Mt. 387 also known as Batong Amat means “Ghost Rock” is the newly hiking destination in Brgy. Puncan, Caranglan, Nueva Ecija. It is considered as the Chocolate Hills of the North as the view speak for itself.
This 1st quarter of the year, we limit our travel due to some priorities. But still we managed our time as well as our budget just to travel at least once a month. This time our location is somewhere in North – Nueva Ecija.
Our day started as early as 01:00 in the morning at 7 Eleven Boni in Mandaluyong. We left Manila around 2:00 AM and travelled via private car. We passed through NLEX, SCTEX and TPLEX and the rest was guided by Waze.
The group consisted of 17 wandering spirits, all longing for a fun-filled day hike climb in a furiously hot weather. It is a collaboration of Bryan’s friend and Outdoor Trippers.
Upon reaching the jump off point, I noticed that there are plenty of plants and greenies around the area. One interesting thing about this climb was the tree planting activity that we were supposed to do. In our orientation, they told us that the tree planting is not possible due to furiously hot weather.
I admire the advocacy of the local community in the area. During orientation, we learned that the sources of water by some locals are the mountains.
They simply toured us about the history of the place as well as the learning’s from the past. That’s why they “used” the mountaineers in a way to help them by doing some tree planting activity during rainy season and took care of it even summer season. A “win win” situation wherein they allowed us to climb the mountain to discover and witness the so called “Chocolate Hills of the North” and in returned it generates income for local community through eco-tourism.
Before we started our trek we had some warm up strides led by Denver the zumba queen. Our trek started around 8am and the first part of the trail is a walk in the park, then turns from moderate to gradual, passing by woodlands and light forests.
The weather was perfect and the scorching heat of the sun didn’t bother, as the winds usually make the hike refreshing. There is also few pine trees along the trail which made our eyes appreciate the view even more and perfect for our photo ops. (Benguet Feels!)
We reached the summit around 10am — a few trees and minimal shade welcomed us. Despite of the scorching heat of the sun, the beauty of landscape is incomparable from different mountain. We had a better view of chocolate hills of the North and neighboring mountains. I missed the feeling.. I missed waking up on top of the mountain and watch the sun to rise. (hopefully to organize again an overnight climb soon…)
After enjoying the cool breeze and being able to pose for a few shots, we then headed our way back to jump-off point and visit the nearby falls as our side trip. We literally descended throughout the trail to reach the jump-off.
The rest of the group joined Aloha Falls adventure as Ronfel April and Joana decided to stay in jump off to have rest as we know it will be a long drive going back home.
By 5PM, we hit again the road back home. Along the way, the group took a buffet in one of the Korean restaurant in Angeles, Pampanga — our favorite part of the event.. Brrrrp…..
Until our next climb soyaaaaah!