What’s an adventure without a ‘real’ adventure. If we had let the fear of snakes get in the way, we wouldn’t have known how beautiful Tres Marias is. She’s indeed a beauty worth the risk. June 18-19, 20 adventurers, 6 of which are NCR Trekkers and the rest are guests, reached and left Tres Marias 3rd and highest peak with a triumphant heart after 12 hours of trek. It was amazing that by 2:30 PM on Day 1, we were already at Aeta Camp setting up camp. We had a lot of take outs but the best of them all was the feeling that we have a home in the wilderness with strangers that quickly became friends and trusted allies. That alone was worth all the pains. 🙂
June 17, 2016 (Day 0)
The adventure started on a boat trip to Ormoc via Roble’s Theresian Stars. The boat departs at 10 PM but as early as 8 PM, participants started arriving. By 9 PM, everyone was in. We were safely settled at the boat 15 minutes later. Everyone started dozing off as soon as the boat departs Cebu.
June 18, 2016 (Day1)
Immediately after the boat docked at Ormoc at 5AM, we left the boat and rode on the van to Naval. Because we couldn’t fit in at a single van, the head and the tail group went ahead. The mid waited for the next van. While waiting, we bought some puto and hot drinks at a stall outside the port.
The trip to Naval took 2 hours. By 8AM, we were reunited with the groups who went ahead. We had breakfast at the carenderia beside the terminal then we met with Ryan and Rocco, our guides. As I was eating, I noticed the yummy lechon across the street. With the husband’s support, I bought a quarter for our pack lunch. That must be the reason why I’ve been so excited for lunch. Haha!
By 8:30 we depart for the jump-off via motorcycle with a unique Biliran’s style. We arrived at the jump-off 30 minutes after. The trek started at around 930AM after the usuals: orientation, prayer & warm-up. The prayer was led by Gamz and warm-up was led by John. As planned, the big group was divided into 3 sub-groups. Analyn led the head group with Cha, Ricco, Almera, Ryan, Didit and Jane. Yours truly led the mid-group with Migo, Gamz, Liz, John & Tin. Pong was part of the mid-group but like the previous climbs, his heart is of the Sweeper. Tail group was led by Cods with Rose, Aying, Jeni, John & Eric.
The entire trek to Aeta Camp was divided into 3 according to our major and somewhat long stops. First part was the trek to Recoletos Falls. Ulan-Ulan Falls was just below Recoletos but we need to go down and back up again. After confirming that we will back track tomorrow, it was decided to just visit the falls later. There was a shed near Recoletos and after 30 minutes of walking, it was a relief to rest. Some took the time to take pictures while some decided to catch their breath.
Second part was from Recoletos to our lunch stop. It was a 1.5 hours trek with 5-10 minutes break before crossing the river. This part has the most “buhis-buhay” moments. We were supposed to eat at the last water source but we were famished. The guide told us it’s still 30 minutes away with some ascent so I had to make the call to eat. It was also already 12PM. We had some time to rest after lunch time but I didn’t had the urge to rest. I was afraid that anytime a snake would crept up on me. Haha!
3rd part was when we left the lunch site to Aeta Camp. The guide told us it would be 3 hours away with mostly ascents. Hearing this, I was quite worried. 3 hours of non-stop ascent could become 5 hours at my pace. It was already 1PM when we left, plus 5, we would reached the camp at 6PM. But maybe by some miracle or maybe the fear of snakes makes us all in our best selves, we reached the camp at 230PM even with the thrill of Ryan’s lost moment. 😀
After 15 minutes of walking from lunch site, Pong called out that our Ryan was nowhere. The group stopped and Ryan, the sweeper guide went to look for our Ryan. On a climb with every stops, I never put my bag away from my shoulders since because of its weight I would spend energy putting it back on. But I was so worried about the worst for our Ryan. The husband had to remind me to stay put. I realized that at that moment, the only thing I can do is pray. And I did. Thanks God that after a while, Pong announced that Ryan was found. When I saw him, the relief took away my want to nag. Haha!
This was my 7th major climb but a first that I am one of the organizers. Whatever happens to the climb is my responsibility so I always make sure I had everything covered. The trek in Lanaya sent me on a sour mode when we were almost lost so I had to stress the importance of proper distance in between hikers. Unfortunately, it failed on Ryan. I was just so thankful Pong noticed he was gone right away.
After the Ryan scare, we continued on our trek. At 2PM, we arrived at a small clearing. I took some pics and decided to join Charina and Ricco at the head to talk to the head guide at that day, Rocco. 20 minutes passed, we reached another small clearing. This time I took an attendance pic of everyone then joined Pong in the tail. By 245PM, me, July and Pong reached the camp. Most were already selecting a place to setup camp by then.
The camp was quite small. Good thing we were able to setup all our 12 tents. But there were areas that are prone to water but we had no choice but to setup camp there also. We had just enough space left for socials. It would have been best if we brought hammocks instead of tents.
We had an early dinner and by 7PM, everyone was gathered for the socials. I started the socials in a simple format of name, company and profession. The additional was a recall of a memory of their first major climb and if it was their first, what’s their expectations. I was quite surprised to know that almost half of the group were on their first major climbs. I was simply amazed because our pace was commendable. We had less stops and was 2.5 hours early for our target time to camp.
Because we had an early start, we had time to do a 2nd round of “Werewolves”. It was a night for “Werewolf” since they won at both games. Since we started introducing the game, I was always part of the humans. Unfortunately for that night, my silent wish was granted. And I somehow regretted that I wished to be one of the bad guys. It was just so stressful. I had stress in 2 sides, from the remaining players and the spirits. I cracked on the last few rounds and had to remind the spirits their place.
After the game, I was exhausted. I felt somewhat sick so I spared myself from more stress by not joining the 2nd round. I made myself the spirits police so that what happened in the first game would never happen again. On the 2nd game, “Werewolf” won still with Jane emerging as the sole wolf at the end of the game. It was still early but I was already exhausted. I decided to sleep then I overheard them talking about a glowing plant. My want to sleep overpowered me. I didn’t even noticed what time the husband dozed off.
Stay tuned for Day 2! 🙂