This Christmas season, my dad and I will be joining Trail Adventours’ 12 day hikes of Christmas. We won’t be joining 12 hikes, okay? Just three. They have a promo that if you book for three climbs, you can get one free climb. Our first climb was in Mariveles, Bataan for Tarak Ridge last December 10.
My dad and I woke up at around 1:30 am to get ready for the long day ahead. We left the condo at around 2 am to make it in time for the 2:30 am call time. When we arrived in the designated meet up place, we were rather surprised to see Nong and Edgard, waiting in one of the tables. We met Nong and Edward last September in our Mt. Cristobal climb in Quezon, also with Trail Adventours. Anyway, we had our breakfast in McDo and since I didn’t pack any lunch, I ordered a Chicken McNuggets to go and stuffed it in a small tupperware. We left Manila a little later than planned because our guide had some transportation issues. I think we were delayed by 30 to 60 minutes.
The ride to Bataan took three to four hours. I slept the whole way. When I woke up, we were already in Mariveles and Joel, our guide, was registering in the barangay already. This was our last chance to pee in a toilet bowl. 😛 After the registration, we all rode the van again up until the jump off point. Problem was, the road was super muddy that we had to walk half the way to the jump off point. A few days before the climb, I was actually quite worried. It was raining nonstop in Manila. I don’t know if you remember that but the second week of December was plenty wet. It seems though, that the rain has cried enough for the whole week that when Saturday came, the rain stopped. We had the perfect weather. Had it been raining then, there would have been a lot of “slide shows” as we ascend and descend Tarak. We found out later on that the rain just hasn’t reached Bataan yet because on our way back, Manila was still crying buckets.
So, our climb unofficially starts! We reach Manang’s or the jump off point 20 to 30 minutes later. We were briefed regarding the itinerary there. The trek from the jump off point to the Papaya River would take three hours. The trek is easy in this part. We take a few minutes of rest in the Papaya River, after which, we resume our trek to Tarak Ridge. Here, it gets challenging as the climb becomes steeper. It will take three to four hours of ascent from there.
The trek after the Papaya River reminded me a lot of Mt. Cristobal with its nonstop uphill climbing. Cristobal is Tarak minus all the foreplay, the foreplay being the trek before Papaya River. Haha! Cristobal is prettier though but at the peak, we didn’t really have that much view because it was so cloudy. In Tarak Ridge, the view was spectacular. I’m going to Mt. Cristobal tomorrow, by the way. 🙂 The best part of the climb is our way back down. We stopped at the river again. Lumusong kami sa tubig this time then we trekked soaking wet on the way down. FUN! We were able to descend in 4 hours as opposed to our 6 hour ascent. My body ached for the next four days. I’m totally out of shape.
Pictures c/o Jay and Nel.