So far our Leyte trip has been amazing. Realizing that this is our last day in Leyte, we decided to visit one of the hidden gems in this wonderful province. We headed back to mainland Naval where our van was waiting to pick us up. We were all very tired after our fun filled all nighter in Sambawan Island. I think all of us were asleep on the way to Brgy. Sampao where Ulan-Ulan falls is located. We arrived at the jump off after a 2 hour drive from the port. There weren’t any signs/directions on the way to the jump off so we had to stop a couple of times to ask the locals for directions. The jump-off point was actually just a waiting shed. Entrance fee is PHP 2o and surprisingly there were no guides. Make sure you register your name in the log book!
Before we started our hike, we ask the locals how long will it take to get to the falls. “20-30 minutes depending on your pace” they said with a smile. Okay, this shouldn’t be too hard if it’ll only take that long to get there. After walking for a while, we saw that there was a trail going down hill where we can hear the roar of the raging river. Thinking that it was the right way, we decided to follow that trail. We must be very close as we finally saw the gushing river. After crossing it, the trail started to ascend. Hmmm…that’s odd. Normally, if your headed to a waterfall, the trail should be descending. We carried on walking but the trail led us somewhere far from the river. The trail was very steep as well and it’s leading us to a mountain side. Fudge! Wrong way! That’s a good 30 minutes hiking.
We laughed it off and decided to head back to the point where the road was still paved. We almost gave up as we are pressed for time but still we carried on and just followed the paved road. Good thing we came across a local who showed us the right way. Surprisingly, you just have to follow the original trail. The lack of signs/directions was the reason we got lost but still it just made us want to keep going until we reach the waterfall and boy how grand it was when we finally did.
Ulan-Ulan falls looked stunning from afar we had to pause for a while to just absorb the beauty of it. Up close we were greeted by the sound of water hitting the pool at the bottom and the mist created by it. The pool was not too deep as well, maybe chest deep, so we were able to have a dip and take loads of pictures. Be careful though, slippery rocks everywhere.
What I loved about this trip is that it showed me that you gotta work hard (and sometimes get lost) to really appreciate the beauty of things. Though we were worn out and bruised after our trip, still, it was all worth it.