From Mines View Park, we headed to Eurotel Baguio where we’ll stay for the night. They were gracious enough to sponsor a night’s stay here since I wasn’t able to join their Blogger Bliss event last time. Eurotel Baguio is their first branch out of Manila from their 6 known branches. Located just a few streets away from Burnham Park, it was easy to find especially from it’s red and green geometrical whatnot exterior.
Who says you can’t enjoy the cool climate of Baguio on a weekend? Victory Liner is definitely victorious in capturing the route to Baguio that there are buses rolling off every hour for 24 hours. But we were not just there to enjoy the cooler weather as I along with friends Oggie and Erick are joining the Columbia Eco Trail Run at Camp John Hay. It’s good thing we bought tickets earlier to get our preferred seats since the Victory Liner station at Malibay Pasay is still packed with passengers heading out of Manila.
The air is thinner at 1500 meters above sea level that made me breath harder than normal. After that steep 45 degrees trail that went on for more than 10 minutes, I was gasping. But the fresh mountain air and embracing cold was enough to invigorate my body and continue to run the trail. A half cup of water quenched my drying throat and moved on. Then on a sharp turn, the view of mountains in all its gradient glory revealed itself on a narrow mountainside trail. It was stupendous. That’s why I love trail running. That is why I joined Columbia Eco Trail 2011 at Camp John Hay Baguio.
While I found the first Lakbay Norte in 2010 a bit cramped and rushed, it was still a fun trip going through the 8 provinces in 4 regions in 7 days that’s why when an invitation came for Lakbay Norte 2, I decided to join again. I checked the itinerary and there are new places I haven’t been to that caught my interest. And this time around there are two separate legs where media participants can choose which one to join or both. Let’s see where this year’s Lakbay Norte 2 will take us.
I wasn’t really planning to run. I haven’t really run for years and my last run for 10k was more than 4 years ago as I recall. I didn’t run competitively after that and just do leisurely runs on the nearby track and field near our home. But morning of the 25th April 2010, I found myself running in a pine covered eco-trail in Baguio at Camp John Hay, catching my breath at least 1500m above sea level and racing to finish an 11k race at The North Face 100 Trial Running Marathon in Baguio. It’s my first time to do a trail run which is so much different on running on pavement. It was fun and it was challenging trying to define my limits.
It was 7 days, 1798 kilometers, 9 Conventions and Visitors Bureau (CVBs), 8 provinces in 4 regions, 26 people on one bus on a trip around Northern Luzon. This is the Lakbay Norte Familiarization tour held January 24-31, 2010. I’ve always wanted to do a horseshoe loop of north Luzon and I was glad I was able to do it with the help of North Philippines Visitors Bureau. It was packed, tiring but also fun and exciting. For those who would like to try the similar route, this would be a great reference on what to expect.
Day 4 of Lakbay Norte finds us waking up to the cool crisp mountain air of Baguio. It’s always a pleasant experience to just breathe in the pine fresh atmosphere in this highland city. Our group stayed at the uber-comfortable chiropractic beds of Microtel. From there, we moved to Baguio Country Club for our briefing and much sought after breakfast.