My first climb in Cebu has not gave us a perfect view because of the foggy surroundings that almost covered the entire scene. Lucky us, that in quite moment, these rugged peaks of Cebu, the highest probably, showed up. If not, we'll left the place with little disappoinment.
After more than an hour of stay at the peak and some photo shoots, our leg-breaking adventure, a Kawasan Falls traverse has started. We descended on foggy trails and passed through the vegetable farms of Mantalongon.
The fog almost blinded us that we couldn't see the trail and far back drop but only the few diameters of our sight.
Cabbages were abundant along the trails.
Carrots and radishes were also available
At first, everyone was with full of energy and enthusiasm was manifested. We were determined to overcome this one of a kind experience. In this adventure, we enjoyed so much the landscapes that as if we were in the "Lord of the Ring Scenes", Really!!! The pictures could not explain what it looks like in actual scene. The landscape seems so unreal, I see nothing like this in my life, just that time. The rugged, steep limestone formation was different there compare on what we have seen from the high peak. What we've seen on the peak was like a small steep conical mound but there, we were dwarfed by it. The vegetation were also different. It is unfamiliar to my sight. This might have due to the cold weather in the place. There were few large trees that could offer a shade during mid day. Good, that we have that kind of weather during our traverse. If Mr. Sun has shown up that day, he may add burden to our agony.
There were no villages we have seen on the first 2 hours of our trek. Only domesticated livestock like the mad male goat we have encountered along the trail. Together with him were his she goats and numbers of kids. The goat was being territorial and he was blocking our way that cause bit delay of our trek.
One of Mr. Goat's wives.
Limestone were so abundant in the area, hence the jagged mountains, that make the dirt road milky white in colour.
After that, goat-dodging scene, we have reached the dirt road. Actually, we have the option of riding again the habal-habal to bring us in the waterfalls complex and let us have a convenient trip but we chose this way and brave ourselves for this experience. We have no regrets and we endure everything we felt after that almost 8 hours of trek. And that's the sweetest reward of an adventurer could ever experience -- the beauty of his destination, a great fulfilment.
This view must have been better if only fog have cleared in a bit while.
The thick fog has never leave us up until we rested on the nearest community.
We walked through these white rocky road that seems we were stepping on a beach, mind not the sharp rocks we stepped on.
Approaching the village after 3 hours of trekking.
I was fascinated by these rock formation on the top of a mountain. I found it like a rugged fortress as if it was hiding something inside it.
That left me a question and wondering.
We were nearing in the community.
The road was also like a long white carpet that dominated a green valleys.
One more thing, the willage has these distinct specie of a pine tree. There were numbers of these we have seen along the road, in group and even by it self. I'm not sure if its endemic and naturally have grown there or planted by the locals. Whatever it is, it enhances the place and further provide distinction that made the place truly was cool.
Prior to my previous post of our Delving Cebu, the Town of Dalaguete was the summer capital of the province, the Cordillera of Cebu, vegetable farming is the prime source of living there. We came across vegetable farms and meet along farmers who were bringing their product in the market.
The Tale of the Lonely Pine Tree...... Hehehe!!!
Mad kid. supladong bata! =)
Finally, we had our first stop after that long and continuous trek. We have reached the first community and there, we got the opportunity to rest and filled our thirst. We bought food to sustain our energy for another leg of this long journey that was yet to come. We ate breads to regain burned energy and to supply carbs and munched some bananas for our potassium requirements plus a soda. In that resting spot, I started to feel a little pain on my shoulder because of the heavy weight brought by my 50 liters backpack. But it was still tolerable and I know I could resist it for the next hours.
Ma/am Riz, one of my companion, has also started to feel pain on her feet. She was feeling a kind of sprain on one of her foot. We rested for more minutes for her to relieve pain and that time, she wore slippers instead of trekking shoes. While resting, we made some chit chats and made fun of our near zombifying experience and talked as well to some locals through our translator Ma'am Riz, the one who's in pain first. This is one of the advantage of having someone who knows the native tounge of place you were traveling. We didn't experience language barriers and we had communicated with ease.
We enjoyed watching local folks transferring and preparing their vegetable goods.
With no further do and her relief, we proceeded on the next phase of this adventure. This time we were done on the roads and we headed back in tracking trails.
As we go through, the scene was consistently putting us in awe. These steep limestone mounds keep us from turning our head back. I made another personalization with nature, had a conversation, they were like saying, "Now you are leaving us, thanks for the visit.". And I replied, "I know one day we'll meet again."
It brought me in sadness, as the sight of mounds were gradually fading. On the other side, fulfilment embodied me. I was able to witnessed these unusual geologic formation that our country could really boast of. Not everyone could have this personal encounter with it -- indeed, a nature hand-moulded by the Creator.
The view could compare to one of China's geologic formation alongside of the Li River.
Before the trail trek began, we passed by an elementary school and stopped there in few minutes. We played basketball with young folks there.
Mommy Do as if she was in our outreach activity -- SMILE (SMB in Live Experience)
On the schools stage were farmers arranging their harvested vegetable to be brought in the market.
We passed through another sitio before the long and zombifying trek began.
Our last glance of the rugged, jagged peaks.
This time we sighted another vegetable products cultivated by these farmers - Onions.
Lots of onions.
Cebuanos were truly warm and smiling people like this old woman we met along the trail. A first, we were thinking that this old woman was a "Fairy" because she just came out of nowhere on the trails. And that trail was forested and both sides were jungle. We were like enchanted seeing her and we gave our best smile and greeted her as well. We looked her up until she was covered by the thick vegetation of the trail. Hahaha....anyways, our paranoia was gone when she didn't fade and didn't turned into blinding fair lady! Mag-wiwish pa naman sana ako....hehe!
After that close-enchanting moment, we reached the only water source of our trek. We spent our lunch there since there was abundant of water to drink.
We also took the opportunity to wash our selves.
We cooked our food of corned beef with cabbage and the "anchovies" in which we blame for our zombie mode transformation. We assumed that that dried fish produced "Uric Acid" in our body that almost break my leg and suffered in to knee-pain.
The water spring serve as the main water source of the nearby community. The area used to be a washing and bathing place by the locals as we saw empty soap and shampoo plastics.
We stayed there for almost 2 hours and again we are approaching near to another village and we will be over on trails and got back to road.
That moment, Me and Jann (my other companion) started to feel pain on our legs. The uric acid we assumed have spread to our system, began to affect us.
The last leg of our trail tracking and back to the road.
We also saw village's houses but only few people around. Our young guide mentioned to us that there might be habal habals that we could ride on up until in Kawasan but chances seems so unkind to us. There were motorbikes parked in the sitio but no driver to operate it. That brought us in dismay. We have no choice but to continue walking for the next hour. That time, it became harder because we walked on the paved road and seems that the road added force to our legs and knees that can't accommodate movement at all plus the weight of our backpack. Mr. Sun showed up as well. Well, he didn't added burden anymore because the rays was cooler that time and it was sunset then.
Few minutes later, while Ma'am Do, Ma'am Odhie and Sir Leo were at rest already, Me, Jann and Ma'am Riz were still on the track. The pain I'm feeling that time was excruciating. Just to keep on going, I was dragging my legs and resisting the pain I'm feeling. I'm near on giving up but my desire dominated me. I claimed the reward of this agony at the end of the trail -- the majestic Kawasan Falls.
Meet the ZOMBIES!!!! Hahaha!!! At last, we reached the final phase of the trail. The other strong peeps, Ma'am Do, Sir Leo and Ma'am Odhie were making fun out of us when we arrived and tagged us the Zombie Team.
We rested for few minutes and drink plenty amount of water to relieve our thirst and then went back to the trail. We descended on the falls while hearing its rushing water. I was so excited that I made my pace fast although I was in pain.
And look at this view, our first glance of the waterfalls complex, indeed, all our agony was gone. These turquoise blue water was so inviting. Upon seeing it, I want to make a jump on it but I succeeded to clam down my self and was reminded that I was so tired that if I swim immediately I might suffer cramp and worst get drown. I calmed down my self and rested. My companion told me that it was only the beginning. There were larger waterfalls ahead. And it was not the famed Kawasan Falls. So, we walked through and there we reached the main falls.
We were still in pain but seeing these sightings, it all worth the price we paid.