The Wanderlust Keeper
Life lately. . .
Climbing mountains. . .
I wanted to live beyond norms and leave behind my mundane old self. I felt like I am becoming monotonous already, existing in melancholy and in my daydreams. I desired living in reality. I need to challenge myself. I need pain to check that I am still alive. To live and not just exist.
Never would I have thought I would be climbing mountains these days. I’m neither an avid traveller nor an outdoor enthusiast. I just wanted to see this part of the world, where you can embrace freedom, see the beauty around and marvel at God-given creation.
I know people these days are into climbing mountains. I’m not doing what they’re doing just because it’s bandwagon. NO!!! 😛 This is all about curiosity. And this curiosity leads me not just on reaching the summit but on learning things in general.
This post narrates my mountain climbing venture in MT. NAUPA in Naga, Cebu.
My friends and I met at the South Bus Terminal and we rode a mini – bus to Naga. My company was a mixture of good old friends, friends for the first time, newly acquired friends who wanted to make this climb a time to meet again, and friends who wanted a reunion to make the bonds of friendship stronger.
Our drop off point was the South General Hospital in Naga. It took us an hour to arrive there. We met-up Kuya Brian, a friend and an outdoor enthusiast residing in Naga who usually hikes to Naupa. It so happened that on that day he would hike, too and he would give us guidance in going to Naupa Peak. Awesome, right?
- Tip No. 1 Plan to take your bus trip early to avoid heavy traffic, save time and have a chance to maximize your trip.
- We rode a mini bus going to Naga.
- The fare was Php 30.00.
- You may disembark directly at Brgy. Tungkop where you can find habal-habal that will help you reach the chapel of Brgy. Cogon (starting point).
After the meet-up, we rode habal-habal to Brgy. Cogon, the starting point of our hike. Our habal-habal ride was smooth at first for we passed along residential and industrial areas, but when we finally reached the place where fewer houses and establishments could be seen, the road was starting to get rough but still manageable.
This was the place where we disembarked from the habal-habal. We paid a fare of Php 50.00 and there was no need to haggle since it was a standard rate already. The land mark for the starting point was this chapel.
- Tip no 2. We saw kids here who offered themselves as guides. So, if you need a guide in hiking to Naupa, you can just ask these local kids.
As a standard operating procedure, a guide gives a brief orientation about the place, what to expect there and the dos and don’ts in climbing a mountain. Kuya Brian emphasized the “leave no trace” policy and must follow the trail only.
- Tip No. 3 Always bear in mind the LNT policy or the leave no trace policy.
- Leave nothing but footprints.
- Take nothing but pictures.
- Kill nothing but time.
So the trek began. And look at my excited face. I was so ready to take this mountain climbing challenge that I was second on the line. Oh, yeahhhh…
Then, I discovered that I was not physically fit for climbing mountains, that I must train my body first especially the cardio part. 😥 As I continued my ascent, I was literally out of breath; my legs seemed to wobble, and it seemed I was going to faint. I was getting nauseous already. I even requested my company that I would be the last in line so that I wouldn’t be pressured in climbing up. Good thing, my brother joined this climb. To solve a bit of this problem, my brother and I exchanged bags for he used a light hike bag for mountaineers while I was carrying a big bag that obviously carried a lot of weight.
- Tip No. 4 If you plan to day hike, pack light as much as possible. It’s advisable to bring the essentials, like water, trail food, etc. Use sunblock, wear sunglasses or hat for protection against the sun’s hottest rays.
Due to my difficulties, I caused delays to the group. Fortunately they understood me. I was really saying sorry every time for being the cause of the trouble. They didn’t mind my problem and just continued joking around making our hike fun and enjoyable.
We rested and regained our energy. Then, we continued to walk up and finally we got a glimpse of MT. NAUPA PEAK.
I thought that we would go up directly but I found out that the trail was on the other side of Mt. NAUPA. We walked around and finally I could sense that we were already in high altitude for the verdant mountains and houses below were getting smaller as we continued to climb up. I really enjoyed viewing the scenery.
- Tip No. 5 There are times when the trail becomes narrow and beside it is a deep cliff. That’s why, you should always be careful. Focus on your walk to avoid unpleasant happenings.
- Tip No. 6 I thought the soil here is dry. Later I found out that there is a vegetation area where farmers plant crops. That’s also the reason why you should always follow the trail and never set foot or wander off on another area because you might step on and destroy the plants, thus hurting the farmers.
As we continued our trek we saw these people fetching water from their water supply. Good thing, there’s a water source here even if the river is seemingly drying up.
We were almost near Naupa Peak where we walked up along high slopes.
Do you know that goats are respectful? If you put your hand on their forehead they will bless and respect you. Haha.. just kid-ding. 😀
One of the fave pictures I got in this Mt. Naupa climb was this. I just love seeing those lush mountains with those fluffy clouds. Underneath the cerulean sky, lies the beauty of nature dominated by my favourite colors, green and blue. How I love this sight!
This way to the peak… Just one last ascent and finally Naupa Peak will be reached. This side of the mountain is full of plants with thorny branches and leaves that may injure you.
- Tip No. 7 That’s why you should wear proper clothing that can cover up your whole body when climbing or else you end up like me having a lot of scratches and wounds. I literally brought a souvenir and that souvenir was the injury from the thorny plants. Haha…
So these are our pictures in the peak.
We ate our lunch after the climb.
The nice thing about having a group hike is the sharing of food among friends and telling funny stories making the climb more enjoyable and memorable. And the happenings during the climb are worth reminiscing.
- Tip No. 6 After snacks we made sure no trashes were left behind. Bring your trash. What you brought up, you must bring down, too. Let’s make this place eco-friendly. We are just nature’s stewards. We do not own this planet. That is just a little favour from Mother Earth. Never ever throw your trash anywhere.
We decided to traverse to Brgy. Lanas so that we could see a different scenery. And true enough, the scenery here was just awesome.. .In fact, I love the mountain view here than the sights in going to Naupa.
The mountain in the middle of that couple is Mt. Naupa. Look, how almost perfectly-shaped the cone of the mountain is! The mountain is estimated to be 550 masl. As a neophyte in climbing mountains, I find this mountain already high. I couldn’t believe I have reached that far, that I was able to reach the summit after all the delays, the hardship, the disappointments. I never thought climbing would be so fulfilling and worthwhile after surmounting the challenges. Maybe this is the reason why people get hooked to mountain climbing. Though it’s hard but once you reach the peak, it’s just gratifyingly awesome.
It’s time to leave Mt. Naupa for home. This time we took this dirty uncemented road to descend to Naga Proper. I could imagine, if there was a car passing through this road, for sure, it would be dusty. Haha! Anyway what I liked in this place were these Maria Cacao flowers. The Maria Cacao plants were planted beside the road and the flowers seemed to be designed to look like cherry blossoms. It was such a lovely sight!
Finally we caught sight of a store and it meant that there was WATER!!! We bought refreshments to wet our dry throats and to quench our thirst. Meanwhile they had this iced tea flavoured ice candy. It was my first time to eat this kind of ice candy. It tasted like iced tea, too. Haha!
As we headed down the highway, we saw a sign of a once existing road. Beside the road were trees with big roots that were very visible which showed that the soil had been eroded. Just look how big the roots are.
Finally we reached the highway. We rode a jeep to Naga Proper. We went to Naga Municipal Hall and Park for sightseeing. From Brgy. Lanas to Naga the fare was Php 14.00.
Just look at their municipal hall, its fine architecture. It’s simple yet beautiful.
After sightseeing, we rode a jeep in going to Cebu City. However, we wanted to eat food again. Haha! We stopped over at Dikong’s Halu-halu where the halu-halu was simply superb.