Sunday, March 10, 2013

Surf, Sand and Sun - (2 of 3)

Teaser falls
        After getting some much needed rest, I was eager to finally start our adventure.  Since we wanted to do something new, we took the option of going to the Ditumabo Falls, or more commonly known as "Mother Falls", to the locals.  They call it as such since according to Bart, the surf tour organizer, it is the highest falls in Baler.  It would take us around 30-minutes from Bay's Inn and another 45 minutes to an hour hike to the falls itself.   
        One option to get to the falls is through a tricycle, which may cost around PhP500 per trike.  Since all of us were planning to go to the falls, Bart offered the use of the van for just an additional cost of PhP800.  This also already covered the payment to the driver.  Since our driver has made numerous trips to the falls, he also served as our guide in our trek to the falls.
        To make sure that we have all the energy for our hike to the falls, we ate a good lunch at Bay's Inn.  We made use of the coupons in our surf package and got our lunch meals.  Afterwards, we all headed to the van to finally leave for our destination. 

Inside the van, on the way to the Falls
        The road to the town, in which the falls was located, was very rough and narrow.  It was just good for one vehicle, so if there was an incoming vehicle, we really had to squeeze ourselves to the side just for them to be able to pass.  Luckily, all we encountered were just some trikes on their way back.  Good thing that our driver was very skilled and used to the rough roads, that he was able to successfully maneuver us without much difficulty.  I must admit though, that I couldn't help but hold my breath especially in those very steep parts of the road.  It just brings back a lot of heart-stopping memories from my Mindoro trip (also with college friends) in 2007 ;).  Since half of those in the Mindoro Trip were also in this Baler trip, we reminisced those moments and were even able to heartily laugh at those unforgettable memories.  

        By around 1:30 PM, we finally arrived at the starting point of the trek.  One advice that I can give for anyone taking the same hike is not to carry anything as much as possible.  Believe me, the hike to the falls was challenging enough by itself, and carrying a bag or two to add it into the mix would just make things harder for yourself. All you need is your camera (better if water-proof), swimming clothes, and foot-wear that can survive passing through steep, pointy, and sometimes slippery rocks, and being submerged under water or even mud at times.

Right before the trek

Clear flowing water
Definitely cold but worth the dip
        Nevertheless, the path to reach the falls was worth every difficulty we may have encountered.    Besides, it's not always the destination that matters, but the journey as well.  In that hike, we were able to enjoy the beauty of nature at its purest, work together as a team to help each other cross the river and climb over the rocks, and of course, get a good exercise.

Group pic somewhere along the path

Enjoying the scenery and some breather
Mother Falls
           A few steps away from the Mother Falls, we can already hear the strength of the water, pounding as it falls in what seems to be a large basin of water.  The pressure was so strong that it felt like it was raining because of how the water sprayed all over the place.  We couldn't help but admire the view and wonder at God's creation.  We then looked for a spot to safely place our things and of course, had our pictures taken.  The water was so cold, that it almost felt freezing.  Only a few of us ventured to take a dip and fully submerged our bodies in that cold water.  Besides, after all the hardships we went through to get to the falls, I felt that it would be such a shame to waste that trek and not enjoy the fruits of our labor.  After getting enough of our fill, we decided to head back.  Unfortunately, there was no easy way back.  We had to take the same route we took to get there.  For me, the trek back actually seemed harder as I even experienced some cramps on my toes.  Nevertheless, it took us a lesser time to go back since we no longer took much time to enjoy the view and take some pictures.  I think we were able to reach our van by 4 PM.  Since there was not enough time left for us to surf by the time we get back at Bay's Inn, we just decided to go ahead and have an early dinner in the town.

 Bart suggested for us to eat at Gerry Shan's, as it is a popular place with cheap but great food.  The buffet was only for PhP185 per person and offered a range of delicious and mouth-watering dishes.   We all definitely had very happy tummies after that sumptuous dinner. We felt that we all got our money's worth and perhaps even more. My personal favorites were the lechon kawali, fried chicken, turon and ginataan.  We would definitely return to this place on our next trip to Baler.

Yummy lechon kawali

There's always room for dessert

Nom nom nom nom
           Once we got back to Bay's Inn, we decided to take a night stroll along the shore.  Listening to the waves crashing was so peaceful and relaxing.  Plus, it was a full moon that night, that we were given a clear enough view of the sea.  Since it was still a bit early, we decided to hang out at the restaurant and play some games, and drank some beer and wine to pass the time.  It was definitely enjoyable and a great way to end the day.  After finishing our drinks, we headed back to our rooms to get a good night's rest for some surfing fun early the next day. 
Full moon, drinks, and great company
More soon....


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