This is the reward that awaits the hikers at 630 meters above sea levelWhen we talk about mountains in the Tarlac and Zambales areas in Central Luzon, the most popular would definitely be Mt. Pinatubo, the volcano which erupted in June 1991.
Several years after this incident, Mt. Pinatubo is now one of the most sought-after hiking destinations for tourists as it can be summited in only two hours. However, there are still several mountains in this region, which only those who research more would be able to conquer.
Billed as the next best thing along Crow Valley next to Mt. Pinatubo, Mt. Telakawa in Capas, Tarlac is the alternative mountain destination for visitors who are up for a more extreme hiking challenge.
Departing past 3 a.m. from the assembly place at ETON Centris on EDSA, we arrived at the Sta. Juliana, Tarlac jump-off point; this is also the starting area for Mt. Pinatubo trekkers.
After signing registration papers and waivers as well as hiring a guide, we began trekking at 7 a.m., starting at a well-paved road then moving onto the wide lahar terrain of Crow Valley. Around 8 a.m., we arrived at the Aeta community area in Sitio Dalig.
After around 20 minutes of uphill climbing through a forested area with gradual ascent, you will be awed by the lahar landscape from way below when you turn around.
We reached a nipa hut where goats were being pastured. We took a breather as we could already glimpse our target destination in the distance.
At 11:20 a.m., I reached the summit of Mt. Telakawa after a grueling steep ascent. It was so hot!
You could now marvel at the much larger lahar landscape of Crow Valley. What a sight!
We started descending at noon through a very steep downhill path. After eating our lunch along the trail and refilling our water containers from a deep well which serves as the community’s water source, we arrived back at the jump-off point at 4 p.m.
Again, there are lots of mountains to conquer in the Zambales and Tarlac regions. Research well because there’s more than just the famous Mt. Pinatubo to set foot on. (Excerpted from http://largabista.blogspot.com)(Story/Photos by: Gerbs de Castro)
Trudging through the land of lahar