We woke up the next day to find out that weather is not on our side as Lito Cinco predicted. Our chances of going to Calaguas were none because the waves were not friendly that day. It was raining all night. After having breakfast, we changed into more comfortable clothes and brought only the necessary things. We need to pack as light as possible. We went to Plan B. Nacali Falls in town of San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila. This town was named after the first Filipino saint.
|Sweet pineapples that nourished us along the way|
Arriving at the municipal hall of San Lorenzo, I was told that Nacali Falls was only recently discovered. We waited for our guides to come so we can be on our way. We started walking towards a main road were a school is located and went further in a residential street where the route to Nacali Falls located. We asked the guides how long it takes to reach Nacali. They answered about 30 minutes. That is good to hear since we want to be back before lunch. What disturbs my thoughts was why he is bringing a long, thick nylon rope. I just figured that maybe we will use the rope to one of the steps to rappel down or pull ourselves up.
In one of our stops, we were advised to stop and rest. While resting, we noticed that the guides where going somewhere. We felt there was something wrong. It was almost 30 minutes and we still haven’t hearing any sound of waterfalls. We figured something wrong. What we didn’t realize was that 30 minutes may be his phasing but could be different for us there. This was the first of the many times Lito will say the most quoted line in the whole trip, “This is where I draw the line”. When the guides return, it turns out they were looking if the route we are going to take was passable because of the rain. The land may slide down if we pass the first route since we have to rappel 90 degrees down. So we took the longer route.
|Part of the trail|
We stop over at Manong Mariano’s place for some coconut snacks and some sweet pineapples we got along the way before going the longest route down. Manong Mariano gathers coconuts for living.He gave some and we were refreshed. After we went downhill and uphill and rainfall and flip flops got stuck in mud and the line, “This is where I draw the line” for the nth time, I was forced to go barefoot for the muddy route. I wasn’t equipped for the mountain hike which we were failed to be informed that we were going on a mountain hike. I even got lost along the way because I was too careful with the steps that I might slip. No matter how many times Lito said his famous line; he still ends up going with us even though he could be relaxing in a nearer resort.
|My muddy feet. Stolen shot by Kara Santos of Sunday Inquirer|
We did draw the line after reaching the rapids coming from the falls. We saw the guide struggling to cross the rapids with the rope line with rocks even a canoe can get crushed. As much as we can still cross, our main objective was to take pictures of the waterfalls. We can’t risk our cameras for the rapids even if I had mine in zip-lock plastic. It was past lunch time and we are having only junk food and some pineapples and coconuts. We went back the same route but it looks shorter now but the rains left the uphill route muddy which made it difficult to walk all the way up.
|The rapids. "This is where we draw the line"|
We finally made it to civilization. It was really awkward walking the street muddy and drenched. I am not really hungry but Benjamin and I are in the slowing up in the rear and we felt we need to buy anything sweet like a chocobar in a stall we passed by to give us more boost. It was more awkward to give a courtesy call to the town mayor, Nelson de los Santos and having a late lunch there in his office looking inappropriate of which he understand. We went back to Bagasbas and had shower and washed the mud from our clothes and had dinner and slept for our last day.
|The rapids. The rope to cross over was in left part. Look how white the rushing waters there.Photo by Roufel De Vera of Camarines Norte Tourism|