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  1. #76
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    We passed by some residential areas... that's me, btw.
    Please do not quote this post!

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  2. #77
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    We passed through dense forests ...



    and mango trees...
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  3. #78
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    Another dry stream



    Saw traces of the Asian palm civet (civet cat) - this is its poop.
    It's used to make expensive coffee - Kopi Luwak in Indonesia, Alamid coffee in PI.
    That's a 1-peso coin (~1 inch diameter) for scale.



    The civet cat is called "alamid" in Tagalog (I don't know if it has other names in other dialects). The civet cat eats the coffee beans, then poops out the partially digested coffee beans. According to literature, the partial digestion by the civet cat's enzymes removes the bitter taste of the coffee. There's a pricey cafe in Tagaytay City selling this civet cat coffee. I haven't tasted it, but one of my friends has. He said it tasted good, but he had an upset stomach later on. lol
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  4. #79
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    This was one of our rest stations. It's the resting hut of one our guides. When he's not guiding trekkers, he's a farmer - coconuts, veggies, etc. We had two guides since we were 12 in the group. The local gov't says that you must have 1 guide for every 5 people, but since we were only 12, they let us off with 2.



    Saw some taro ("gabi") plants in the vicinity. We eat the root part, as well as the leaves and stalks. Leaves and stalks are cooked with coconut milk.
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  5. #80
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    Saw some coconuts drying, to be made into copra. Copra is the dried meat of the coconut fruit, from which coconut oil is extracted.)



    This is where they smoke (or "cook") the coconut shells, to hasten the drying process.



    This part of the hike reminded me of my grandpa & dad. My grandpa was a coconut farmer and fisherman. He lived in a similar area - small coastal town, very rural, mountains on one side and the sea on another side. My dad & uncles (when they were young) helped my grandpa with slash & burn farming (to plant the coconuts afterwards), making copra, fishing, etc.
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    Last edited by katie23; 04-03-2018 at 08:32 AM. Reason: added info

  6. #81
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    At this part, the hike was getting tough, since it was mostly ascent with few flat areas. My friends had to use walking sticks.



    View of the sea (Batangas bay) at one of the rest areas

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    Last edited by katie23; 04-03-2018 at 08:39 AM. Reason: pics didn't load

  7. #82
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    Saw a rather large millipede, which is twice the size of the millipedes that I see around the grounds at my workplace. That's another 1-peso coin for scale.



    More trails leading up... btw, I've blanked out the faces of my friends...

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  8. #83
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    Now comes the tough part, as we had to climb some rocks



    We had to take big steps... quite a challenge, since most of my group were office-bound people and don't exercise much.

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  9. #84
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    After those rocks, we rested at a flat portion - there were some wooden benches made by the local govt. Some views of mountains & the sea...



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  10. #85
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    Nice views of the countryside.

  11. #86
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    This was the toughest part - the ladder and the rope climb afterwards.



    Start of the ladder ascent and rope climb... if you happen to let go of the rope, you fall off the side of the mountain!





    We didn't know about this part, so were quite unprepared. Some members of my group didn't prepare for the climb (by jogging or walking the previous week), as we had thought it was to be an easy climb. I did a little jogging before the hike, but it wasn't enough and as such, all of us had aching muscles afterwards. However, it was totally worth it!
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  12. #87
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    it was quite windy while climbing the roped portion, so that added to the challenge. I didn't take many pics since I was too busy holding on to the ropes (and surviving) to even think of taking photos. These photos were taken at the top - it wasn't the highest point of the mountain, but it's the highest area where the local govt allows trekkers.



    View of Laiya beach in San Juan, Batangas. There are many resorts in Laiya beach - most are available for O/N stays.

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  13. #88
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    Thanks, Katie...Great commentary, as well as the pics...But what about the goat?...

  14. #89
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    ^^^^cheers, happynz. Thanks for the greet.

    More views... the clouds looked so near...


    This is one of my friends, he explored the sloping portion (I didn't dare, lol).

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  15. #90
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    ^^cheers, bb. More goat pics later... I saw a family of goats during the descent!

    A shout-out to everyone from the peak of Mount Ahit!
    Again, please do not quote this post.
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    Last edited by katie23; 04-03-2018 at 12:51 PM. Reason: deleted pic

  16. #91
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    At the peak, we had a simple picnic - rice, fried fish (galunggong - the poor man's fish), turnips (singkamas), hotdogs (in the plastic food container), alamang (shrimp paste) and fresh tomatoes (not in photo). Fried galunggong has never tasted this good!




    Those were our guides - both locals from the area. They brought their own food, but we gave them some of ours too.




    The guides said that they had been trained by the Red Cross, and their bags contain walkie-talkies (to contact the village officials down below, in case of emergencies), first aid kits, duct tape, etc. Cellphone signal was intermittent at the peak. Good on the local govt & the RC for having trained guides. Given the difficulty of the climb (and the isolation), one should really have a guide while trekking this mountain.

    To be continued... my net is getting crappy and I've things to do... thanks for the greens! Goat pics later! 55
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    Last edited by katie23; 04-03-2018 at 09:40 AM. Reason: pics didn't load

  17. #92
    Thailand Expat David48atTD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by katie23 View Post
    Katie ... great update.

    The bylines are great, but what I appreciate the most is the honesty of your images.
    I can really believe I am there on the trail.
    Last edited by David48atTD; 04-03-2018 at 01:18 PM.

  18. #93
    or TizYou?
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    Great photos Katie.

    I don't think my knees or hips would be up for that climb. (heart might be a bit dodgy as well!)

  19. #94
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    Your photo/travel threads are always great, Katie, but this is one of the very best!

  20. #95
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    @davis - thanks for the compliment! So far, Mount Ahit has been my most difficult climb!
    edit: I would classify this climb with the same difficulty level as the cave connection adventure in Sagada. Same amount of physical stress and same body pains afterward.

    @tizme - cheers, I wouldn't recommend this hike to people who have fear of heights, or those who have sub-optimum knees or hearts, due to the difficulty (and also a certain danger, due to the ropes).
    Last edited by katie23; 04-03-2018 at 07:55 PM. Reason: as per request

  21. #96
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    Maybe take out the smiley face emoji after your request 'cause it may be interpreted as not so serious...

  22. #97
    a cookin' an' a bookin' Luigi's Avatar
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    Great stuff K-pop.


    Great views. Maybe we could have our wedding ceremony up there.





    If you give me a piggyback up.

  23. #98
    Thailand Expat David48atTD's Avatar
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    Dust.

  24. #99
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    Okay, here are more pics. I hope my 'net allows them to load.
    There was a watering hole at the summit - people can wash up there, if they dare.



    There were also some pitcher plants in the vicinity. Many species of pitcher plants grow at high altitudes.
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    Last edited by katie23; 04-03-2018 at 07:35 PM. Reason: pics didn't load

  25. #100
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    Awesome sfuff kAtie. I know your an office sort of shiela i really admire your enthusiasm for the trek and youve shown me a part of the philippines i would never see. Kedp the pics coming.

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