Dec 22 2014

a Solo hike to the hills of Naupa, Naga and an overnight with friends.

June 19, 2014

I originally planned to go solo on this overnight backpacking trip. Later on the day, some friends decided to catch up but I still hiked the trail solo. It was a rainy day and there was a tropical storm. Luckily, it only glanced the northern part of Philippines.


As they say, there is always a first time for everything. And today, I somehow managed to reach the bus terminal, only to realize that I left my tent back at home. That was really stupid. I had to go back to home and get it.


After getting off the bus, I took a motorcycle ride to the jump off point.


The road was muddy and slippery.


By the time I started my hike, the rain was already pouring. Good thing I had my poncho. Approaching the first fork along the trail, take the one on the left.


More rain ahead


The second fork along the trail. Go right.


This is the last fork along the trail. Take the left path.


This area is your last water source.


approaching the campsite!


After an hour of hike, I got to the campsite. Setting up the single wall dome tent in the rain was a bit messy. Good thing I had dry clothes with me. After I settled in, I switch to my smaller pack and went out to do some scouting around the area. That yellow rain fly is my poncho which I setup as a rain fly so I would have some dry area where I can store my muddy boots and do my cooking.


Scouting the area, I found some good sites for tents and a small area for hammock users.


Caldereta!


Back at the tent for dinner!


A love chilli beans!


I’m warm inside my tent. I love lighting up candles when I go out camping. They serve as a light source and they help get rid of the insects that fly around at night. I stayed warm during the night. At 560masl, I can get by using an insulation foam as my sleeping pad, no sleeping bag needed. Just some dry clothes on. I stayed dry, warm and comfy inside the tent despite the strong winds and rain outside. Condensation was minimal during my stay was minimal.


Good morning! Just an advice, be careful when leaving your boots outside your tent overnight. You never know what kind of creeper crawlies that might end up staying inside it. They might find it really comfortable. I know I should have wrapped this in plastic before leaving it outside overnight.


Breakfast and a cup of hot coffee!


I forgot to mention that I have neighbors in the campsite. My friends arrived around night time just around the time for dinner. They had their tents setup next to my tent. I didn’t bring out my camera anymore because it was raining. Anyway, here’s the campsite at day break.


We did a quick scout around and had a group photo at the top of one of the hills in the area.


Of course a self portrait is mandatory.


Cow!


Break camp!


I’ll end this post with this rendered photo of a tree I found while scouting the area during day 1.


Until the next one, Thanks for dropping by!


Aug 6 2014

A long hike at the Babag Mountain Range 2014-07-06

I always wanted to try a different trail. After studying topographic maps of the area, I can see there are plenty of interesting places to go to. So after setting a route, I invited my hiking buddy Siopao to join me in this long trail. Of course, I always get a local guide when exploring new areas. That’s just common sense. At least that’s how I was taught back in the province. It is always important to have someone with you who is local to that area for a lot of reasons, most of which are for your own safety. Ignore those people who try to be bad asses and blaze through so called “unfamiliar areas”.  That’s their version of fun. :-)

Anyway, let’s start walking…

The Napo-Babag trail


After around 30 minutes we got off the common trail and started following the towers. There are obvious trails but foliage has grown back and started to reclaim the path. Good thing we brought the right tools to cut down a path. Here we are taking a quick photo near one of the towers.

My hiking buddy Siopao and I near one of the power line towers along Mt Babag


As we hiked further it was obvious that this path is regularly used by the locals. We can see patches of farmed lands. Some of them were just recently cleared. This trail gives you a better view of Cebu City and a lot of cool breeze of fresh air.

20140705_153954


Someone left their toy here. :-)

Someone left their heavy equipment.


We got free mangoes from one of the workers in the area. :-)

Freshly picked mangoes!


We have reached our planned destination. This part seems to be a junction for a lot more trails to try. But most importantly, a very nice spot to observe and photograph the landscape during a sunrise and a sunset.

Our destination was the 6th tower. Here we took a break and had some snacks.


Here’s the view from this location.

20140705_170434


We had some quick snacks since we still have a long hike ahead. I know, these are instant food, not the freshly cooked ones. But we have other plans. There’s always a time for “gourmet” cooking and a time for quick insta meals.

Our snacks/early dinner at the Babag mountain range


From this point forward, it was already raining and it quickly got dark. I was no longer able to take a lot of photos but it was a long ridge hike. There were parts that our guide Manwel was no longer familiar with the area. Some parts we began cutting paths through thick vegetation.

The path we made through the thick bushes. Trail blazing through thick vegetation in Babag


After an hour of cutting our own path, it was becoming obvious that Manwel was no longer familiar with the path. I decided to take over and call the directions. We eventually got back to an established trail and went back to hiking the ridge as planned. Along the ridge hike I spotted some boot prints of other hikers. Some breaking off trail and some going the opposite direction. Happy exploring guys! Sorry no photos here.

As we got nearer to RCPI, our path was blocked by a raging bull. Like a final boss fight in a pc game, he was in our path. Lucky for us, the bull was tied to a tree and wasn’t free to chase us around. It gave a try though. We passed RCPI and walked straight down to Babag and continued on to Mountain View area where we took a motorcycle ride back to JY Square.

We ended our long hike with a dinner at AA Bbq.

Hike details.

DISTANCE: 11.86km
DURATION: 7:18:43 hours (This includes our breaks)
More details here: http://www.mapmyhike.com/workout/634347379
All photos are geo tagged for reference.

Until the next one.

My trusty combat boots.