Tuesday, April 09, 2013

SAP # 4: Hiking/Camping/Swimming

UP Mountaineers’ Talikasan* 2013: Anawangin Cove via Mt. Pundaquit 
(March 23-24, 2013)

Text from Mary Oliver’s Have You Ever Tried To Enter The Long Black Branches?

Have you ever tried to enter the long black branches of other lives
–tried to imagine what the crisp fringes, full of honey, hanging
from the branches of the young locust trees, in early morning, feel like?
Do you think this world was only an entertainment for you?
Never to leap to the air as you open your wings over the dark acorn of your heart!
No wonder we hear, in your mournful voice, the complaint
that something is missing from your life!
Well, there is time left –fields everywhere invite you into them.
And who will care, who will chide you if you wander away
from wherever you are, to look for your soul?
Quickly, then, get up, put on your coat, leave your desk!
To put one’s foot into the door of the grass, which is
the mystery, which is death as well as life, and not be afraid!
To sit down, like a weed among weeds, and rustle in the wind!
Listen, are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?
A small boat flounders in the deep waves,
and what’s coming next is coming with its own heave and grace.
Meanwhile, once in a while, I have chanced,
among the quick things, upon the immutable.
What more could one ask?
I climb, I backtrack. I float.
I ramble my way home.

Facebook could lead you to do something outdoorsy. Whowudduvthunk? I was lollygagging online one day when I saw Isa’s post about the event organized by the newly inducted members of the UP Mountaineers described thus:
Come hike with us. After an invigorating trek, we'll camp on the beach at night, cook outdoors, and count the stars. Then we'll take a boat to Capones Island, roam around, and visit an authentic Spanish-era lighthouse. What more could you ask for?
It’s the star counting that got me.

We had the following itinerary:

Day 1
0130 Assembly at Victory Liner Station, Cubao
0300 ETD Victory Liner
0600 ETA Olongapo; proceed to Brgy. Pundaquit via rented jeeps
0730 ETA jump-off point
0800 Start trek
1100/1200 ETA summit
1200/1300 ETD summit
1400/1500 ETA Anawangin Cove
1700 Dinner preparations
1830 Dinner/Socials
2230 Lights out
Day 2
0600 Wake-up call; Cook breakfast and lunch; Take baths
0800 Breakfast; Break camp
0900 Take rented boats to Capones Island
1000 ETA Capones
1200 ETD Capones
1230 ETA Brgy. Pundaquit
1300 ETD Pundaquit; return to Olongapo via rented jeeps
1400 ETA Olongapo
1500 ETD Olongapo
1800 ETA Manila
which we tried to stick to, but the rented jeeps arrived late and we had a lot of rest stops during the trek. The weather forecast said there was a possibility of scattered rain showers and light thunderstorms, but fortunately (or unfortunately, because the heat was almost unbearable), there was no sign of rain at all. Sobrang powerful ang mga itlog na inalay ng team leader na si Patty. Hehe.

It was a fantastic experience, except I didn’t get to bond much with the new people I met having dozed off right after dinner (Who wouldn't feel tired after a six-hour trek?) and that I almost ruined my team mate Andrei’s menudo because of my clumsiness (I poured his tomato sauce to the pork and beans being heated for breakfast because "they all looked the same.").

*Pakikipagtalik sa kalikasan (communing with nature)

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