Reaching the Peak (Mt. Apo Day 2)

Reaching the Peak (Mt. Apo Day 2)

Hardly had enough sleep last night, and woke up to the freezing cold. We have to start hiking early if we want to reach the peak before dark. After packing our things and cleaning camp, we started our climb. It was a steep climb and there was mud from time to time. Good thing I got a rain gear pants made of plastic, I think I got the cleanest pants among the group. I was wearing it not because I don’t want to get dirty, but I was trying to get rid of leeches, since I’ve read that in this part of the forest, there are a lot of leeches.

We were trekking the forest floors and all we see are tall trees, vines and wild flowers. The sun's rays would shine from time to time and we could measure how high we are by some openings along the path and see the opposite mountains but that is too seldom. There are also some strange noise and hiss, which our guides told us that these are sounds of snakes. Though I don’t wish to see any of them. I don’t want to disturb the peace of the forest because of my scream.

Before we push to reach Lake Venado, which is our target destination to eat lunch, we made a trip to Mainit Falls. This is actually one of the campsites, if we got to the jump off point earlier and we could bath in the waters before we start the trek. But since its only a side trip for us all we got was pictures. It was enough but to experience bathing in its water could be more rewarding.

So we started our climb and passed the killer 90 degrees trail. It wasn't that hard, since there were already ladders that helps us in the climb. We started to feel the cold air of the forest and you could see that the trees are covered with moss, the weather was inconsistent with unexpected rain.

Then we reach the swamps. Lake Venado is within our sight. It was magical. It left me speechless. I can find the right words to describe its beauty. We were the first to arrived in the group so I had the change to take a lot of pictures of the scenery even if it drizzles (I was told that this is because of the clouds surrounding us). During the time when the sun was out, we got the chance to dry our wet things, that includes my sleeping bag that was so wet when I slept the previous day.

I could see the peak and the different forest that we will be traversing. There's the tall trees, then midget trees den some fruit bearing trees that I thought was the wild berries. I tried tasting it and realized how spicy and hot it was. Then the real berries started to emerge, it taste delicious, though from the trail, you can find the ripe ones, maybe because the previous climbers have harvested it. Rain started pouring again and the air was cold. It was almost dark. I was so tired, too much effort needs to be made to take a single step. But I told myself that I can't stop, the peak is so near.

Then a flat view with cogon grass started to appear and I realize, I am already at the peak! Success!

But before I enjoy the view, I have to change my clothes, I was soaking wet and I am feeling very cold. It was too much for me. I am not used to cold weather. My thick warmers was not enough. I have to join the others in one tent to be warmed. Alcohol was served to help us in warming our bodies. Socials started and by midnight, we called it a night so we can still enjoy the sunrise. So there goes our lights off. Our second day at the peak ended.

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