Cold winds blowing. Mists on the air and dews dripping from the blades of the grasses and from our tent flaps. Mt. Talinis’ camping site in Nailig Lake was covered with thick fog. I woke up too early at around 6 in the morning. There were few people awake as I peeked out from my tent. The songs and harmonies of snoring sloths are still prevalent. “Well, let me join the choir” as I got back to sleeping. Moments later, one after the other, I heard footsteps and clink-clanks of cook sets and utensils. They are already preparing and cooking for our breakfast. I then got out from my tent and oh Ghaad! It was freakin’ cold!. I got back in and wore layers of jackets before helping the others in preparing our breakfast. We took turns in preparing for our meals.
While preparing our breakfast, the rest were having photo-op by the lake.
Breakfast was then served and we had our fill. No time wasted, the group then moved on and did the last prepping before breaking camp. The skies showed a sign of good weather, but time to time, thick fogs, or clouds should I say, passes by chilling my spine off.
The last ascent
A short group photo session then off we went. Again, I was at the sweeper group since I was assigned with the other walkie-talkie. The trek started off with a short distance of slight ascent.
Our next destination was the Rancho camp, where we will be staying and camping for our second night. Full of energy, our mouths were babbling with jokes and other random topics. That’s what you get when you leave and group the youngsters together. Unknowingly we were already too far behind from the rest of the group. No worries, we have walkie-talkies and the rest of the guides were also behind us.
Hauntingly cold forest
The hike was not as exhausting as the previous day’s assault. Mainly because our trail this time was mostly covered with tree shades and the air is already cool. The ascending assault only took about 20 minutes of the trek until we reached the peak most part before starting our slippery descent. Time to time, clouds pass by the trail leaving trails of mist and cold air chilling the crap out of me. It was really cold that at one point when we reached the peak most part then a series of clouds passed by, I was literally shaking that I thought I would die.
The gloomy shade of the forest plus the chilling effect of the clouds/fog rendered the forest so haunting. Top that with the creepy ambient noises of the insects and animals, you’d surely not want to traverse the trail alone especially on the later part of the day.
Slip and Slide
Since the trail was mostly moist due to the mists, muddy trails are to be expected. Hop, skip, jump and splat we went. Not caring anymore if our shoes got muddy and our hands got dirty.Tree trunks, branches, and roots became our trusted friends during our descent. Be careful though not grip on to some thorny tree branches. You can never trust the treacherous rocks as some of them were actually slippery. Same with the soil ground. Some might look “grippy” enough but when you get to step on it, it actually slips you down to the ground. We had our own share of funny slips. We just laughed it out and helped each other especially in determining which and where to step and grip on to prevent slipping and falling hard to the ground. Injuries can slow down the whole group and emergency assistance is hard to find especially when you are in the middle of the foresty mountain.
The trail highlights
Though the trail was muddy and slippery, but there will always be a bright side and fun to everything. The slips were actually one of the fun parts. We got to laugh about it and something to talk more about while we headed on. Not only that, we were also able to witness other highlights like getting a quick glimpse of the other crater lake of Mt. Talinis which is Mabilog Lake. There were also exciting and physically challenging parts of the trail like docking through a fallen timber and squeezing out from a small passage.
There was also this naughty section where a tree branch was carved to form like a wiener. I believe it was carved by some playful minded climbers or locals.
Few more hours and we reached another attraction along the trails of Mt. Talinis which is the Kaipuhan Sulfur Vents. The place was an attraction to the eyes but punishment to the nose. Few meters away from the area, I can already smell the distinctly piercing sting of the sulfuric air. The place was all white washed because of the sulfuric water of the river. Dead trees serve as ornaments which made the place more haunting and dramatic picture worthy.
Few minutes away from the Kaipuhan Sulfur Vents was our long-awaited Rancho camp. After several hours of slippery descents, rest breaks, and a side trip, we finally made it to our destination. We unloaded our backs and shoulders and stretched out our sore muscles. We then laid out our pre-cooked lunch and had our late lunch. The accumulated stress including from the previous day’s assault had my legs shaking uncontrollably. The skies even teased me further blowing by cold breeze that sent me to shiver. We then pitched our tents before the rain starts pouring.
The cold never bothered me anyway. *sarcastic*
After we pitched our tents, we left our things at the camping site and headed straight for another side trip. Around 15 minutes of walk from the campsite lies the Twin Falls of Mt. Talinis.
We indulged ourselves with the refreshing waters of the twin waterfalls. Everybody was enjoying the waters except for me who half-heartedly took a dip. Dang! The water was so cold that it left all my limbs numb and my skin pale. My whole body was literally shivering even from the water mist from both of the waterfalls. I can feel the tingling bite of the icy cold waters like tiny needles pricking on my skin. But I was so envious with the rest of the gang enjoying the waters and so I thickened my skin and jumped right into the waters. Regrets do always come at the end.
Read more of my Twin Falls experience here.
It was already twilight when we got back to the campsite. I changed immediately as I cannot survive my cold wet clothes. Everybody then helped in preparing the dinner. It was already dark when we started cooking and had our dinner. The wind was so cold and the visibility was the same we had during our camp at Nailig Lake. Socials time came in. Not everybody participated as some already fell asleep. The night was filled with stories and jokes surrounding the chips and a single bottle of rum. Though the night was cold, but we were warmed by the waves of laughter and smiles. We finally called it a night right after we finished the rum. We went straight to our respective tents to sleep and prepare our bodies for our last day and the conclusion of this trip.