In all of my major climbs, day 2 was always the harshest. Each time, we’d be spending the entire day walking with our heavy packs to reach the next camp. 8 hours of walking with your heavy pack is not an ordinary ordeal. Sleeping early the night before is the best preparation. We did just that and was up at 4:00 AM to prepare our breakfast.
We were maybe the first to sleep but when we started breaking camp at 6:30 AM, one other group were already waiting. Commendable! It was maybe why we decided we’d wake up at 3:00 AM on our last day just so we could descend earlier and not miss our boat. By 7:30 AM, we left Siatog Gamay, 30 minutes late in the itinerary.
It rained sometime in the night so our stuffs were wet and muddy. We were both busy preparing breakfast and taking some muds off while laughing over the experiences after we turn the lights off. Bruce, Charm & Zach had a “froggy” moment while Liz & John got leech. I didn’t knew Maria & Hannah’s story but I feel it was only me who’s out of the thrill since the husband was busy making sure the water wouldn’t get into our tent. Ah quite the sheltered wife! Apart from the occasional snoring of our neighbors, I was well rested.
In the morning we chanced upon one of the organizer. We asked about our next camp and was elated upon knowing that Siatog Dako is only 3 hours away. Not bad. He must have seen the look of confusion in our eyes as if asking what we’d do with the remaining half of the day.
Turns out, reaching camp 2 was not the main event of the 2nd day. As soon as we were done setting up camp by 10:30 AM, some 30 minutes after we arrived at Siatog Dako, we were told to leave to Siatog Peak immediately. The half of the day or as estimated 6 hours of it will be spent conquering Siatog Peak. They call it an “Alpine” assault. We were given 11 AM as the last call. If we arrive beyond 11 AM, we wouldn’t be allowed to summit anymore. That was enough to fire us up because no matter how great the journey, it just wouldn’t be complete without a peak in it. Instead of 3 hours, we reached the camp at 2.5 hours of walking through the mossy and leech infested Malindang forest.
The 2.5 hours in the forest was highlighted by a rope assisted descent towards a dried creek by 9:00 AM, approximately 1.5 hours of walking from Siatog Gamay. It was the first time our group got together for a picture. After the descent, we were back to our mini-groups. When my group arrived at Camp 2, Maria’s group was already setting up camp right at the entrance of Siatog Dako. And for the first time ever, I had the husband’s permission to take pictures saying “Miga, wa pa man ka’y gibuhat, pagpicture-picture didto kaw!”. I took the offer seriously and took a lot of pictures. When I got back, he was done setting up camp and nagged why I didn’t come back sooner. Haha! Oh well! He should have told me specifics. 😛
Siatog Dako had a bigger space than Siatog Gamay, maybe that’s why they were name such. The camp has 2 houses. The bigger one was called “Templo”. Being not so-meish, I wasn’t able to get the whole story why it was called “Templo” but from what I heard, it was a place of worship for the Subanens, the local tribe in the area. One of our guides is a Subanen but I wasn’t able to ask if his people were still using the “Templo” for their actual worship. Toilets and waters were available as well. For the first time on a trek, the husband was able to take a bath. I only wash my hair because I didn’t want to wait for the long queue. Still, it was refreshing.
Because there were 2 houses, some participants didn’t setup camp & stayed at the house which got me a little envious. Just a tad bit because if we were able to stay in the house, we probably missed our cheesy leech stories. We had some leech stories on the trail but most of us got leeched while we were preparing dinner. I had my 3rd leech moment while cooking our rice. See an excerpt below of my 3rd leech moment. As for the 1st and 2nd, it will have to be compiled with all the other leech stories of my group. Wait for it!!!
“Kringy, nagdugo lagi na imong tiil. (Kringy, your toe is bloody.)” Liz said.
“Ha? Wala man ko nasamad gud! (Sure? I didn’t hurt my toe!)”
“Hala! Gi alimatokan seguro na! (Whoah! Must be leech again!)”
And it was leech indeed. That foul gross creature didn’t even had the heart to close the wound properly! When I went to check my toe pinky, it had a small puncture. It grossed me out so much that taking a picture was forgotten. From then on, I went into a total leech paranoia to the point of not getting inside the tent without checking a lot of times if I was indeed leech-free.
After we got back from conquering the peak (which would be the next post) at 3:30 PM, we settled a bit and started preparing dinner by 5:00 PM. It was then that my 3rd leech moment happened and most of the rest of the groups leech moments. We had an early dinner again. Our group had sardines overload – much to my delight and Migo’s disappointment (Trivia: Migo hates fish!). Good thing we had pork adobo or else Migo would have gone on a hunger strike. Sardines with tomatoes and odong with sardines were just not his type. Maria’s team had ampalaya with egg and buwad with tomatoes. Migo & I retired earlier than the others because they were still cooking carbonara. Unlike the first night, our call time was now updated to an hour earlier – 3:00 AM to be the first group to leave the camp.
Thank you for staying with me on this 3rd post of the series. I had a question on my first post as to where I had my first leech moment, to those who answered at Camp 2 got it wrong because as you’ve read, I had my 3rd at the camp. So where really IS my first leech moment happened? Stay tuned to know where that gross leech had its taste of my precious blood. Pfft!
So what will you expect in my next posts? Stories of leeches (of course, demn leeches for scaring and grossing me out! hmph!), stingy bees & wasps (sting the husband 4 times), sliding moment (the husband almost split! haha!), participant reviews (funny, annoying and some commendable ones), why I didn’t socialize, lessons & realizations.