2008-07-09

monkey trail

after the breathtaking wonders inside the underground river, jan and i split from the rest of the group which took a boat to one of the coves of the sabang. we wanted to take the monkey trail back to the town proper. the tour guide we joined said we would also be passing a small beach on the way back. good thing i was wearing my bathing suit. :D

we go dataway

we followed the sign leading to the 4.2KM monkey trail which claims to provide an occasional glimpse of macaques and monitor lizards (bayawak). true, enough, at our very first turn was a large lizard. it was walking quite slowly but when it heard our approach it froze in place. after a few photos, jan and i moved on.

bayawak

the trail began with wooden steps on the limestone cliffs. if it weren't for the steps, there wouldn't be any way to go through the trail given the steep inclines. we saw a large sign indicating that we were entering a karst forest. i'm not sure if i remember correctly but it basicallymeans that the vegetation need little water because the area is mostly rocks and little soil. i think.

up up and away monkey sa trail rocks rock

while walking i was telling jan that i was supposed to be on vacation and not doing field work. but it was still fun doing it for pleasure and taking time. after 45 minutes though, i was getting a little tired and irritated. i have been wanting to take a dip 15 minutes back and there was still no sign of the beach. at some point, i thought we went back to the same path, but jan said we haven't passed that way yet. so i told him to trust his instinct and i will just follow. after the next bend... ta-dah! the sound of the beach. we went down another set of steps and yahooo! it was the beach.

our cove

after a few photo ops, jan and i took a dip. we had the whole cove to ourselves. it seems no other people took the trail back home. the water was crystal clear and cool to the skin. it wasn't that salty either. the gray-white limestone cliffs complemented the sky blue heavens and the aquamarine waters. the forest green trees added to the contrast.

sun sand sky rock girl tree yeaaaah

we finally had our sandwich and watched the waves lap at the creamy sands. there were hermit crabs going about their busines (including munching on the cucumber that fell from my sandwich). jan had a blast throwing sand at the agile transluscent crabs. they were always able to duck. he had more fun with the poor hermits which hardly knew what hit them. they'd stay under cover in their shells and even after twenty minutes stayed hidden. bad jan!

the hermit crabs ate my pipino

after thirty minutes in the cove we continued on our trek. we passed a couple more coves but they had rocky shores and were not ideal for hanging out but good enough for photo ops. we kept straying from the trail to take a look at what the beach looked like. at one point we had trouble getting back.

masaya dun! mama sa bato

so did we see monkeys? yep! not as plenty as we expected. but we had a couple of sightings. we were quite close with one batch, with one large macaque and a couple of smaller ones. our monitor incident was quite funny. we were hearing crunching leaves from agile feet moving quite fast. then i had eye contact with him, quite nervous it might jump on me as he was on a higher level then i was. after a few seconds of eye-lock, he started scooting back up with such speed. it was like, "run, run, run down. oh no! human. up, up, up!" then he was gone. funny.

may monkey nga! spot the moonkeee?

there were also different birds species that we spotted. but it was halfway the trail that we had our most fun. we had to register that we were going back. it was there we spotted a bunch of mynah birds. i was trying to take a picture of one that was on the guard house when suddenly it flew at the camera. ack. jan and i were laughing. the other mynahs started flocking together cawing like crazy.

birds

we still had a couple of spanish bread in our pack so we decided to share it with them. we were still mincing it to chewable pieces when they started lunging at it. i had to duck or they'd have pecked my eyes out or worse, i'd have dropped the cam. but jan and i were just laughing like loons. a couple lodged themselves on my shirt and jan's then flew back to the fence. jan was successfully feeding them, except when the bread piece was too big, they'd spew it out so jan would have to break it to smaller pieces again. some would still lunge at the sight of food, but jan was able to do better. i, on the other hand, kept missing their mouths because i couldn't bring myself to put the bread near their beaks. and if i do try, they'd fly at me and perch on my head or shirt. finally, i gave up and contented myself taking pictures of jan with the bird. it was fun though. hehe.

attacked by tame birds attacked by tame birds

finally we went on our way and left the birds the rest of the bread. we were near sabang already. we saw a rocky outcrop in the waters... what looked liked to be hardened lava flow shaped by the waves of the water. this is based on my amateur geological-sleuthing (national geographic taught). jan and i decided to check it out. the rocks were a bit sharp and hard to cross, though possible. i think this is where we scratched our rings. we decided not to pursue the rocks all the way to its end and just go back to sabang beach and relax.

bato! my fort those are rocks

when we got there, we went on another dip. by 430, the sun was almost ready to set and the beach just had a nice tinge of orange and yellow that i couldn't resist taking photos.

blue green brown
pang-ultimate
beautiful cloud message in a bottle

that was a well-spent day for us! from the underground river to our hiking to our cooling down on the beach. i had a lot of fun!

dyamp

6 comments:

Ganns said...

OMG. Jan and I have the same pair of shorts. LOL

Cute naman ng birdies. Sanay na sa human contact.

Toni said...

Ayyyyyyyy ang ganda naman dyan!!! Nakakarelax ng husto!

Me, the islands and the world said...

I've been to the underground river twice and my one real regret is that nobody wanted to go with me to try the monkey trail. Kainis! that's why I want to return there bahalang magsolo nalang heheheh! am really happy to you've done justice to the place by taking lots of pics..super ganda, diba?? inggit ako..waaaah!

anj said...

ganns: haha! ganun ba? it's a nice pair. ;p

and the birds were a little too alfred hitchcock at one point, but they're a funny bunch. haha.

toni: super. it's a long walk, pero at least you can take your time and enjoy the sights and the beach.

me, the islands and the world: what a handful to say. haha! thanks for dropping by.

tara, balik tayo! :)

Mayet said...

hi, ganda ng mga pics. Two years ago I was there with my husband.yung sky flakes namin na snatched ng unggoy. but we had a great time.

anj said...

haha! yun nga yung warning sa amin e. so we avoided eating on the trail kasi baka magsabunutan kami nung unggoy. haha! but it was fun nga. :)