The Road that Was
Canon Ae-1 Program, Shutter: 1/60, Aperture: 1.4, Lucky SHD iso 100
4am, Claire and I woke up early to have breakfast to prepare for the long hike that will greet us within the day. We prepared ourselves of the bumpy road ahead, double checking on the essentials. From our Jackets to our clothes that we hoped to stand against the cold nights of Pulag. After a few minutes waiting for a cab, we finally made it to the meeting point where we met the group that adopted us in a bus station nearby. At around 7am, after getting acquainted with each other; we formed a 9 member group. They were really really nice to us all through out the trip and we owe our wonderful experience to them. Our mode of transportation from Baguio to the jump start point of Mt. Pulag was by means of a strong pink Jeep.
The road to reach Bokod, Benguet, where Mt. Pulag is located; will make you travel both the smooth zigzag road of Ambuklao and its rough paths.We found some interesting sites along the way. Among which is the site of the Ambuklao dam on the first 2 hours of travel. Its pretty much hard to miss the Ambuklao dam. Though, the dam was very much dry these days due to the summer season. Another thing that caught my attention was the number of hitch hikers along the road. The hikers upon the driver’s nod would jump and head to the top of the jeep while the jeep zigzag like crazy along the road. There were at least 4 hitch hikers that day. 1 hour lapsed from seeing the Ambuklao dam, we stopped for a chance to buy some food.
Canon Ae-1 Program, Shutter: 1/125, Aperture: 16, Lucky SHD iso 1oo
The hours which followed after our brief respite was faced by the rough roads of Bokod. We had our next stop by the DENR (Department of Envirnment and Natural Resources) office, where we were oriented of the do’s and don’ts in Mt. Pulag. I admire their effort in preserving Mt. Pulag by minimizing the traces of human imprint on the mountain. We were oriented of the importance of a team leader, a medic and the essentials in setting camp. And also we were told that we will be having a local guide who would help us on our way to the top of Pulag. It was in this moment that Claire and I realized that we were under prepared on stepping foot on the mountain. We neither had a tent nor a sleeping bag since we thought there could be a tent for rent in the ranger’s station. But thanks to our groupmates who were really warm on welcoming us on their group decided to share their tents with us.
It wasn’t for another 2 hours from the DENR office when we reached the foot of mt Pulag. (To be continued…)