Monday, April 13, 2009

I am a sulfur-breathing dragon. Rwaarr!

I did something today that I've never done before: drive up a steep mountain. Destination: Red Rock Valley, aka Pulang Bato, in Palinpinon, Valencia. The girl at the tourism office said, "Oh, it's just a 20-25 minute drive from downtown" and the woman on the highway said, "You don't turn right or left, you just go straight and straight (dere-derecho lang)" and the man at the end of the straight and straight said, "Oo, sure, your car can reach the waterfalls mismo, the roads are paved. Kayang-kaya ra na."

With all those thumbs up, only a chicken would back out. And I definitely don't say cluck. Even when all three attestations were slightly off the mark.

It was only when the engine was straining as it climbed up the steep mountain slopes that it dawned on me that the more difficult part of this drive would be the going down. It was so Eskeri, to borrow Jordan's word. As I drove upward, I kept praying, Lord, please help me get down, please help me get down. I dreaded climbing higher but it was too late to turn back now. Besides, how would I turn around? There was the cliff on my right and the mountain wall to my left.

This was going on for a while already and I stopped to ask a young boy playing hoops with a motorcyle tire where Pulangbato is. He calmly told me, "The waterfalls? You've passed it already."

But of course! So I asked him, "Uh, how do I turn around? What's up ahead?"

He said there's nothing up ahead. Just a basketball court. Thank goodness Filipinos love this sport, despite our height. Thank goodness also, even if the court turned out to be a one-fourth court only, it gave me enough room to turn around and drive down the mountain verrry slooowwly.

I met a man and an old woman on a motorbike and we stopped to say hello. He said, "Nilapaw ka sa." I said, "Yeah, I didn't see the sign." Well, seeing that they were so friendly and I was desperate, I hurried to add, "Oh, I'm quite scared of going down the mountain, can you please come back and check on me...? See if I made it down..." He said, "Sure, just remember to go slow."

That's what I did. Go ever so slowly down the slope. Until I reached this sign:

and this orange gate.

Pulang Bato Waterfalls, mismo

O my luve is like a red, red rock...

Smokin' Mountain

You've probably heard of Smokey Mountain in Tondo. Here's one really Smokin' Mountain in Palinpinon for you. This mountain is breathing steam and it is the power from this steam that is harnessed by the geothermal plants to supply electricity to several provinces in the Visayas.

Sulfur is one of the gases emitted here. And tonight, I can still smell the sulfur in my lungs. After that mountain drive, I now feel like a sulfur-breathing dragon. Rwaarr?


Ligaya said...

Very Mordor-ish. The falls were great, but I think what I really loved about going there was passing through all those rivers and mountains. Hu hu...I miss being in Dumaguete and having all those nature-tripping destinations less than an hour away... And (while we're on it), I miss the pancit at City Burger and Chin Loong and the liempo at Senor Pedro and... Anha na lang kaha ta mag-EB doc ness? Hehehe... When are you free, by the way? For the EB, I mean.

ness said...

That's so true. I'm a believer in the journey-is-the-destination mantra.

EB in Dgte would be super! Let's go nature trekking! Or how about exotic Siquijor?

The When is the big question mark.

So When?!

Anonymous said...

Yes, yes, EB in Dumaguete! Ganda niyan and the lengths you went through to get there - wow!

Sonia said...

cool adventure, doc. thumbs up indeed! :-)

ness said...


when are you coming to Dumaguete?! Any tentative dates para ma-alert natin sila Gaya and Cebu TBR Bloggers? Pati na rin ang mga taga Luzon and Mindanao! Midyear convention, hehehe.

ness said...

Yey, Sonia,

you'll be here in Dgte whole summer, right? Mag TBR EB tayo when Megamom comes!

f. jordan said...

Okay, that Smokin' Mountain definitely looks eskeri!

Vk-mahalkaayo said...

nindot sa?

kuyaw gyd idrive ani uy.....
ako korog ko ani


nindot iambak-ambak......
paligoan pd ni?

bali gyd nimo ka adventures gyd uy.

take care......

ness said...

yes, vicki,

puede maligo diri. tugnaw ang tubig!