Monday, October 27, 2014

Against All Odds: Ubot Waterfalls Aurora

Hiking seemed to be a good idea...It is a good idea.

The kids were really excited. They couldn't wait for Sunday to arrive.

Hmmm.... there were going to be three kids ages 11, 14 and 16 and six adults. (Well, I don't think there's a need to mention the adult's ages...hahaha)

We dropped by the Aurora Tourism Office to ask specifics about the waterfalls we wanted to go to.

And we have learned that
 a. It's approximately two hours drive from Baler.
 b. It's approximately 50 minute walk from the starting point.
 c. We needed tour guides. And because there were  nine of us, they said that we needed at least two tour guides.
 d. It was preferred that we use proper hiking gear. When I asked what proper hiking gear meant, they responded that we needed to use long pants , long sleeved uppers and hiking shoes.

Did that mean I have to wear my pearls when I use my long sleeved shirt. hmmm, I wondered.

Then they quickly added that a long sleeved rash guard was we had to go shopping at some ukay-ukay place.

 e. It was not advisable for kids to go.

"Hwhattt?!!! Why not?" I asked with controlled  disbelief .

They thought  the kids can't take the long walk especially Yanna the youngest. Well, I begged to disagree. She swam 2km training, days earlier, and then ,came home with no complaints aside from feeling hungry. I'm certain she could walk a few km...wink... and I honestly believed that it was I who would be the weakest link....hahaha.

f. They also said that it was best to go during summer time, when the river current was not rapid. (won't that be... less the adventure?)

g. They were strongly advising us to go to Ditaolag Falls a less difficult trek for an uncomplicated adventure. ( bummer...)

We're not taking that suggestion. So, we're going against the odds...hahaha. We were going to Villa. We were going to look for a guide and we really were going to that waterfalls .

We were bringing packed lunches,  adobo, langgonisa and rice.

Best place for adventure philippines
The expedition team

We left Baler at 6am and arrived at Kapitan's house at around 730am.

Aurora Tourism office
Kapitan is a nice person. He's on the left side of this photo.

Kapitan asked if we were wearing shoes. We smiled and said we brought slippers.

He asked again if the youngest had a jacket because it was cold at the falls and it was starting to rain. I answered that she did not have one..

He also  thought  that Yanna, should not come with us because she was too young. To that...I did not answer ,but I did smile back.

Is there something they were sensing that I could not recognize?

Did he think that there was a chance that we might die during this trek? Yayks, Mrs. Pio the insurance agent had been frequenting my clinic to explain her insurance proposals but we haven't found what I wanted ,and , we haven't arrived at an agreement yet... Would I die that day...without insurance? double yayks.

The members of the hiking team were one cardiologist, one ENT-head and neck surgeon, one ophthalmologist, one general surgeon, one pediatrician ,one chief nurse and three kids. This team can handle any emergency health situation.

 But, I think kapitan can sense that, really, we're super couch potatoes and that the kids take after their parents ,and so, that was where his apprehension was coming from...Hmmm very perceptive.

What the hell...we were still going against all odds...

Did I mention, the chieftain was coming with us? Yep, no less than the chieftain  of a Dumagat tribe was coming to guide us to the waterfalls. Joining him were two tribe members and one brgy councilor.  I heard them say that they should bring rope and nails...nails?!! (creepy... were they for our coffins?)

Hard core adventure, Philippines
the tour guides and us
As I looked towards the mountain, I wondered how many rivers did we need to cross and how many mountains did we need to climb. I also thought about getting stuck in the mountain for two days. But hey, we were not paying for our parking fees... so we were definitely going.

We embarked on our journey.

rainforest sierra madre mountain ranges

how get to ubot waterfalls
This was where the nails were used. They made us stairs, yey.

There was no trail.

We crisscrossed the rivers. We drenched in the rain. We climbed the mountain. We watched large ants crawling.  We heard a lots of birds chirping. We saw moss and greens covering everything.

We slipped. We fell. Somebody hurt his knee. Somebody had a cut on his face. We had nicks on our shins and scratches on our skin, and nobody was complaining. 

lake swimming philippines


The waterfalls was more beautiful than these pictures.

It took us  one hour thirty minutes to get there, and a little less time getting back.

Next time we should wear hiking shoes!  The best hiking shoes are the shoes worn by all our tour guides... maybe we  should get one for each team member.

Tourism Aurora
These boots were made for hiking!!

For additional information visit Tourism Aurora Facebook Page .

Have a fun filled hard core adventure.

hard core trek adventure luzon

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