December 23, 2012
It was a couple of days before Christmas but here I was spending time in the mountain. This is my first time to hike Mt. Arayat located in the province of Pampanga so I did not waste the opportunity to go there.
I arrived just right before the 4 AM meet up time so I ate in a nearby fast food chain. Minutes later, my companions came and eat there as well. Meanwhile at the bus terminal, flock of people were there as they will spend the Holidays at there home provinces. Probably that was a gin that I have missed which spelled doom for our hike. To cut the long story short, we were stranded in the terminal for about four hours while the bus ride to San Fernando, Pampanga only took a little over an hour.
Afterwards we took a jeepney en route to Magalang town. It dropped us right to the jump-off point in Brgy. Ayala where we also saw a group of mountaineers making their ascend to the mountain.
The start was like Calvary. Along the trail there were stations of the cross to commemorate the suffering of Christ. Probably it is a friendly reminder that we will also suffer during the climb itself.
The path itself was new according to a second timer. We just followed the cable lines of electricity that will lead us to the top. Because we started late we had our lunch at a hut along the trail.
The assault was steep so it was kind of difficult for others to trek it. Even though it was hard enough to climb it, the most disappointing part was the garbage all over the mountain. I even saw a pair of pants lying in the bushes.
About three hours to the climb we reached North Peak. It was now home to Military personnel guarding the relay tower built at that location.
We did not stay long and after the customary photo ops, we made our descend to the same trail. Because I wanted to test my new shoes, I ran downhill. I almost ran down my three companions fortunately sir Raymond was able to stop me.
Then the unexpected happened yes just like Bilbo Baggins journey to the Lonely Mountain, I saw Ma'am Ana and sir Geoff, colleagues of mine from another mountaineering affiliations. They were a little bit of delayed in their itinerary but still pushed their ascend. Unfortunately, they were not able to reach the peak due to time constraints.
|of all places, I bumped into sir geoff and maam anna|
Still, I continue my running until I almost twisted my ankle due to the steepness of the trail. Too scared of injuring myself, I slowed my pace a bit and still meet my modest goal of going down while the sun was up there.
We were able to catch the last trip to San Fernando just in the nick of time. About an hour later, we had dinner at SM San Fernando.