Friday, April 18, 2014

Mt. Batulao: Photoblog + Tips

You know where to best eat a halo-halo and packed lunch? At the mountains!

My high school friends and I chose Mt. Batulao for our day hike because as these sites (Action Asia, Pinoy Mountaineer, mountains and beyond) say, it's relatively easy to climb.

So on we went!

From Batangas City, we rented a van for Php 150+ each to get to the foot of the mountain.
On the way to the top! Surrounding houses have comfort rooms for rent
First landscape picture. It was gloomy.
It drizzled for about 15 minutes, so it was chilly. Good thing we had our jackets. But after that, jackets off! Sun's up!
Sun's up! 
We didn't hire a guide mainly because we were cheapskates. XD Also, because there were many co-hikers that time, we thought that we could just follow them. We did reach our destination even without a guide. (But for safety and security reasons, I think one should hire one. The fee is 400 pesos as of February 2014.
Up, up, up~!
First stop over!
It was an easy hike before the first peak. Plus, with the first look of that awesome, breathtakingly beautiful scenery, we have to not feel our tiredness first and look at it.

Hike hike hike!

First group pic! Taken by me, unfortunately.

Yeah! Group pic with me in it!
The good thing about Batulao hike is that it has at least 3 stopovers with FOOD! This is the first one: 
Stop over: Lugawan. 
Their lugaw is just for Php 10! Lumpia for Php 5. Coco juice straight from the coconuts (forgot how much, sorry). And they taste good, especially the lumpia. (Hadn't taken pictures of them because I was starving when we got there.)

These two cute little things fought over our coconut 'crumbs'.

View from the Lugawan.
After eating, hike hike hike we went again.

Master Jupiter! Our resident one true hiker.

The picture below was where we paid for the environmental fee (Php 20). This is also where the camping sites are.
After this part, hiking went harder for me.

Obligatory pic with the mountains.

Mountain's passage of life if you know what I mean XD

The hard part I was talking about. All fours we went.

Thorny plants on the beloved rocks. Watch out.

Just before lunch, we were caught in a hard rain. Good thing there's a stopover nearby.
This was the view where we were caught up in the rain. I won't forget this place.

We bought halo-halo (Php 35) and Mountain Dew (Php 25) at the stopover. We also had our wet lunch there. 
Then, on we went again. There are no picture after that because I went all scared and couldn't bring to hold my camera. The slope was steep and I could't stand straight. Had to crawl all the way up.

After so much crawling, behold the view of our last peak:
View from the peak after the mini rappel

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We got there at about 2pm so it was really hot. We had to wear our jackets again.

With J! First time to couple hike!

We descended at about 3pm. It took us 2 hours because most of us descended sitting. Including me, of course. :)
Didn't regret hiking though, because it's one of the most beautiful mountains I've seen.

Tips to first time Batulao hikers (or things I learned when I went there):

  1. Start early. We experienced the peak at about 1-2pm. We have to wear jacket because of the heat.
  2. Wear sunscreen. Our faces were all red after the hike. One had to apply aloe vera because his face is sensitive. And he didn't wear sunscreen that time. 
  3. Bring at least 2 liters of water. Or extra money to buy ice cold water/sodas at the stopovers. 
  4. Secure gadgets. Weather is unpredictable (It rained when we went there. Not drizzle. Rain.). 
  5. Extra clothes is a must for non-professional hikers. 
  6. For OC non-professional hikers, bring wet wipes and tissue. (Dust were all over my body, even near undies because I went all fours.)

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