The true sense of backpacking is being open for spontaneity and surprises-and not always of the good kind. On the commute to Dumaguete, where Mt. Talinis is located, the 9 companions experienced being scammed and stranded in the middle of nowhere at the break of dawn. This is all in part of the adventure as the leader of the group Gideon, lectures the scammers while Chelo sneakily videos this event. Everyone does their part to find humour on even the most unfortunate situations. As the jeepney left, they had no choice but to wait for a passing bus. Mt. Talinis, the next stop of this daunting agenda of hiking one major mountain after the other.
The team arrived in the city, 4 hours late of the planned itinerary, jumped on to their habal-habal motorbikes and went straight to the jump-off point. This mountain also has a very rich flora and fauna and on the trail, there is a particularly unique terrain where the earth beneath consist of just roots from an enormous tree. Lake Nailig and lake Yagumyum, are equally beautiful, one of which our companion Gideon swam in, despite the cold temperature.
Mountaineers are very respectable with fellow climbers with their gesture of greetings of “good afternoon”, “take care” etc. Of the funny moments, they met a group of foreigners and for some reason this group gave a very special greeting “Mayad na hapon! Bayot ko!” which literally means “Good afternoon, I’m gay.” A practical joke their local guide had played on them, the companions just burst in to laughter and couldn’t have be bothered to correct them.
A warm welcome from other mountaineering groups greeted the companions and bid them to join in the drinking. As precaution it isn’t advisable for women to join an already drunk group of hikers. They set out the next morning and on their way out they passed through a refreshing waterfall. Even if there was a long winding stone steps to go down and arduously climb back up, it was well worth it. Water of any source can really make a difference in revitalizing anyone’s spirit of adventure. This was the end of the trip for Julian, as he set out for Siquijor on his own. Bianca too had already set here mind to stop this hiking madness only to be persuaded by Gideon that this really was a very rare opportunity to not miss.
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