Mt. Daraitan Hike (Tanay, Rizal)

This was my first hike ever, and being on the comfort of my computer chair for the longest time, it was really a challenge for me. I was just invited for this trip, why would I say no to a new experience?

That day, we decided to meet-up at 6am on Tanay public market. It is where you can find (or more appropriate, where you’ll be found by) the tricycles that will bring you in Brgy. Daraitan proper. It was a P100/head ride, and I am not sure how long the ride was but it was indeed a refreshing ride, with the breeze of the morning wind, albeit a bumpy and rocky one.

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Then finally we reached the place where lies a mini lake and we have to ride a mini-boat at P5/head for an easy water crossing. Another tricycle ride with P15/head fare to the Brgy. Daraitan proper followed then. This tricycle will bring you to the barangay hall where you have to register and request for a tour guide. An environmental fee will be asked here  at P25/head then a payment for the tour guide of P500 for a day-hike will be collected after the hike.

I was so stoked that this adventure is really happening, until my body started to sweat and feel heavy after a few walks. It wasn’t easy to be honest, it isn’t a walk in the park with all the uphills, and the muddy soil and rocks that adds more challenge. My biggest mistake, I didn’t brought lots of drinking water.

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The guide told us that there are 3 stations before we can get on the summit.

It was almost a 4-hour climb, when we reached the summit. The view was indeed breath-taking, seeing everything so small from the top is so relaxing. It was paid-off feeling upon reaching the summit.

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There are these huge rocks on the summit where you can pose for photo ops, of course.

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Long rest, photo ops, then lunch-time; after that, our next destination is the Tinipak cave. Once again, we have to trail down the mountain to reach the Tinipak river. It wasn’t as hard as climbing, but it wasn’t any easier. You will have to be more careful with your balance as every step is slippery, thanks to muddy terrain. From this point, everyone of us does not have water anymore so we spent less time from taking short breaks.

This activity was really exhausting, I did not even have the energy to take out my camera while we are trailing. You will have to use both of your hands to support your body so you wont slide down the slopes of the trail.

Sadly, I wasn’t able to take photos of the Tinipak River, and its beautiful rock formations so I will try to describe it at my best. It made me think that these are fallen rocks from the sky, and reminds me of a deserted planet, or the moon, just with a running river. The walk to the Tinipak Cave isn’t short, and is a bit more tricky and challenging as you need to traverse with these huge rocks.

Thinking that the inside of the cave will be a wet run, I decided to not bring my camera. I was wrong, the inside of the cave isn’t really wet, however another challenging one. We do not have our own flashlights, but the good thing is our tour guide has his. So if you are planning to take a visit on this cave, be sure to bring a flashlight that can be mounted on your head.

If I did bring my camera on the cave, I might be able to snap photos of the stalactites formed inside the cave. However, one wrong step then something unfortunate might happen with the camera if I did bring it though. At the end of the cave, there is a pond where you can swim. It has a running water, which is really cold. We took a short dip to enjoy a refreshing bath.

It started to rain the moment we were out of the cave, so I did not really regret not bringing my camera this time.

We rest on the camp site, refueled ourselves, then decided for our trip home. From this point, there is a tricycle where you can ride for P15/head fare, that will bring you back to the barangay hall. The walk from the camp to this place isn’t short though, but guaranteed it will be the last one.

Back at the mini-lake, there is a jeep that you can ride that will give you a ride back to Tanay proper, for a P100 fare. There are also tricycles, but we decided to take the jeep as it is more comfortable for scoring a precious sleep.

I do not know the specifics of this hike, it was my first time, my Mi Band recorded a 17km walk that day, I know it isn’t really accurate but hey its something. I know my body isnt really used to these kind of activities, well, this is just a start.

Some lessons I learned from this hike:

  • I will invest in a mountaineering shoes.
  • I will bring more water that anything else.
  • I will try my best to better document the adventure with photos.

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