Monday, September 26, 2011

Calamianes: 700 Steps to Mount Tapyas

@ mirandablue
From where I stood at Lualhati Park by the harbor, the cross at the summit of Mount Tapyas seemed unreachable.  The cross was there to be admired from a distance..."unreachable" was a happy thought that didn't last long.  Because right after I took this photo, Cherry, our guide, asked if we were ready to climb Mount Tapyas.  I was floored, I protested, I knew the pain!  I have climbed mountains in the past, and have promised myself "never again".  But my little sister was determined to see the top of the mountain.  Cherry assured me that it's going to be an easy climb because of a concrete stairway, "Only 718 steps, ma'am," she said sweetly.

We climbed aboard our tricycle, and it took us back to the streets of Coron---the hilly parts, until we reached the base of the mountain.  Boys selling bottled water were there to greet us.  I knew I would be dehydrated before I reach the first 100 steps.  I had a moment of panic when I saw the stairs---the trek to Batad rice terraces came back to haunt me!

@ mirandablue
Mount Tapyas is one of the mountains in Busuanga Island. It stands 210 meters above sea level and offers a panoramic view of Coron Bay and the nearby islands of the Calamianes. During Holy Week, the faithful make a spiritual pilgrimage of prayer by climbing Mount Tapyas.

@ mirandablue
The best time to climb Mount Tapyas is late in the afternoon when the sun is not as intense.  I thanked my lucky stars for cloudy skies and benches along the way, perfect for people like me who needed to catch their breath every 10 minutes.  Shooting also provided a breather, and somehow disguised my laborious, heavy-footed steps.

@ mirandablue
view to the west
The views were all worth stopping for.  A dozen steps offered a different perspective.  The western part of Calamianes was shrouded with heavy clouds while the sun beamed towards the east, highlighting parts of the lush, mysterious Coron Island across the bay.

@ mirandablue
Looking down at the verdant Coron town and the reclamation area where we were at just over an hour ago.  I couldn't believe I was able to reach the top in less than an hour, without fainting. Gosh, I am so out of shape!

@ mirandablue
I still couldn't enough of this sight---the craggy slopes, dark crevices, I wondered what was waiting for us at Coron Island, what secrets it would reveal.

@ mirandablue
At the back slopes of Mount Tapyas was this breathtaking sight---gentle, verdant slopes bathed with  sunshine; invigorating mountain air filled my senses, and my knees seemed to be working again!  At the background is Mount Dalara, a dormant volcano, the source of Maquinit hot spring, the only known saltwater hot spring in the Philippines.

@ mirandablue
The golden sunlight was beautiful, and I was looking forward to a gorgeous sunset that afternoon.  But the sun wasn't in the mood to show retired quietly and without fanfare.  And to make up for it, a rainbow appeared on our way down!

@ mirandablue
Twilight at Mount Tapyas as we traipsed down the stairway.  Despite the strained muscles and throbbing ankle, I'm glad I experienced Mount Tapyas.  A visit to Busuanga Island is not complete without it.

@ mirandablue

The blues are for Sally at Blue Monday


Marie said...

An interesting reading and lovely pics.

My name is Riet said...

Oh my goodness, 718 steps up. LOL I would never get there.
Your photo's are beautiful of a beautiful country.

Kim, USA said...

I think I don't mind the 718 steps because the view on top is worth it. And with a camera in tow can't get enough for sure. Love this place ^_^

My Blue

bertN said...

I'll give the "718 steps" a good try to see the view from atop Mount Tapyas.

Dhemz said...

wow! breathtaking....walang bang shortcut...hehhee...baka aabutin ako nang isang linggo...718?! holy cow....hehehhe!

SmilingSally said...

Oh, it is worth the effort. What great views. Thanks for sharing these beautiful blues.

Happy Blue Monday, Luna.

escape said...

beautiful from all view but the view of the island with the karst formation is the best.

xinex said...

What a beautiful place to visit! Your photos are simply breathtaking....Christine

Cafe au lait said...

Beautiful shots. Happy Blue Monday!

I played too. Mine are here and here.

EG CameraGirl said...

Beautiful views! I'm glad you took your camera up those 718 steps! :))

Chubskulit Rose said...

Looking at your photos makes me reminisce the building atop the mountain we used to visit when we were in Korea. Lovely photos!

Candace said...

What absolutely amazing views! So worth the attempt to climb it. I love that you captured the rainbow photo. Thanks so much for sharing them!

magiceye said...

wow that was marvelous!

Cecil said...

WOW!!! Ang ganda talaga ng Pilipinas at ang galeng galeng mong mag showcase ng kanyang angking kariktan. Love all the photos and as always very interesting story telling ;-) pero lowla buti kinaya mo ung 718 steps, kung kasama ako tyak naiwan ako sa isa sa mga benches along the way.

Unknown said...

@ Cecil, mas madali nga because of the stairs. kung walang hagdan, malamang gumapang na naman ako paakyat. LOL glad you stopped by and left a comment.:p