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  1. #601
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    Back to the hike & the story:

    While walking along the trail, it's good that I noticed the snake. I was leading our group and it was fortunate that I saw the snake since we were chit-chatting.

    We backed off and I gathered some small stones to throw at it, to see if it was still alive. It looked dead and its head was resting on a tree root. Even after 4 or 5 stones, it didn't move. I got a short stick/ branch to prod it and possibly hang it on the atick to throw it on the cliff. After I prodded it, the tail moved! We all retreated!

    Still, I wanted to push through since my friends came from far away just for the hike. So I looked for a bigger/ longer stick. I found a longer stick, maybe 1.5 meters, and returned to prod the snake again. My friend and I prodded it once or twice, then ran away because we saw that it was awake and the head was in striking position! We were afraid that it would "jump" and attack us.

    I don't know much about snakes but I know the general rule that if it's colorful, it's probably dangerous!

  2. #602
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    So my friends and I abandoned the plan to go to Mudspring. I told my friends that in the many times that I've hiked there, this was the 1st time to encounter a snake along the way. I asked if any of them was born during the year of the snake!

    Anyway, here are some pics of Mudspring from the net, since I wasn't able to see it this time. When you're near the mud pot, there's a strong smell of volcanic sulfur (smell of rotten eggs). The temp of the mud pot is supposedly 80 to 85 C.

    Hiking in the Phils-images-3-jpeg

    Hiking in the Phils-images-4-jpeg
    ^not my pics

    The mud pot has a circumference of a grade-school classroom. They've fenced it to prevent stupid people from doing stunts & taking selfies.

  3. #603
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by katie23 View Post
    According to the guy in the local store (on our way back), the snake that we saw is a viper. I did some googling and my guess is it's a green pit viper:
    It is just that. Saw many back in the day banging around Luzon.


  4. #604
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    So we continued our descent and passed by Flat Rocks.

    The road was mostly concrete and shaded. We met some local bikers and hikers on our way down.

    Hiking in the Phils-img_20231112_105040-jpg

    Hiking in the Phils-img_20231112_113905-jpg

    From the description:
    "Flatrocks is a rock formation that attests to the history of Mt Makiling as a volcano. It shows natural formation of weathered stones piled on top of the other with epipeptic trees and plants growing on top of the stone where water cascades."

  5. #605
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    @norton - yes, I saw that vid too. Accdg to the local guy/ store owner, they call it "tamad" or lazy. He said it just stays there on the ground and that we should've just walked over it. However, my friends and I (we were all girls) had already decided to abandon our quest and proceed to Flatrocks and the waterfalls.

    According to the wiki article, it's venomous.

  6. #606
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    So it just goes to show that even if I had hiked that mountain several times, there's a first time for everything! (including green pit vipers)

    Anyhoo, here are some pics from Flatrocks

    Hiking in the Phils-img_20231112_114241-jpg

    Hiking in the Phils-img_20231112_114252-jpg

    ^the rocks there are like steps to a higher part of Flatrocks. There's a pool where one can go cliff diving. I went to that higher part/ area when I was in high school but my companions & I didn't cliff-duve. Now, it's prohibited to go to that area since some students died there due to a flash flood.

  7. #607
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    More pics from Flatrocks:

    Hiking in the Phils-img_20231112_113951-jpg
    ^the coin has a diameter of ~1 inch, so those millipedes are larger than what I usually see in the lowlands

    Hiking in the Phils-img_20231119_170246-jpg

    Hiking in the Phils-img_20231119_170355-jpg

    Hiking in the Phils-img_20231119_170417-jpg
    ^my millenial friends/ hike-mates

  8. #608
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    We were able to return to the guardhouse ~1215H and logged off/ signed on their logbook. The guards monitor presence of hikers/ bikers and all hikers/bikers must be off the mountain by 5 pm. It's a good thing that they monitor people - there have been some hikers who got lost in previous years - they did the traverse trail. I think that lost hiker was found after ~3 days. He was said to have survived on those little ketchup packets (his food & water have ran out).

    Our next stop was Dampalit Falls, which was ~15 min away by jeepney/ vehicle.

    Note: this is not my vid. It's only 27 secs.

  9. #609
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    The waterfalls that week wasn't spectacular - I've seen it at better times. The days prior to our hike were dry, so the falls didn't have much water. Height of the falls is maybe 20 meters. Accdg to a local woman, that falls is connected to the stream in Flatrocks (Flatrocks is upstream of this falls).

    There were several groups of locals just chilling. Some had their lunch there. There was a group of men having an eating-drinking session.

    We had our lunch there (cold burgers, lol) and cooled off & relaxed at the falls for a bit. There were no changing rooms/ toilets (as I've warned my friends) so we came prepared with large towels & sarongs for covering up while changing clothes. Entrance fee was P20. The place looked more forlorn than the last time I visited (in 2019). The bamboo huts had lost their roofs and the benches were broken. Seems like there was no effort to fix the place. There's a trail which leads to another more isolated falls but we decided not to go there.

  10. #610
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Another great thread Kate. Green owed.

  11. #611
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    These pics are from my friend's camera.

    Hiking in the Phils-c4ac66fd2d6ea5a1e1e6547943fd5a45-jpeg

    Hiking in the Phils-img_20231119_154211-jpg

    Hiking in the Phils-img_20231119_154356-jpg

    We left the falls around 1500H. From the falls, we walked ~20 min to reach the highway where we took a bus bound for Manila.

    ******
    That's all for this hike. A jungle, an encounter with a green viper, some flat rocks and cooling off at a waterfalls. Cheers!

    Edit: thanks for the greets & greens!
    Last edited by katie23; 19-11-2023 at 05:34 PM.

  12. #612
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    I'm just amazed that in a population of 113.9 million you can find such beautiful. And interesting places such a short distance from manila

  13. #613
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    ^yes. My friends said that their bus ride (they took the 5:30 am bus) was ~1 hr 15 min. It was a Sunday morning, so less traffic. On normal days it's 2 to 2.5 hrs from Manila.

    There are also falls in the same province (Laguna), namely Taytay falls, Bunga Twin Falls and Bucal falls. They're ~1 hr from ^^this place, so ~3 hrs from Manila. I've been to all those falls - each has its own beauty. Good for a day trip from Manila.

    The hike to Mudspring is ~2 hrs one way (at my pace). If you're taller and/or more athletic, then it will be faster.

    If you & family plan to visit (as you've stated elsewhere), I may be available as guide (but depends on work/ schedule, etc). If needed, I can recommend a driver/ vehicle (I know some ppl). Hope all's well with you & your family. Cheers!

  14. #614
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    Thanks Katie!!!!!!!

  15. #615
    Thailand Expat DrWilly's Avatar
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    I think it was wise not to try and walk over/passed that snake.

  16. #616
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    @norton & @topper - you're welcome!

    @willy - yes, I think so too. When S (the friend w/ long hair) and I poked the tail of the snake, we saw that it was awake and in striking position. My frienf E (the short-haired one) took a video while we did it. After we had ran away and were a safe distance away from the snake, we watched the vid. The tongue of the snake was moving back & forth and the triangular head was ready to strike. After we saw the vid, it reinforced our decision to not continue along that trail.

    If it had been a dead snake, my goal was to loop the snake on the stick & throw it off the cliff. To the right/ east of the snake picture was the cliff/ downward slope of the mountain.

    ******
    On the upside, accdg to Wiki, if vipers are found in forests, then it means that the forest is still healthy and has wildlife. So it's good to know that the Mt Makiling forest is still a healthy rainforest. Just not too safe for pesky humans. Lol.

    The last time that I hiked that mountain (2019), my friends and I encountered leeches. Now it's a snake!
    Last edited by katie23; 19-11-2023 at 10:53 PM.

  17. #617
    Isle of discombobulation Joe 90's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by katie23 View Post
    If it had been a dead snake, my goal was to loop the snake on the stick & throw it off the cliff. To the right/ east of the snake picture was the cliff/ downward slope of the mountain.

    Respecto!

    Cooling off in the waterfall after hike, nature at its best.
    Outstanding Katie.

  18. #618
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    Quote Originally Posted by katie23 View Post
    If it had been a dead snake, my goal was to loop the snake on the stick & throw it off the cliff.
    I'm guessing that wouldn't have been a problem for a live snake either...

  19. #619
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    Visit Port Barton. a relative was there, read write take pix.

  20. #620
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    @david44 - Port Barton should be OK and safe. More bucolic than El Nido. I think there are minivans from Puerto Princesa city (if by public transpo) or you could get a hire car. For the mosquitoes, just bring bug spray or lotion. You can fly to Puerto Princesa from Manila or Cebu airports.

    *****
    Thanks for the greens, guys!

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