Mount Batulao Old Trail Day Hike, the View and Overnight at Camp 1, Also Things to Bring

This is Part 2 of 3 of my Mount Batulao Trek (read Part 1 here). We spent 1.5 hours from the Mt. Batulao jump-off point to the fork that leads to the old and new trails. The next 30 minutes that followed from the Old Trail to Camp 1 for our overnight weekend camping escapade was equally challenging and overwhelming (but doable with a little mind conditioning haha) for a newbie like me. I was so relieved when we got to camp. The view of the peaks was wonderful while trekking but with all the obstructions gone at the campsite (and with the temptation to sleep already inside the tent), it was even more beautiful for me (totally not what I expected). Hehe. We could point to the summit from here and the New Trail route... Setting up our tents here was the best decision we made - especially since it's the only one with the CR (toilet) for our girly needs (and not as windy here)! Hehehe. The road below is the way up the other Old Trail stops or camps (#2 to #9) and the summit (more of this and the next day on Post 3).

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This was one of my favorite parts of the trek (because of the view and almost-straight road) but I tripped on a tiny tree root here going back so yeah... I had mixed feelings after that and came close to crying that I really wanted to go home... I was staying too close to the right side (of the pic) because I didn't want to fall. I thought I was safe and didn't notice the little root. Boom! I was too late to stop walking with my other foot then I scored a big bruise with some scratches and a bit of blood on my knees... Good thing I was wearing medium-thick leggings (from Wet Shop / Yvonne's)... A reminder to keep your guard up, tread carefully and look down if ever in every step of the way.

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At times, there would be two or three different paths and you can easily get lost. I would not trek without a local guide here...

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Horses would walk on the same trails as well so there are a lot of dung everywhere. Better avoid 'em ;) Hehe.

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There were also cases when we would have other people going the other direction and the path is only good enough for 1 person to pass... The ground may also be slippery. I've read that when it rained and it was muddy here, climbers would go barefoot.

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12:17 p.m. We reached another stop.

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Yun-oh (insert nguso)! Malapit na (raw) yung camp. Konti na lang (daw).

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I attempted to stay in front and keep up. Haha. Maybe we'd get there faster...

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Then keep wishing... Haha.

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Almost within reach...

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Turned around first. Haha. Minsan lang 'to!

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They stopped first...

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to look at the pretty swaying plants from a distance...

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Rolling hills, swaying grass, Marlboro moment, whatever you want to call them hehe. It can't really be captured that well with a camera and a tired me so I just stood there watching and catching my breath.

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12:24 p.m. We passed by another hut with benches but we didn't stop anymore. 

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I had to shift my balance once in a while and using my hiking stick just in case (sometimes looking for solid ground on the left, other times on the right).

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I didn't actually notice these things sticking (like velcro and can prick you) to our clothes. It's called Amor seco (or amorseco or amorseko or mursikos or tinloy). Good thing I wore my Roxy rashguard and covered my arms and legs well! The poor horses have these in their hair and bunched together so well that they can't get them off...

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They said it came from these bushes which are all over the route. It's translated as "dry love" in Spanish. Loves to stick with you so much hehe.

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There were challenging times like these when we had to crouch down and hold on to anything (love my gloves even if they looked at me silly haha)...

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There's also a short bridge we had to cross.

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12:33 p.m. Buti naman may isang sign... This is the correct way to Mt. Batulao. Haha.

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To the left and up we go!

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12:38 p.m. OMG! Summit na ba 'to? Haha. Ang ganda naman... 

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Ladies and Gents, this is Mt. Batulao Camp #1!!!!

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Quick! Pick which spot to pitch tents while there are still no people!

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Tattoo sleeves are a good idea if you're just wearing a shirt with the heat, BTW... So are Subway sandwiches for lunch baon! I was so hungry!!! Haha.

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Still can't believe I made it this far haha. 

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Before I forget, the P400 one-way porter fee was so sulit I tell you!!! The ups and downs were killing me and I wasn't even carrying Mik's pots, pans, tents, sleeping bags and our dinner. That thing was so heavy I couldn't even stand up! The other Kuya had it easy with my neon Green essentials (ehem kikay kit and our sayang-sa-effort broken tent). Haha.

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We chose the spot near the CR (blue spot, below right)!!! Haha. Reminder: It's gonna be hard to go to the bathroom in the dark! The CR has a toilet bowl with no flush (you can buy water to flush for around P10 per small container). 

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Our tour fee included them pitching the tents so they did that while we ate lunch (not included in tour package). Our original tent (we borrowed from a friend) was broken and we didn't even know it... Good thing Mik brought extra!!!

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We found a good spot away from the socials area (might be noisy at night) and, I repeat, near the CR =D

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I spent some time jumping and doing some happy shots. Haha.

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Then I went in our 6-person capacity tent and slept a while before our summit climb. We wanted to get it over with while there was still light and hopefully, for before sunset shots. Stay tuned for my last post on Mt. Batulao, my first summit! =D

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- water bottle (don't throw away) and more than 2L of water - there's drinkable water available for around P130 per big jug in Camp #1 (we used this to cook food and brush our teeth) but I would like to bring my own
- mosquito repellant and sunscreen
- trail food - I brought Subway sandwich haha
- dry kit - in case I wanted to change, waterproofed this with Ziploc, extra socks, shirt and slippers, spare stretch pants
- mess kit - Lock & Lock type (for soup and meal in one) or deep bowl, spoon & fork - some would put plastic over the bowl so that they will just change it after eating, wipes if you want
- Ziploc, tissue
- hiking stick
- money - in low denominations for porter, food, essentials 
- camera - I brought lightweight Canon S110
- cellphone - there's signal up there
- power bank and your wires to charge stuff - no outlet there
- hat or bonnet - it's pretty windy so bonnet is better I think
- headware or something to cover your nose - pretty dusty and to cover your neck, multi-purpose
- sunglasses
- gloves - for holding on to anything and not getting scratched, big help for me (seriously)
- head light or flashlight - head light was really useful for dinner, going to the toilet in the dark and for climbing down in the dark (if ever)
- sarong and tattoo sleeves, rashguard - so glad I wore my Roxy zip-up rashguard, it's thin but coverage is good
- super thin thermal mylar blanket (bought mine from Galleon.ph) or warmers - the temperature in Batulao is hotter than in Pulag but I can't stand the cold too long
- my Columbia jacket - windproof, waterproof, thermal but lightweight :)
- medicine - I believe I got another case of mild altitude sickness there like in Pulag but not as severe
- earplugs - haha, always a delight to carry with me around now!
- hair tie - to pull my hair up because I couldn't take a bath there
- soap
- toothbrush, toothpaste
- other suggestions - kneepads or buttpads! ;)
- other tips - Cut your nails before trekking! Wear thick socks and long leggings! Warm up before the trek (esp. to the summit)!

Enjoy!

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