In the middle of a scorching sun, a group of mountaineer, brave the trail that leads to a place where city dweller can only imagine to find in fairytale and storybooks.
Last May 4-5, I’m one of a lucky few to visit and enjoyed a place so magnificent you’ll need to be there to enjoy it. A place where nature is at its best and worst at the same time.
The Place: Daraitan
Daraitan is a small community hidden in the mountain trails of Tanay, Rizal. It’s an hour drive from Tanay town proper with very rough roads. It’s traveling the road is already a challenge in itself. Every summer the town’s people always make it easy for visitors like us to travel to their community by building bridges for vehicles to drive through the river (with a fee of course). But for those coming in with jeepneys, its a different story will tell you about it later.
Talang Mountaineer and Outdoor group founded by Ramon Salgado is a Marikina mountaineering club that had hosted several climbs. The cool thing about this group is that their hobby is kinda being rubbed-off to their offspring that are also known as the Talang Kids. I assure you these kids have the energy to climb Mt. Pulag without any pit stop.
Along with Talang is a group of working girls that loves adventure and doesn’t mind the hot sun and long tiring trails. To the group we call them collectively as The Mirage Girls.
Also with us a group of young enthusiastic climber, (not sure if this is their official name) but they are called the Mahalay Group.
The Adventures: Day 1 – Swimming
Our group (from Angono) arrived earlier compare to the group coming from Marikina, which took the Cogeo – Sampaloc route. After coming to the campsite we waited till the kids got hungry so we had a late breakfast.
After we cleaned up, we decided to cool down on a stream near the campsite. A cool running water that flows down the mountain side to the pond then to the river below. We stayed there and enjoy the view and cooled ourselves against the heat of the day.
The Talang gourp came after with some argument with people in the Daraitan Barangay Hall but lets talk about that later. Under the heat of the sun which they tried o avoid by coming early was wasted to that incident. So after reaching camp they rested and make tent while others started preparing for lunch. Everyone have his or her own packed lunch, which means that no one was talking.
After lunch and a quick rest the gang went down to enjoy the river.
Then we had a few group games. First to fill the bottle with water using only your hands and Stone tower, whoever manages to stack river stones the tallest wins.
I took some my time taking photos as well
After that everybody got ready to prepare for dinner, which everyone was happy help out. We offer to provide drinking water, so if we ever found an empty bottle or if our water container (4gallons) is empty we immediately walk down to the stream to fetch water.
The Adventures: Day 2 – Caving
As the sun was breaking, one by one we woke up. Some with sore back, muscle pain but every one have a smile on their face. Then we slowly started preparing for breakfast. We started collecting water bottle to fill. Others also started to walk down the stream to do the dishes, while the men started fire to cook our rice.
One thing about climbing, everything you eat is delicious. It is not gourmet dishes like in restaurant but you will surely go for seconds (if there are any).
After breakfast and doing the dishes and refilling drinking water, we prepare for another trail walking to the cave. Which is truly an experience to remember. We skip big rocks; trailed on side of a cliff; climb down a not-so-stiff drop: cross a wooden log-made bridge (that you would prefer not to cross if you have options); cross the river and then climb up to the entrance of the cave.
Truly the cave was very beautiful, enchanting and dangerous. So with all the amazement we are feeling we are still careful while trailing through shard edge rocks. It was a 10 minutes long trail to the pond inside the cave. Where we spend almost 30 minutes enjoying the cold water and the extra-ordinary beauty of it.
After some photo-op we started back up and went back to camp. Other went trailing the river back to camp, while some went back to the way we came.
We were back at camp by late 10 to early 11AM. There were coconut waiting for us (not yet open) so we immediately went and got ourselves a bolo and open it to have a refreshing taste of coconut juice.
We still have time so other went back down the river for a cool swim while other started cooking lunch.
After lunch we got ready to break camp. Tent owner started unmaking their tents while some help on doing the dishes. For my son and I, we grab as many empty drinking bottle and started filling them up on the stream.
When everyone was ready we started our decent.
It was a great trip with great people. Hoping for the next trip/climb/trek be as memorable as this.