I used to weigh 207 lbs. That’s 94kg. At some point, the fat became more and more unwanted. They had to go because of my newly found passion in travel. I wanted to travel better, lighter, and happier. (Read more about my weight loss journey here: https://samarellano.com/flashback-fatdays )
3 years ago, in the midst of this journey, I went on a short hike to Mt. Maculot in Batangas with some good friends. It was my first hike outside Banaue and Batad (Read about it here: https://samarellano.com/2015/03/14/retrace-the-terraces-banaue-ifugao-philippines )
They say Mt. Maculot is a hiking trail for beginners. Little did I know that everyone else’s definition of “beginner” was different from mine. Or maybe how heavy I was then just added to the difficulty. Hahaha.
So here’s how our half-day hike went.
We got up before sunrise to catch the shuttle van to Batangas.
It was around 6am when we got there.
And the hike began.
The first leg was relatively easy.
We had a few stops along the way so we could rest.
The trail then suddenly started to become a little more challenging.
Hence the more frequent stops to rest.
The view at least made up for how exhausted we were.
The steepness of the trail was one thing. What made it more difficult was the path itself. It was muddy, soft, and slippery. As it turns out, it rained the day before.
And since my fat self had little to no balance, I slipped.
Yes, I slid down.
I forget how I was able to flash a smile afterwards but I remember fearing for my life then. Thank God I didn’t slip and fall off the cliff.
And so after somehow brushing off the mud on my legs and clothes, we continued on with the hike. At this point, we reached a plateau just before going up the rockies.
The view was even more beautiful there.
Then it was time for the toughest part of the trail.
The path was then non-existent.
The hike became a mini climb.
Yes, we climbed rocks.
So we all had to help each other out at this point. While you put your arms core strength to the test by lifting yourself up, someone needs to guide and pull you.
It was a blur and I could barely remember how I made it up.
But I did.
My knees and legs were shaking though. Hahaha. This was the best photo I could pose for. I didn’t even attempt to go at the peak to snap a photo. After slipping earlier in the hike, no was I was going to risk that again!
We reached the top at around 11am.
From thereon, we just took a couple of hours to catch our breath and appreciate the view that we powered through for.
At a little past noon, we started to make our way down. It wasn’t as tiring, but don’t be fooled. It wasn’t any less difficult either.
I remember cursing for 3/4 of the time going back. I kept on slipping and I didn’t even bother to take photos. Hahahaha.
But somehow, we all made it back safely. 🙂
Mt. Maculot, Batangas, Philippines | July 2014
Writer | Solo Traveler