It’s really a challenge to go to places not really on everyone’s radar. Atimonan isn’t really a tourist hot spot. It has a few known sights like the Pinagbanderahan, Quezon Memorial Park and its Zigzag road known as Bitukang Manok. Aside from that, it is mainly a transit town often passed by. I did some further research and found some sites of interest like the Bantakay Falls, since I always like to incorporate nature elements in my trips. Good thing I got a hold the number of Atimonan’s tourism officer, Cecile and were able to ask directions on the phone.
My head kept hitting the steel bar frames of the tricycle whenever we pass by large pieces of stone or when we encounter the humps along the road. I already had my back bent just to sit at the back seat of the motorcycle behind the driver. It was rough road all throughout just after Lio Airport in El Nido. We were heading north of Palawan from El Nido to see some inland attractions at barangay Pasadeña.
I’ve been longing to go back to the mountain for quite some time so I accepted an invitation from, fellow climber Ruby of MFPI to climb Mt. Daguldol in San Juan, Batangas. Still weary-eyed from lack of sleep, I packed my bags around 4 am Saturday morning and quickly set off to sleep. Good thing our assembly was at noon time in Buendia where our Vans would pick us up. Don’t know much of the guys who will be coming along, but I saw some guys mostly with “daypacks” and large sleeping bags. Some girls even have shoulder bags with them. Are they going to a mall? Probably, first-time climbers, I thought. We were around 18 people inside the Van, but a good thing, it was spacious, cool, and comfortable.
I think it’s been 7 months since I climbed a mountain. And what a way to start the year with the same mountain I last climbed in 2004, Gulugod Baboy (“Pig’s Spine”). This was supposed to be really easy but since my endurance have somehow waned down a bit, I felt a bit exhausted. Still, the first trip from “Lakbay Unlimited” was successful. Last year was a real bummer for the group’s travel activity since everyone was busy with their own stuff. And finally, the experience of being on top of a mountain is back! And also the blistering cold!