chronicles of an igorot in australia. a photoblog in parts, this is intended as a diary, travelogue, memoir, journal, palimpsest, igorot blog, accounts of misadventures, running battles or whatever it turns out to be. there might be souls out there with common interests. do post a comment.
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Sunday, 6 May 2012
the globe cordillera challenge
Photos from the globe cordillera cycling challenge. 5th May 2012. Mt Sto Tomas, Tuba, Benguet.
There was this hike I took one time (up to Mt Cabuyao and Mt Sto Tomas in Tuba, Benguet). I think I hiked there twice. Brown skinned girl, show me all around the world...
The first time I got as far as Cabuyao then promptly retreated as the clouds rolled in. I was in luck the next day - a beautiful summer's day that only these high Cordillera mountains can produce. Sto Tomas is the highest point in the Kafagway area. It affords an excellent view of the city, the surrounding towns of Benguet, and even many parts of La Union through to Lingayen Gulf in Pangasinan verging the west coast of Luzon on the South China Sea. Cabuyao is the site of two radio transmitters (Ra-dar) within a military compound atop the mountain. The steeper and higher Sto Tomas also hosts radio, television and telecommunications towers. Both these mountains are surrounded by residential houses and vegetable fields.
It just so happened that there was a cycling event on the second day I hiked to Sto Tomas. So we'll get back to the mountains next blog. I'll just deal with these interlopers first.
On the first day of hiking, I took transport to the Green Valley turnoff at Marcos Highway, and then jogged 8km all the way to Cabuyao.
The next day I commenced from the Compac police station then this time jogged/walked (I was taking photos) the hillier 5km of trails to Cabuyao, and then 4km or so to Sto Tomas.
I saw a few riders on the way up, but it was only when I got to Cabuyao that I realised there was a cycling race on.
I lingered around Cabuyao, went around the perimeter of the fenced off Radar compound, and took a few photos of the surrounding vistas. All this time the bike riders kept coming and thus I realised 'game on'. I joined in the fun. I ran interference all day, from Cabuyao to Sto Tomas, and back.
I gave many of these cyclists a head start - well it was flat for the first part so of course they had me eating their dust.
However come the steeper, rougher part of the trail, I started catching some of them.
It was funny. Every time I came close to a group of riders, someone would yell out "RUNNER!". That got me everytime too, as I would look around to see who was running up behind me.
Nearing the towers at Sto Tomas, I started hearing the cyclists' chatter.
"Nakita nyo yung jogger?"
"Kanina pa siya."
And then I realised I was the "Runner", they were looking out for.
I made it to the Sto Tomas tower before turning back. The cyclists turning point was way back - halfway down from the tower.
I walked the walk, walked the trails. I took the pictures, picked the pictures.
So now I'll let the pictures do the talking.