I’ve always wanted to join my gym’s climbing group during their climbs but I never was able to fit it into my schedule. Fortunately, this one came up. They originally had it scheduled on August, but I think they had to cancel due to a weather problem. They then moved it to September and I was able to join in.
For 2016, I was actually able to have a climb already (went to Mt. Pulag in Benguet) so I did have some gear that i could reuse. This includes my shorts/pants and the head lamps. With that said, the group said that the climb would be a relatively easy one so not much gear was needed. Given this information, I packed relatively lightly, with the heaviest bag I have being a bottle of water and a bottle of Rum.
Mt. Pundaquit was located in Zambales. This was probably a 3 hour van ride from Manila. We arrived in Zambales at around 5am. We had our orientation and then we headed out to the Mountain already. The first part of the trek was easy, it was really just flat lands and a slight incline. I remember we passed through a few ankle deep rivers that didn’t really have any strong flow so it was fine.
I think this continued for an hour or so, until we reached a part where the mountain was muddy. I was actually just wearing sandals and was slipping all over. The mud wasn;t the type that you would sink into, but the one that you would just slide all over.
think I had a more difficult climb here than the one in Pulag simply because I didn’t really have any traction on the mud. I had my camera in hand so the priority was too fall without damaging my gear.
After maybe a couple of hours we did reach the summit. The view was nice as you would be able to see the beach front below while on top of the mountain.
One of the more fun things about the climb was that it was a traverse. After reaching the summit, you would then climb down a different section of the mountain and you would end up at the beach.
The group stayed a bit at the beach and had our lunch since the whole trip was planned that we would visit another island/beach after. Although to be honest, this first beach wasn’t really that nice. The water wasn’t that inviting and the sand was dark. It was a good place to rest up though. We stayed here while we waited for the boat that would take us to the other island.
The other island that was called Capones Island. It was around a 30 minute boat ride from the beach up to the other island. The boatman decided that we should try for the other side of the island instead of the more famous part. Turns out he was right as there really was a great natural view.
We stayed there for a little more than we bargained for as the boat that should pick us up came in late. We stayed so long that the weather changed on us from the blistering heat to rain and back to the sunny weather. I was sunburned to heck but I think the view and the cool waters was worth it.