Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hiking trip...written by Tyler

In April Dad, Ethan, and I, along with some missionary friends, hiked to a mountain called Batulao. The first part of our trip was packing our backpacks. We did not know what to bring so we brought lots of odds and ends that we ended up not needing. The extra odds and ends made our backpacks a lot heavier. Next time I will not bring so much stuff. 

Early Saturday morning we ate breakfast and finished packing our bags, Mr. Root and his son Noah picked us up at 7:00 o’clock. It took a little more than an hour to get to the place where we started hiking. We paid a local guy to take care of the car and then we started hiking. About 1/3 of the hiking trip was on a one lane dirt road; the rest of the trip was on a small one foot wide trail. Along the trail there were many little shacks which sold Mountain Dew and buko juice( juice from coconut). It took about two hours to get to the main campsite.  When we got to the main campsite we took off our backpacks and had a little snack before we started hiking up the mountain. Once we drank lots of water we started hiking up the mountain. 

The main camp was about 1,200 ft above sea level and the mountain was about 2,500 ft above sea level so the part we climbed about 1,300 ft. In the Philippines the middle morning heat is very hot and exhausting to climb 1,300 ft. The first part was a moderate climb where there were camp sites every 100 to 200 ft which were level. After about 700 ft then came the steep part where it was pretty much straight up; it was very hot because there were no trees or bushes, but the steady breeze kept the heat down.

 When we got to the top we drank more water took a few pictures and then went down part way on the other side of the summit. On that trail there were many places where it was 30 ft down on one side and 100 ft on the other and the trail was about 1 ft wide. After we explored that side of the mountain we went back on top of the summit. There we rested for a few minutes and then headed back down the mountain. When we got back to the main campsite we drank more water then started hiking to the camp site where we would stay the night. 

There were many campsites that the people maintained, but those had very few trees and bushes which made them very hot. When Mr. Root went there before he found a camp site that was more in the jungle which made it cooler. It was a little farther down the trail we had just hiked.
 Once we got there Mr. Root, Noah, and Ethan went down to a partially dried up river bed that had a spring that came straight out of the mountain. There they filled our water bottles and got some water for washing. Dad and I cleared a space to put our tent and set up the tent. We also started a fire to roast hot dogs for lunch for Dad, Ethan and I.  Noah and his dad already had eaten lunch. After we got everything set up and Noah and his dad got their tent set up, then we took a siesta for an hour. Later after we took our nap we all went down to the stream to explore the river bed and get some water. Down at the river we found that there were actually two small streams that met and made a little bit bigger stream.  After we got back to camp we each went down to the spring by ourselves to take a bucket shower. We were very sweaty and a cold shower felt good. When we were all done with showers, Mr. Root started the dinner which was ramen noodles and corn beef mixed in. It was really good because we were very hungry. We talked for a little while after we cleaned up and washed the dishes.  We were all very tired so we went to bed at around 8:30 P.M. 
The next morning we got up at 5:00 A.M.  Mr. Root had already been up for a few minutes and started to make breakfast which was oat meal, hardboiled eggs, and hot chocolate.  That was nice because it was pretty cool in the morning at the high elevation. When we had finished eating and cleaning up from breakfast we took down our tents and packed our bags. We wanted to get an early start so it would not get too hot, we started about at 8:30 A.M. The hike back was a little hotter than when we came because we started a little later and there was not as much wind. The hike took about two hours to get back to the car. 
It was a fun experience because I had never gone backpack camping before and I always wanted to and we had never been camping in the Philippines before.

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