Saturday, August 13, 2016

Mt. Daraitan Fun Climb

I still remember it was Halloween when I revisited Daraitan in Tanay, Rizal. That time I was already prepared for the Daraitan summit. I went there a couple of times but I wasn't prepared for it and since it was just a week after my birthday I considered this climb as a gift to myself for I have been striving for it for a long time. It was already dark when we arrived in the village, we planned to stay overnight near the jump off point but later decided to trek and stay in the campsite near the summit instead! So okay, I haven't tried trekking in the dark so I guess that was it! And our group went off!

It's showtime!

My imagination started to get wild as we walked along the wet, slippery, dark and lush forest. It was Halloween and creepy images started  to show in my mind. How foolish am I to forget my headlamp or at least a flashlight to light my way, good thing a friend was kind enough to lend me his spare headlamp so I should be fine. On our way to the jump off point, my headlamp focussed onto this signage, when I read it I want to go back and go home! But I have to finish my mission so I must be brave! And if I am not mistaken there are 7 rest stations in the mountain where we stopped to breath. I should say that the trail was short but steep!




After two hours we arrived at the campsite, just before it started to rain hard. Before pitching our tents we had some hot coffee in a nearby hut where a local was resting in a hammock, he started to tell us stories about "cloud rats"! They're big rats, which sneaks in tents and steals food from backpacks... and I was so scared that made me sleepless that night!

Behave cloud rats!
Okay this is how cloud rats looked like for those who haven't seen one like me. I took this picture when I went to Mt. Pulag after my Mt. Daraitan climb. Can you see the claws? Anyway, I think they're not that bad according to the description written on the canvas. So back to Mt. Daraitan.
That night, it was raining so hard, it was cold and the rainwater kept on flowing underneath the tent. I kept on praying for the rain to stop, so we can make it for the sea of clouds which Mt. Daraitan is also known for like with Mt. Pulag. At 5 AM we got up and started to walk going to the summit, it was just 15 minutes walk from the campsite to view the sunrise and the sea of clouds as well!



Unfortunately the sun didn't show up and the sea of clouds wasn't that impressive. But when the darkness faded away, I was rewarded with the immense view of the mountains and the winding course of the Agos River.

The long and winding Agos River

Yay!
 Jagged rock formations occupies the summit, they come in different sizes and shapes, just be careful when stepping on it because it's slippery, you might fall off the cliff.


It was a fulfilling experience, stepping on the grounds of the summit made my adventure very memorable and I thought that was it but wait...there's more! On our way to the campsite we passed by a mossy forest which made me stop and feel the breeze! You know the feeling of walking along mossy trees, the appearance and scent of the old moss plant apparently signifies that the forest has been in existence for a relatively long time!




Plenty of clingy moss on old trees, I just don't know the name of these trees but I think they have been together for a very long time. I just can't imagine how long this ball of moss was formed.

Goodness gracious great ball of moss




And of course mossy forest wouldn't be complete without mushrooms! There are lots of them,  tiny white buttons sprouting on old mossy tree trunks!


Mushrooms to make you grow just like Mario!
I wish these wonderful works of nature would be left untouched by human hands, they look so delicate and I think it would take some time before they sprout or formed. So let's be concerned about it.




Creepy-crawlers has also a space in the mossy forest and they're cute, they just don't care even if I take a lot of pictures of them in different positions.





I think everything I want to see and experience in a mountain are all in Mt. Daraitan. Clouds, mountains, rock formations, mossy forest, flora and fauna, packed together making this mountain an amazing place to explore! All I wish is that these wonderful gift of nature will be protected and that wouldn't be possible if visitors won't help conserve the biodiversity present in our environment.
I thank you for reading and you might want  to read more about my adventures in Daraitan at http://makitambay.blogspot.com/2015/03/dare-daraitan.html .


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