Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Puncak Tanawan

Thanks, in part to two different  Facebook pages, a hiking trail in Sibulan, which ends in an area called Puncak Tanawan, is becoming very popular. About a week ago, my wife first mentioned the hiking area to me, and a day later an employee at the bank I use, told me the area was "trending on Facebook".

The result of this talk was a Sunday afternoon hike after church this past weekend involving my wife and myself, along wife a brother-in-law and my wife's three sisters.

According to a sign at the beginning of the hiking area, the trail is 3.3 kilometers long. I would dispute that number, although I have no way of measuring the distance. Be that as it may, the hike is all uphill and not for the faint of heart. The first 300 meters or so can only be done by foot, but at one point along the way, habal habal are available. Believing I couldn't make it, my wife insisted that I take a habal habal, but when the driver fell over twice before we had gone 250 meters, I insisted that I walk.

Local residents have set up small concession stands along the hike, so getting fruit or water isn't a problem. At one such concession I saw cigarettes by the stick for sale, although I can't imagine anyone wanting a cigarette after hiking this mountain.

The view of Dumaguete, Sibulan, and the islands of Cebu, Siquijor and Apo Apo is impressive. When we first arrived at the mountain plateau, however, Pancuk Tanawan was covered with clouds and, for a time the view was disappointing. The clouds did burn away, and I was able to get a few nice photos.

I made a point of taking my iPhone with me so that I could get the latitude and longitude in order to put the location onto Google Maps. For those interested, finding the trail is not that difficult. Taking the National Highway to Sibulan, you turn onto Bulago Rd. and follow it until the road dead ends at the trail entrance - about 5 or 6 kilometers from the National Highway. There is a small fee to park your vehicle at the entrance.

Although I found the climb difficult, I'd like to make the hike a regular thing. It's obvious in the photo that I'm short of breathe. I suppose it is because of the difficulty I experienced that I want to return in order to increase my stamina. We'll see how that works out.

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