Since it was really too late and we’re too tired to do some island hopping adventure the day we arrived at Coron, the only thing we did was rest and roam the town. We were still undecided if we’d climb the 690 feet tall mountain right beside our hotel though.
Well we checked it out nonetheless to gauge if we can physically conquer it. We bought bottles of water and our cameras (and tripod of course) with us just in case we finally make our mind and climb it.
The starting point for the ascent was just a few minutes from the Mt. Tapyas Hotel and we had no trouble finding it, the locals here were quite friendly and pointed the way to us.
Well, this is technically not really a mountain climbing expedition with zigzagging trails, muds, snakes and what-nots, but more like a never-ending climb up concrete stairs that leads to a huge metal cross that can be seen for miles around town.
After a few minutes of deliberation, we at last concluded that it was within our ability to climb up this mountain. So we mustered all our courage and strength, prayed, and started our way up.
A kid selling water followed us as we slowly took our time climbing each steps, becoming our instant guide and telling us stories of people that had to be brought down with aid as they failed the climb up and all sorts of trivia about the mountain. It was a long climb but he did keep us entertained and egged us up to reach through all those 718 steps.
We took several stops along the way, never wanting to exert too much pressure on our legs and feet that were really not that used into walking into inclines for more than two minutes. Our water bottles were empty in no time, well at least mine was. I cramp easily and I don’t wanna be caught dead here with the cramps so I rehydrated as much as I could.
Finally after much stops and picture takings, the cross was at last visible from our vantage point. My shirt was drenched and I think I messed up my other camera with the sweat from my clothes.
I checked my watch and we were finally at the peak at exactly six in the evening, barely missing the sun dip down below the horizon. The view was breathtaking as we got a glimpse of the islands we would be visiting in the next few days.
The sun finally retired, leaving streaks of reds and orange after its wake. There was a gazebo off one side of the mountain but the path leading to it was overgrown with grasses and it was getting dark so we were unable to check it out.We were the last one to leave the summit and the huge metal cross was already lit with a hundred light bulbs, acting like a beacon among the people of Coron when we did. It was fully dark when we started our descent, most of the way was unlighted and we had to get by with the aid of our celphones, the moon and the mysterious fireflies.
I took some photos on the lighted parts of the path but was asked by our boy guide not to point it upward towards the unlighted areas, and he wouldn’t tell us why ‘til we reached the last step down. It was only then that he relayed the story of some unseen people unexpectedly showing up on photographs at night in the area. Scary stuff eh?
We gave a tip to our insta-guide and bid farewell to Mt. Tapyas. My shirt was super-drenched with sweat and I think my legs had turned stone-hard; it was a tiring but rewarding climb and we actually surprisingly made good time, climbing the mountain in just 30 minutes!
We were already dreaming up of what we’d have for dinner to replace all those lost carbs; a very very cold iced tea for starters would be perfect, I thought to myself as our tricycle sped on the dark Coron streets to Kawayanan grill.