Sunday, April 14, 2013

Ternate - Nasugbu Traverse of Pico de Loro

AKAC team and I had summited Mt. Palay Palay last 02 Dec. 2011 here, but we were not able to climb its famous monolith named Pico de Loro or Parrot's Beak, due to the absence of a rope. Since then, I knew that I would return to the same mountain to scale that monolith, to settle that unfinished business.

Last 24 March 2013 with Peninsula Mountaineers, we were presented with that opportunity not only to climb the Parrot's Beak, but also try the Ternate-Nasugbu traverse trails. I brought my eldest son (Daniel) with me thru public transportation from Carmona to Ternate, Cavite. 

First, we rode a jeepney from Carmona to Pala-Pala (Dasmarinas), then another jeepney to Tejero where we ate lugaw (rice congee) on a roadside stall. Afterwards, we rode the air conditioned Saulog bus to Ternate, where we bought lunch food in a carinderia while waiting for our companions from Peninsula.

We hired tricycles at Php 75/person to take us to the DENR ranger station to register for our day hike. Registration fee is still Php 20/person, and the ladies also used their washroom facilities. I think we started our trek by 7:30 am.

The trail is dry this time so its a fairly easy hike with some photo shoots, especially on the fallen tree. We briefly stopped at Basecamp by Mang Rey, where we paid another Php 20/person for his private registration fee. That is why some mountaineers skip the DENR station, since we cannot avoid the payment at Basecamp.

Part of the group checked the Naambon Falls, which do not have water as I expected. We took a break in Alibangbang station prior to the assault areas of Mt. Palay Palay.

The boulders along the trail as we approach the campsite.

A portion of the trail with trace of logging activity, despite being a protected park.

Cloudy views from the campsite after 3.5 hours of trekking and lunch break.

Assault to Mt. Palay Palay's summit.

Hazy view of Mt. Mariveles and Corregidor island in Bataan.

Limbones island and Pico de Loro coves in Nasugbu, Batangas.

Pico de Loro monolith as seen from the summit.

The campsite area as viewed from the summit.

Sir HR enjoying the views. He helped us get up on the monolith.

Scaling the Parrot's Beak monolith. This is the only "buwis buhay" or dangerous part of the hike for the daring climbers.

Campsite area as seen from the monolith.

Left photo is the view of the monolith from the summit. Right photo is the view of the summit from the top of the monolith.

Descent via Nasugbu trail is steep and slippery with many loose soil, especially on the bamboo areas. There are many confusing forks, and we took the right path when in doubt, with the help of my phone's GPS. We followed a family of cows, walked on part of riverbed, before crossing a gate intended for the cows, I guess.

Clockwise from left, some creatures we saw along the trail. A group of hantik (big ants) transporting a fruit on a branch in Mang Rey's basecamp. A weak cicada which I just turned upright, near Naambon Falls. A meter-long snake as we descend to the monolith, and an almost translucent grasshopper on the bamboo area of Nasugbu trail.

We did not passed the small hut as mentioned by other hikers, but we ended up on the part of the highway below, a little after 2 hours from the monolith. Perhaps we stumbled on the shortest trail from the monolith to highway.

A local guy who loaded firewood on his tricycle at this spot helped us get a jeepney. We paid Php 1,800 to bring us to one of the resorts in Baybay for washup at Php 30/head, then to Mang Inasal where we've had dinner prior to boarding the Manila-bound bus.

Mt. Palay Palay's summit and Pico de Loro monolith as seen from brgy. Papaya highway in Nasugbu. 

There is an illusion that the monolith is higher, when viewed from Nasugbu. But in closer view like in the left photo below, the monolith is actually lower than the summit.

This was another fun-filled hike with two firsts for me --- climbing the monolith and passing the traverse trail to Nasugbu. That's from Cavite to Batangas by foot, hehe.

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