Thursday, April 30, 2015

Mt. Maculot Traverse (MacTrav): Rockies, Summit, Grotto

In May 2013, my friend Teng and I decided to hike Mt. Maculot.  The two of us met at the barangay hall near the jump-off as she came from Nasugbu, and I from Manila. We signed up at the registration and paid something (I forgot how much) and rode a tricycle going to the start of the trail.  Our trike driver referred a guide, a young boy of maybe 12 years old as our guide and we started our trek.  Note that this was before the mandatory guide fee of P400/5 for Rockies and P1,000 for a traverse.  

the Cuenca marker, registration and start of the trail
The trail was quite easy and there were enough places to rest.  It was perfect for a day hike,
the PAF marker
We reached the Rockies in a just a little less than 2 hours.  We took a lot of pictures and had lunch at the sari-sari store there.  We ordered rice and a can of tuna while we were having photos.  We also met a group of people at the Rockies but they went down again after some light snack.
The view at the Rockies was amazing! You can see Taal Volcano and the beautiful view of Batangas. And I read from Wikipedia that Mt. Maculot was part of the ancient Taal Cone, and the highest part too.

After lunch, we head up to the summit, or the highest point of the mountain.  We spent maybe just ten minutes here for some photos and then went down again to reach the grotto. 
Going down from the summit was an exciting experience! You have to rappel down using this rope because it was too steep. It was fun and exciting!
The view at the Grotoo was also amazing. According to our guide, this place gets too packed during Holy Week. 
After a short prayer and more photo ops, we were ready to go down. And it was hard, I tell you! It was already around 3pm and we started at 8am.  We were already dead tired on our feet. We took a shower at one the many houses that cater to mountaineers, and decided to call it a day.  It was a day well-spent with nature and one of my most memorable climbs ever!
How to get there:
1. From Cubao, ride a Lemery bound bus and alight at the highway. Remind to tell the conductor where you are going. Fare is P150
2. Take a jeep or tricycle and alight at the jump off. Once you see the ark that reads Bayan ng Cuenca, the mountain in front of you is Mt. Maculot.
3. Register and get a guide and start with your hike.
4. Remember to practice the LNT principle.
5. Enjoy!

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