A double take on Mt Talamitam and Layong Bilog
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It was great climbing Mt. Talamitam for the second time. At 630 meters above sea-level, it is a newbie favorite. To get there, you may board a bus to Nasugbu, Batangas and alight at Sitio Bayabasan, Brgy. Aga KM. 83. This is right along Tagaytay-Nasugbu Highway. Good DIY itineraries abound online like in PinoyMountaineer and Trail Adventours. For convenience, I opted going with Trail Adventours for this hike. It’s easy to book with them via their website: http://www.trailadventours.com/
From McDonald’s, El Pueblo in Ortigas at exactly 4 am, we were south bound. We made a stop at Shell Station Tagaytay for snacks, some stretching and bio break. It was crazy cold at 6AM.
We were told our hike was a SmartBroTrips climb where there’s free wifi plus a SmartBro pocket wifi was up for grabs for the most unique and creative shot of the climb. That got us excited.
On the way, I recalled all the differences I’ve made and observed from my last climb. Here are a few:
#1: I now wore have light weight trek shoes.
Boots are not advisable because the trail is a combination of concrete, grasslands and loose dried up soil. There’s also a river crossing at Layong Bilog where the trail is slippery.
#2: Protective gear.
Use arms sleeves, a cap, leggings and even shades. Also apply sunblock before the hike. There’s just a few tree cover all throughout the hike so it’s imperative to start early to avoid the getting scorched.
From the Jump-Off to the Trail
#3: The guide fee was now at P400.
I noticed an influx of climbers who were there that time. Our guide said Mt. Talamitam has become an alternative since Mt. Batulao was closed that time.
From the 30 minute trek on a concrete road from the jump off point, we used a different trail which is further north of the usual route past the makeshift bamboo bridge.
It’s mostly assault to the summit which made me question if the hike is still at 2/9 in difficulty. I felt the burn on my thighs. We’ve scaled the mountain faster and have reached the summit after just 1.5 hours. The view on this trail is breathtaking.
We only stayed at the summit for 30 minutes and made our descent since we saw huge rain clouds coming in fast.
Good thing we weren’t caught up in the rain cloud on the way down as we were already in the fields while the other hikers were stuck on the side of the mountain when it poured.
SIDE TRIP to Layong Bilog River
The trek to Layong Bilog was at 45 minutes to an hour from the summit.
I’m at awe to see this side of the Layong Bilog river. I’ve been here twice to do rappel last year but it’s on the other side. You can see for yourself why it’s best to wash up here and eat after the hike.
Makes you want to jump in doesn’t it? (Anne Ghelly)
After washing up, we had a post climb meal in Tagaytay and awarded the winner of the pocket wifi.
The climb was a success! I was able to meet new and interesting people and strike up conversations with the most unusual of topic combos – politics and travelling! Would I do it again? Definitely. I want to win that pocket wifi next time.
Enjoy 20% off on the most exciting Smart Bro Trips if you’re a Smart Bro Pocket WiFi subscriber! Book with Travel Factor and Trail Adventours now! For more information about #SmartBroTrips and Trail Adventours, go to smrt.ph/smartbrotrips. Also, check out http://smart.com.ph/bro for Smart Bro’s latest line-up of gadgets and services.