Thursday, May 31, 2007

City Girl Gets Trapped in the Boondocks with Unattractive Men

I’ve always fancied myself as a nature person. Practically every month, I make it a point to travel- from Sagada to Bontoc to Baguio to Mindoro to Panay (back when I was still working), and nowadays Marabut, and Guiuan, Eastern Samar. For most of those trips I usually stay in a comfortable hotel or hostel, and admittedly my friends and I were there because of the nightlife more than the sights. To become truly one with nature, I told myself, I need to know how to camp.

And so I applied for a membership at a local Mountaineering club in Tacloban. We went through a couple of lectures before the first event- a team building at Victor’s Peak- the highest elevation in Tacloban City.

I started off at the wrong foot. I arrived, meticulously packed (first aid kit, check! change of clothes, check! food and water, check! kikay kit, check!) and an hour late. The assembly place was empty because everyone had left. Determined not to put my efforts to waste, I persuaded one of the senior members at the club to hitch me a ride. I gracelessly rode the back of his motorcycle (with my 10 ton backpack swaying from side to side and bringing my body with it), praying I won’t fall and get run over by the ten wheeler trying to overtake us.

We finally arrived at the base of the mountain, met with glares from my fellow trainees. I thought to myself, oh dear, there were only two females (one made a pass at me during one of the lectures before), and both looked like tarzans! I had a feeling of dread slowly creeping up from my stomach. This was not going to be a good day for me.

The incline was comfortable enough for the first half hour hike. We even took pictures as we climbed up. The trouble first came when the slope suddenly became steep (maybe 60 degrees or higher) , and with my heavy pack I was having difficulty breathing. We had to stop twice so I could catch my breath and drink water. During the second stop I seriously thought I was having a heart attack- my chest pounded and I couldn’t breathe properly. One of the girls (who barely broke a sweat) suggested I drink my water slowly- one gulp, let it stay a bit in the mouth, and slowly slide it down to my throat (I know, I was totally thinking she was giving me pointers for doing the other type of mouth exercise!). After 15 minutes, we resumed our never-ending trek.

It was late afternoon when we finally arrived at the summit. And the view? Nothing spectacular.. I silently cursed myself. “I went all the way up for this?!” I decided to give it a chance and stay overnight- hoping something interesting might happen. Wrong again! The food was bad (noodles, canned goods, and all light stuff they could carry), the accommodations worse. Note: you had to pee and do number two (if you need to) in the woods.

I had to share the tent (that had the capacity for two people) with three other guys. And honey, none of them were good-looking. The guys proceeded to smoke pot, which I refused, and so I just sat there looking like a petulant princess. I decided to stop being a snob and just drown my sorrows in the liquor that the guys brought.

At promptly 11pm, torrential rain started to pour. We went inside the flimsy tent and tried to sleep. Just my luck, my corner had a drip, and my lower body was soaked in rain water. Drunk and wet (not in a good way) I swear I was going crazy!

The next day, I persuaded the guys that we go home early because I remembered had an “appointment”. Of course the rain made going down so much easier- literally. I had to hug trees and grab on to thorny branches lest I plummet to my death. When we reached the highway, I was covered in mud from head to toe. I swore never again to do anything of the sort. Memo to Thad: throw away the mountaineering gear, keep your kikay kit and stay indoors.


Anonymous said...

hey, why not throw your mountaineering stuff here!!! :) (no im no mounaineer also, though have had some treking Xperience myself, tnk u) So sorry about the whole xperience, esp you being imprisoned without cuties! :(

I enjoyed reading ds journal of a journey.

Phoenix said...

thanks josh ; ) actually nandito pa yung mga stuff, inaalikabok. the mud is still on the backpack ; )

runawaycat said...

Sleeping in a tent is a big no-no. It's yucky, hard, stinky, ugh the list goes on. I went camping by a secluded beach with no electricity once. Couldn't stand the tent so I went out and curled like a ball in the freezing cold. Never would I want to go through that again. Well, I'm sharing tents with hunks. That'd be a whole different story :P

Phoenix said...

true, true! now, that would be excellent ; )

blagadag said...

The last time I climbed Mount Apo, I was with a cute guy that looked like the actor, Tonton Gutierrez in his younger days. The guy was a good kisser, too.

The last time I slept in a tent, a cute guy woke me up and under the cover of darkness, we both had climax. That was in Alamada, North Cotabato.

I wish I could write well to immortalize those separate experiences as I enjoyed reading this post.


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