I remember the panting – especially the panting. On the stone steps on the way to Bomod-Ok Falls, my guide and I would meet tourists gasping for air. In my mind I sneered at these crepuscular hikers: what hubris to drag your feeble bodies along the paths of the mountain and the rice terraces!
And then it was my turn to pant. After a momentary dip in the cold waters of the falls, we went back to the trail leading to the Bomod-Ok Information Center. After 5 minutes I noticed that I was breathing rapidly, and my heart pounding violently on my rib cage. I told my guide that I want to rest, and so I sat on a terrace.
What began as a leisurely stroll to the falls ended up as an exhausting hike back to the Bomod-Ok Information Center. It took us over hour to get to the top, as I constantly asked the guide to rest so that I can catch my breath and slow my heartbeat.
At the end of the hike, I was chastened as to my physical capabilities. I guess I am – like the tourists I met – a crepuscular hiker after all.
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THE TRIP TO BOMOK-OD FALLS IN PICTURES
(The trip to Bomod-Ok Falls begins here. The Sagada Tourist Information Office assigned a driver to bring me to this place where I registered, hired a guide, and availed of a walking stick.)
(Things to remember while hiking.)
(My heart sank when the guide told me we needed to go past this village before reaching the falls.)
(Pictorial Before the Long Walk)
(Gold Panning: My guide looks at rocks with streaks and specks of gold)
(Violet algae inside a rice terrace. According to my guide, the farmers have to contend with algae and snails when planting rice.)
(We’re Near the Falls!)
(What the picture doesn’t show are the bats flying all around the place.)
(At this point I got tired looking at the rice terraces.)
(Before undertaking a trip to Bomod-Ok Falls, note that the journey entails walking up and down these steps. A thousand and more of these steps.)