was quite steep and there was nothing much to hold unto but patch of grasses and at some point we had to crawl. It was a clear 360 view from the summit, from there we could see the shorelines of the nearby Bataan and Batangas provinces, the nearby towns of Cavite, and the South China Sea.
We started our descend at around 2:30 in the afternoon and made it to Base I in just two hours so we were expecting to be back at the Forestry Station in 45 minutes. We took a 30 minutes break and started our final trek down at around 5:00PM. About an hour later, we then found ourselves walking through the wrong trail! It was getting dark and our feet were totally sore but as soon as we realized that we were lost, we all suddenly
Taking a break
Martin, Chris, Roger, Tess, Janet, Me (someone has to take the photo)
forgot about our sore legs and started going back up and try and figure out which trail we missed.
Misleading trails seemed to have appeared on our way down and there weren't enough signages. Considering that there was also another group that got lost the previous night who had to be searched with the help of the Marines stationed nearby, we believe it would be most helpful to put up directions going down the mountain as well.
It took us another hour to get back on the correct trail, well, not exactly but we made it back to the highway which was the most important thing and got back to the Forestry station all safe. It was already dark, the next problem we had was that we were stuck in a remote area without telephone signal and public transport. We tried hitch hiking and alternately just tried to wave to every passing vehicle hoping to get a ride, in vain. A public jeepney did stop for us but was asking P1,500 for a ride to the nearest town which was just about 10KM away - a ridiculous price! We'd rather camp at the side of the road than
take the opportunistic offer. Then a couple on a scooter pulled over as we called out "Stooop! Pleeeeease! Pleeaase!".
They agreed to have tricycle drivers in the next town fetch us but an hour later, nothing still. It was already 9:00 in the evening, we were all worn out and hungry. Finally! Another public jeepney passed by and agreed to take us to a grocery store for food and then to a resort in Naic Cavite for P500 - fair enough!
So we were taken to this 'private' resort and got an apartment style accommodation with a dodgy shower head, dodgy toilet, dodgy electric socket, and a dodgy fan (the only fan in the room). It was the only room available so we didn't have much choice, we were tired anyway. We could only manage to cook instant noodles for dinner then we were off to bed. The three boys slept on the floor while us girls slept cramped on the bed.
Despite missing the camping plan, it was still a good climb and most importantly, we were all safe. We'll try not to get lost next time.
There are more photos below