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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Solo Hike to Mt. Daraitan,Philippines



Mt. Daraitan, Rizal, Philippines

It was a busy week of training. I felt tired. I felt drained. I felt weak if stayed home. That night, I decided to pack my things up, woke up early and took a jeepney to Tanay Rizal. I believe one effective way to cure this kind of feeling is to hike a mountain. There, you’d forget everything except that feeling of happiness inside. I’ve been to several hikes before but this was my first time doing it solo. Scary as it is but 100% doable. There are lots of good people on earth, carefully pick those whom you can trust if you need help along the way. Feel the positive vibrations and follow your instinct.

I started my day as early as 4am. Quickly washed up and found myself in the hi-way waving a jeepney going to Tanay, Rizal, an hour of travel from SM East Ortigas (Ortigas Extension, Pasig). I can’t control my excitement even if I was still in the jeepney. My eyes were focused at the mountain in the road side. I was so fascinated with its beauty and very excited to get to the summit. I alighted at Jollibee and walked to the public market in Tanay. There, you can find the terminal of Jeepneys going to Sampaloc. You can take these jeepneys and alight in Sampaloc for Php 28 fare but may need to wait to fill up the entire jeepney with passengers, around 45 minutes travel. From Sampaloc, you can then hire a tricycle going to Daraitan Brgy Hall for Php 150 (solo fare), this mark the jump off area of your trek where you need to register and secure a guide. There are standby guides so no need to worry. The waiting time for the jeepney to filled up may eat up a lot of your time. Another option is to hire a tricycle in Tanay Public market to go directly to Daraitan Brgy Hall for Php 500 good for 5pax, Php 300 for a solo rider. But make sure you have negotiated well with your driver that you're up to Daraitan’s Brgy Hall because other driver will just drop you off at Daraitan crossing and let you ride another tricycle towards the jump off area. That will double your cost. And also please take note that the way to Daraitan is a rough road, it requires stronger motors to take you up there. Upon arriving at the Brgy. Hall, head directly to the registration area and pay for the guide (Php 500/group, max of 5 hikers) plus environmental fee (Php 100/head).

Around 7:30 am, I started my hike to the summit with my friendly guide. Perks of traveling solo is you can have all the time you want. You can walk so fast or you can walk so slow, nobody will care about your pace. A usual hike to the summit and back to the jump off point will take 6-8 hours. Some hikers will bring food and have their lunch up there. Since I was not prepared, I just grabbed some snacks before I started my hike. The trail was not so difficult and not so easy too, a rating of 4/10. The trail was rocky which makes it difficult when wet as it becomes slippery. It is advisable to wear rubber shoes when you hike. Others don’t wear proper footwear but it's easier if you do. Upon reaching the summit enjoy the view, I was very lucky that time because the rainbow came out just in time when I arrived and was gone when I’ve done taking pictures. Amazing, wasn’t it? Maybe it’s a way of saying that there are more rainbows waiting for me at the top of other mountains. What I need to do is to conquer those mountains. After the summit, we started to descend towards Tinipak River and if you like you can swim down there. Tinipak River is a camping ground for some who would like to stay overnight. The view there is also amazing with the view of all the rock formations and the mountains in its background. It is a good way of cooling yourself from the heat of the sun. I finished my hike around 12 noon, just in time for have lunch.

Traveling solo is risky and it requires enough braveness within yourself to face whatever is on your way. It is always necessary to be vigilant and sensitive to your surroundings. But the feeling of fulfillment once you’re done with it is addicting - that in the next day you’ll find yourself searching for another place to explore. For me, there’s nothing wrong with it as long you know your limits.

Here’s the breakdown of my budget: (From Ortigas Extension)

Php 47 – Jeepney fare to Tanay Rizal (Starting point of these jeepneys is Starmall Edsa)
Php 300 – Tricycle fare from Tanay Public market to Daraitan Brgy. Hall
Php 100 – Environmental Fee
Php 500 – Guide fee
Php 20 – Tinipak River entrance
Php 40 – Snacks
Php 20 – Shower fee
Php 150 – Motorcycle from Daraitan Brgy Hall to Sampaloc
Php 28 – Jeepney fare from Sampaloc to Tanay
Php 47 – Jeepney fare from Tanay to SM East Ortigas
Php 100 – Lunch
Php 1352 – Total budget for solo hikers

(Php 700 – for group of 5 pax)

Cheers!


A few words from my Guest Blogger:


Hi, my name is Ahdy, a civil engineer by profession, an aspiring full time stock trader in the future, a mountaineer, a marathoner & a backpacker by passion. I love to travel- taking new experiences and life adventures. My ultimate goal in life is to be happy and worry-free - living life to the fullest.

Wishing everybody to have a healthy & happy life. Follow your passion whatever it is. Cheers!!!

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