It’s been quite a while since #TeamHartHart climbed a proper mountain. We normally visit Brgy. Puray which is located in the Sierra Madre mountain range to conduct ALS lessons but we got so used to going there that the hike feels like a walk in the park.
Earlier this month, #TeamHartHart, along with our friends/colleagues in IBM decided to go to Tanay, Rizal to climb the newly opened Mt. Maynoba and Mt. Cayabu. According to our guide the trail was opened to the public just 3-4 months ago.
Going to Tanay, Rizal is as easy as 1 long jeepney ride and a tricycle ride to get to the jump off point. Our group met up at Junction (Cainta) where jeepneys bound to Tanay pass by. The fare going to Tanay is PHP 45 per person. There’s also a jeepney terminal (Tanay Bound) located in EDSA Shaw but of course the fare would be much higher. Upon getting off the Tanay public market, hordes of tricycle drivers flocked us asking where we are headed and if we wanted to rent their trike. Now of course you can haggle with these drivers but you can also visit the local tourism office and they will find you a registered driver. By registered I mean, trained tricycle drivers who knows all the tourists spots in Tanay. You can also contact them should you lost any of your belonging during your commute. This is also the safest way as non-registered drivers will drop you off far from the jump off if you do not pay them their asking price. The tricycle from Tanay going to Brgy. Cayabu was PHP 100 per person.
Another route that you can take to go to Brgy. Cayabu is by going to Cogeo Gate 2 in Antipolo. From there, ride a jeepney bound to Sampaloc and get off at Batangasan Junction. Then ride a tricycle going to Brgy. Cayabu. This route is cheaper and faster compared to the Tanay route.
Mt. Maynoba is getting popular very quickly because of the Sea of Clouds it offers. Luckily we were able to view the Sea of Clouds on the way to Brgy. Cayabu (we weren’t able to see the Sea of Clouds on the summit as it was already too late). After a long tricycle ride, we finally reached the jump off point. By the time we got there, there was already a good amount of people lining up to register their names on the log book. Looking at the pages of the log book I learned that were many hikers way ahead of us. Mt. Maynoba is really becoming very popular.
We started our ascent after a quick prayer. Though it was still early in the morning (around 6:30ish) you can already feel the heat of the sun on your skin. It was definitely warm during that time and the steep slopes didn’t make our body any cooler. It rained the night before so it was quite muddy and slippery. Good thing there was man made steps on some parts were the slopes are really steep. There wasn’t a lot of flat surfaces on the way up so every time we reached a resting spot where it’s flat and there’s is clearing, we really took our time and just absorb the beauty of the place. We reached the summit of Mt. Cayabu after an hour more or less. There wasn’t much to see as the summit was surrounded by trees. The people lining up to take pictures of the signage in the summit gave us enough time to recharge our bodies.
The second leg of the journey was much harder because of the huge rocks and boulders on the way. You have to be very careful as it gets very slippery. The ascent was much harder as well because of the open grass land. There was barely and shade. Pair that with the full blast of the sun, you are bound to consume a lot of water. Half way to the summit of Mt. Maynoba was a resting spot enough to accommodate campers. It also offers a great view of the surrounding. By the time we got there, our water supply was more than half empty. The flag on the summit was already visible from where we were but still it was still quite some distance away. Still we went on knowing that once we get there it will be all worth it. And get there we did! after much complaining about the sun and thirst we finally reached the summit. It gave us a 360 open view of the surrounding mountains and ridges and wow it was amazing.
We didn’t stay in the summit long as the scorching heat of the sun was almost intolerable. Our bottles were empty as well and the nearest water supply is still one hour away. Imagine the intense heat, sweat and lack of drinking water. It was totally gruesome. I really wished I had brought my life straw with me to get a drink from the puddles but I left in my multi-day hiking bag. The humidity in the air made it worse and the tall grasses made blocked the breeze. I really thought I was not gonna make it as I thought I was gonna collapse but by God’s grace we made it to the spot were drinking water was available and free flowing (it came from a spring). I couldn’t be any gladder after drinking my heart out and bathing myself in the cool water. It really refreshed my body and my moral.
It was all muddy and wet from then on as we were surrounded by trees and bamboo. We couldn’t feel the heat of the sun any more but the humidity and dampness still made us feel stuffy.
The Mt. Maynoba trail also offers a tour of the 8 falls. We only visited 4 of them because the other ones apparently weren’t that big (none of them were actually). 2 of the ones we visited was deep enough to go swim in and just relax before the final slippery descent. It also rained (hard) during our descent which made us feel much cooler but made the trail more dangerous. Still, I prefer hiking in the rain than in the sun.
We finally reached the jump off point after about 4 hours (more or less) of hiking. We grabbed something to eat immediately as we were not able to have a proper meal during the trek.
I’d definitely recommend Mt. Maynoba to other hikers but I am afraid the mountain will soon suffer due to the influx of visitors of the mountain. Let’s make sure that we practice common sense and LNT while we’re up there.
Check out the vlog below!