Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Ride and Trek to Hindang Cave

 I have been bugging Pat to take me to Hindang Falls or Hindang Cave for some time now.   But I never thought I would suddenly have the opportunity of really going there.   During the meeting of Iligan Bloggers Society last July 10, 2011, the members present just suddenly decided to schedule a trip to Hindang Cave and Hindang Falls on July 16, 2011.   Pat said we should go on a Saturday so we could take a rest on Sunday since Monday would then be work day.   

When Pat said the trek to the cave would take about two hours (including stops and rests), I was doubtful in joining them.   I know it would be too tiresome for me.   But Pat assured me it will be ok for me.  I didn't decide until Wednesday, June 13, 2011, when I have pondered about it for 3 days.   So, with the decision to go to the trip, I made some last minute preparations -  bought myself a rubber sandals on Friday afternoon after office hours.   :-)   After about visiting 6 shops, I finally found one I like (the sandal and the PRICE, hehehe) at the OTTO shoppe.   

We left the house around 7:30 in the morning of July 16 and went to the Post Office to meet the others.    Our vehicle (a 4x4 pick-up courtesy of DPWH) arrived past 8am and we headed for Hindang.    There were only 4 of us from IBS - Lai, Jam, Pat and me.  Arlene who was so excited to join us was not able to make it as she is in an on-going diet program and her program counselor won't allow her.   Then Xy-Za who got over excited was not able to sleep well the night before therefore she was not able to wake up early even though she was already all prepared.    A staff from DPWH who was interested to see the cave and falls joined us.   So, off we headed to Barangay Kiwalan where we would start the drive to Barangay Hindang.   We stopped shortly at the junction of Kiwalan highway going to Hindang to ask the passenger jeepneys some details it one is to take a jeepney going up to Brgy. Hindang.  As we were seated inside the pick-up truck, when we began entering the interiors of Kiwalan, I thought "sayang, dili ko ka-take og pictures sa lugar kay lisod naa sa sulod. Sarado ang bintana."  (Too bad, I cannot take pictures of the place 'coz it's  quite difficult specially if one is inside. The windows are closed.)   But, not a minute after I thought those thoughts, Lai blurted out, "ah, Manong pwede ihunong sa, balhin ko sa likod." (ah, Manong, can we please stop, I want to transfer to the back of the truck.)   And Jam and I said in unison,  "ako pod" (me too).   And the three of us excitedly transferred to the back of the truck.  And then off we went.

At the back of the truck, I had many different positions since there are no chairs.  We have to make do with what we can sit on.

At first, we were all standing.   Lai and Jam steadying themselves by holding on to the roof of the truck.  But I was a bit far so I held on to something nearest I found - the strap of the tarpaulin cover of the truck. 

My position kind of feels like I am surfing, hehe...

Got tired of the surfing position, found this position. 

Then found the third position.  :-)
With the road so bumpy, I have to really balance myself using my feet and with the left hand holding at the side of the truck.   I was really a bit scared that I might fall off if the truck hits a really big bump.   It's a good thing, it didn't.  Whew.    

Some of the photos I took.   The sky was too wonderful not to be appreciated.   

I really like the rural scenery.  

The air is so fresh.   So many trees and grasses all around. 

 The positions of Lai and Jam

 Lai - Pinay Travelista

Jam - Traveljams

This is the first video I recorded for the trip to Hindang. 

When we reached the Barangay Hall, we stopped to register and pay a P5.00 fee per person. 

Pat was looking for his friend who would guide us to Hindang Cave.

Write your name please... hehe 

Pat's friend was not around so three guys who are substitute guides volunteered to take us to Hindang Cave.  They may have volunteered but of course they have a fee.  They charged us P300.00 (that will be 100 each).  It was ok.  At least they'd have an income for the day.  

Too bad, I just forgot to ask their names.  tsk. tsk. 

This is our ride.   It is now parked here as we start our 2-hour trek to Hindang Cave.

Pose before the trek.  Sheesh.. I am not in the photo.  hehe

For the first leg of the trek, this portion is the most difficult. 

Then it is mostly plain.

Took a photo of me and I was happy when I reviewed it because Pat was included in the background.  Yepee!

The cows we passed by along the way.

The first stream we crossed.

We found a place to rest.   We rested a while after about 15 minutes of hiking. 

Pat said these are the trees they have planted some years ago.  Now they have already grown.  
The barangay officials have really taken cared of the trees.   The trees' shades make the trek bearable as it blocked the sun's heat. 

 The third stream we passed.   Some residents are washing their clothes.  I learned that they are the family of Pat's friend who was supposed to be our guide.   
This is the area where we would start our steep journey to Hindang Cave.

 Jam also took a picture of me while I took one of them.   :-)

 The start of the steep slope.   This is the most difficult or should I say tiresome part of the trek.

 The "landahan" (place for drying coconut meat).   This was our second major rest stop.   And the end of the most difficult steep slope.  

Resume the trek for the last leg of the trail.   Pat said we are already 3/4 of the way.  And the trail is not anymore that difficult.

 We passed by a rocky portion of the trail but with different kinds of vegetables planted on like some root crops, corn, banana, papaya, etc.

 From the rocky to the grassy - tall grasses.  

 Along the trail to Hindang Cave, we passed by small plantations of Antorium.  The guide said the owners sell these Antorium flowers at the market in the city proper. 

 And we also passed by some Antoriums that have already grown tall.  See? It is already almost as tall as Pat, hehe...

 Jam posing for a picture souvenir with the ferns as the background.

I also took a picture of me and Pat.  Hey, it's a good self-shot! :-)

When we were already near Hindang Cave, we passed by about 3 cave openings of other caves.  Pat said there are more than 5 caves in Hindang.   And this cave we visited is the most accessible. 

 Aha! Finally, after about 2 hours of trekking, we were now able to see the cave of our destination.

Already so near the cave, yet we had one last steep slope challenge.  :-)
And it's a bit slippery. 

A lush nature's carpet in front of the cave's opening.

 Tada!  Finally, the mouth of the cave.  Yes!  We made it. 

But, before going inside the cave, we decided to eat lunch first as it is already past 12 noon.

Whew!  That sure was a long and so tiring trek.   But I enjoyed it so much even if I had my blackout moments.   :-)    

A video recording I made just before we ate lunch

PS. Some of the pictures courtesy of Jam and Lai.

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