After arriving from overseas, I really was looking for a motivation to get back into running again or just be outdoors. I have never tried hiking since I have acrophobia . So when I heard that Team Cavite ESE (Endurance Sports Enthusiasts) were organising a hike/ trail run to two of the famous mountains in Nasugbu namely Mt. Talamitam and Mt. Batulao, I thought maybe this was the time to face the greatest fear and get done with it!
The team arrived at Mt. Talamitam at exactly 6:00 am. A bus going to Nasugbu was easy to find and normally the bus driver or conductor normally knows where to drop you off.
Upon arriving, we needed to register ourselves first (no fee). This was also the best time for us to warm up and double check that all our things were sealed and safe for the climb.
A few meters from where we registered, we registered again and paid Php 20.00 . We also hired a local tour guide for Php 300.00 who would take us to the summit of Mt. Talamitam.
Expect to see beautiful landscape and streams as you work your way up.
It is also advisable to wear proper trail shoes or anything with traction to avoid slipping.
As we were getting closer to the peak, I looked around and was speechless with the view. It was stunning!
As we continued to climb, I felt like I was somewhere in Scotland or Ireland. The landscape changed into something magical!
After climbing for over an hour, we finally reached the peak of Mt. Talamitam. It feels good to be on top!
A few kilometers from Mt. Talamitam, also located in Nasugbu, Batangas was Mt. Batulao. Another famous destination for mountaineers. Going there was easy. It was the same road going to Calaruega Retreat House. Just drive straight and you will see places to park your vehicles. Tricycles are also available. The view from the starting point was so scenic.
I never hiked before in my life and I had no idea what was ahead of me. I just carried on and on and enjoyed nature.
We started hiking and compared to Mt. Talamitam, there were stores selling porridge,
drinks and a refreshing coconut juice. Buko juice was worth Php 25.00.
When I saw the trails where hikers go, all of a sudden my fear of heights started haunting me.
There are a total of 10 Peaks that you need to pass to get to the summit and I never thought that these peaks would scare the hell out of me.
Upon arriving at the Peak 8, a registration of Php 20.00 is required.
From Peak 8 onward, I experienced the most thrilling/ scariest climb I ever thought I would have done. That Knife Edge was something else. Luckily, clouds covered the steep hills along the route and the wind wasn't that strong.
They always told me to look straight and lower your center of gravity which I think helped a lot. There were also some parts where you need to rappel to get to the summit and
that was quite fun!
Finally, I reached Camp 10! Questions like: What have I just done? and: Was I really at the peak of Mt. Batulao? kept lingering in while on top. I just can't believe I did it!
I am super thankful to Team Cavite ESE for the support they gave me as they knew I was already terrified.
Now, I can say I'VE CONQUERED MY FEAR OF HEIGHTS! Thank you GOD!
Mt. Batulao has two routes which is the new and the old route. We started with the new route first and did the traverse going to the old route on our way down. Some of the trails were very steep going down and involved some rappelling. Another activity added to the fun!
As I looked to my right side, I was stunned with a breath-taking view. Once again, it was beautiful! My fear suddenly was overtaken with joy and happiness.
The old route to me was preferable going to the summit if you want to avoid steep hills .
But if you are up for some adventure,use the new route.
We also crossed streams where we freshened up and cooled down for a bit.
Going back was easier and as you reached the town proper, we saw a place that offered a shower area for only 25 Pesos and Php 15.00 if you just want to use a bucket of water for washing your shoes or to quickly rinse yourself.
Both Mt. Batulao and Mt. Talamitam were really beautiful and a great place for adventure . Being so close to Manila, it is highly recommended for a day hike or even camp for a night.
I will never forget this experience as it really tested my limits as a person and not just as a runner. I would like to thank the Team Cavite ESE for another well organized event. It was also a great pleasure to meet the other runners "mamaws" that boosted my morale specially when I felt like giving up and also about endurance running. I really really had a great time! Thank you Mam/ Sirs!
I am definitely coming back again!
HOW TO GET TO MT. TALAMITAM and BATULAO:
1.DLTB Buendia - First trip to Nasugbu from Buendia is at 3:30am
2.BUS Fare: More or less Php 150/ Person
3.The driver normally knows where to drop passengers if they are going
to Mt. Talamitam and Mt. Batulao
4.Tricycles are waiting along the highway that will take you to the starting point
of your Mt. Batulao hike.
1. Drive to Tagaytay and carry on until you've driven pass the Nasubgu Arch.
2. Look for Km. 83 Sitio Bayabasan, Brgy. Aga, Nasugbu, Batangas
3. It is located on the right side of the road coming from Tagaytay.
4. Landmarks: Waiting Shed and Karinderia (Tuck Shop) .
5. The place is around 8-10km from the Nasugbu Arch.
1.Drive from Tagaytay to Nasugbu
2. Few kilometers after the Nasugbu arch, turn left to the road where Calaruega
Retreat House is.
3. Drive straight and you'll find parking spaces for your vehicle.
Budget: Php 1000.00
Bus: 300.00 vice versa
Registration (Talamitam): 20.00
Guide: 30.00 each since were 10 pax
Registration (Mt. Batulao): 40.00 going up/down
Mt. Batulao Souvenir Shirt: 350.00