Monday, April 9, 2012

Tanay Adventure 2012-04-09

I wanted to visit several places in Tanay with the Calinawan cave on top of the itinerary. I allocated a day for it during the after Easter holiday. The Monday after Easter was declared a public holiday in the Philippines.

After more than an hour and a half travel from my place, I arrived at the center of Tanay. I decided not to hire a trike, which is the usual thing travellers do, and do some exploring on my own. From there I took another ride to the road leading to the Calinawan cave. From there, I started my travel on foot. At the main intersection, there were no signs leading to the cave. The only signs I saw were signs to Daranak and Batlag falls. After asking some passersby the correct way, I started my solo hike. When I reached another intersection separating the road to Daranak and the cave, I didn't see any sign to the right path. The only sign I saw was one pointing the way to "ALICE". I do not know where ALICE leads to so I waited until someone can show me the right way. The path was a rough road with a few structures every few tens of meters.


The hike was not difficult, but uncomfortable due to the hot sun. I arrived at the cave entrance after about 30 minutes. An old lady told me that I have to get a guide to avoid getting lost in the cave. It makes sense to me because I am not familiar with the cave and any accident can lead to a serious problem.

The cave was deep and has several caverns and exits. So far, the guide took me to 3 exits and about 4 or 5 caverns. Here are some images I took.

Bats on the ceiling

After exploring the cave, I decided to visit Daranak falls and started my hike back to the intersection. When I reached the intersection, I took a short break and waited  for a trike to Daranak to avoid getting sunburned. After around 10 minutes, I was able to get a ride until I reached the path to the Grotto. The side road was already littered with vehicles visiting the 2 falls. Upon seeing the number of visitors, I decided it's not a good time to visit the falls because I have been to the falls before and I know the camping area is not that big to accomodate all the visitors. I decided to just hike to the Grotto which I haven't visited because when I came before, the entrance gate was locked. The Grotto was contructed on the side of the mountain, about 100m above the main road. It took me about 10 to 15 minutes to cross a stream and climb the steps to reach the top.
 There's the road

After a short break, some snack and a few pictures, I hiked back down to the road. Initially I found not a single trike was waiting along the road, so after a short wait, I decided to start walking towards the main road. After 15 minutes, I reached an area with a small store. I bought a bottle of water to replenish my already depleted supply. It took me less than a minute to consume all of it. :) At about the same time I emptied the bottle, a trike arrived carrying some passengers. I got on and travelled the easy way back to the town center.

At the Tanay town center, I had lunch at the local fake Chinese food chain - Chowking. After eating, I managed to regain my energy to continue my Tanay exploration. I did a short walk around the town, then took a trike to the Parola. The Parola is an old lighthouse on one side of Laguna lake. I took some pictures of it and also some water birds, particularly some black headed gulls and a yellow bittern around the area.

Yellow bittern

Black headed gull

After a visit to the lighthouse, I decided it's time to head back home. I took a trike to the terminal, where a vehicle to EDSA crossing was waiting for passengers. I got on and waited until I arrived home.

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