For the second time, I gave in to the invitation of my sister to join them in another adventure in the mountains. This time the destination is Tarak Ridge in Mariveles, Bataan. I am more of a sea person but when I googled the place, an amazing body of water called Papaya River came into view so I pushed my doubts away and joined them on their two days one night adventure into the ridge.
We boarded a bus bound for Mariveles in Cubao and left Manila at around 12 midnight. We arrived at Brgy. Alas-asin around 4 am and as SOP, we registered at their Barangay Hall and paid the corresponding registration fee of which I could no longer remember how much and had our early breakfast shortly after.
The trek from the highway to papaya river was an easy one. Just a typical long distance walk with some short climbs passing through some bent twigs and branches. The weather was not so good on the days before our trek so the trail was a bit muddy and slippery.
We reached Papaya River at around 9 AM. The rushing sound of the river was so relaxing it took away all the tiredness I felt from a more or less five hour trek. Since the river is the only water source in the area, we filled our water bottles first before we continued with our trek.
It was after passing Papaya River when my real struggle started. Climb after climb and it seemed like the steep trail was never ending. I had to held on to the twigs and branches of the trees around just to pull my self up. If it was a day tour I would have told them to just come back for me when they’re done at the ridge but unfortunately we would be staying overnight.
After almost 4 hours of struggle, my sister and I finally reached the ridge – we were the last one to arrive actually. We pitched our tent, and took some rest for more or less an hour and started our trek again, this time to explore the ridge.
We were anticipating a night filled with star gazing and picture taking but it rained the entire afternoon until the evening. Wet from the downpour we just quickly changed clothes had our dinner and silently prayed for the rain to stop. Unfortunately, it rained until morning. A bit disappointed we took our breakfast and silently packed our things since it was time to go home.
Because of the rain, the steep trail was even more difficult to take. Quite a bunch of cogon grass I had to held on to that left some small cuts on my hand just to support my self not to slide down upon our descent from the ridge.
We passed by Papaya river once again on our way down and decided to stop by to take our lunch in the area and have some final dip. The water was too cold for me it was enough for me to just dip my hands.
The bad weather might have ruined some of our plans for this adventure but still it was a wonderful experience. This was my first major climb and for a first timer to spend a night on the mountains on a rainy weather together with the sisterette and our awesome bunch of friends was indeed fun.