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Eddet River » Refreshing Stop on Your Way to Mt. Pulag

Although the trail sign at the Kabayan jump-off seemed to warn us that this route is difficult, I felt the world had opened wide again and this climb seemed filled with possibilities. I whimpered at the excitement when we started the trek, all the while nursing a secret exhilaration.

After registration and a quick lunch we left the DENR headquarters. We passed by few houses and some children coyly looking at their windows. As what mountaineers usually do, we gave them some of our trail food. Their smiles, as a way of thanks, instantly warmed our hearts – just what we need on that freezing weather.  
A mountaineer walking the initial Akiki trail going to Mt. Pulag
Yodi enjoying the initial part of the Akiki Trail
Group of mountaineers walking in line a Akiki trail going to Mt. Pulag
Our group on initial trekking the easy part of the Akiki trail  
I still have that excitement during our initial trek, thus I find it relaxing although we are already gaining altitude. The rolling hills covered with green grass, occasionally teasing fog and pine-tree covered distant mountains were an instant treat.
One of the burial caves in Kabayan showing human skulls and bones
One of the Kabayan burial caves along the Akiki Trail
Along the trail, we passed by one of the Kabayan burial caves showing human skulls and bones. The Ibaloi people of Benguet Province, considers the Kabayan caves to be sacred territory and still performs rituals in the area so we just took a snapshot and didn't bother exploring the cave as a sign of respect.
Akiki trail passing a scenice slope
Akiki trail passing a scenic slope
After few hours of trekking just when the sun was about to set, I heard the refreshing symphony of a rushing river together with the chorus of wild birds looking for a branch to spend the night. We have reached our first camp site – the romantic Eddet River.

Twin falls of the Eddet River in Kabayan Benguet along Akiki trail going to Mt. Pulag
Rushing Eddet River passing the Akiki Trail goiing to Mt. Pulag
Refreshing mini-falls of the Eddet River
“Try to have a good night’s sleep because tomorrow is our main event,” our trail master told us while pointing at the visible 70 to 80 degrees assault trail just across the river. “Are we really going to climb that?” I blurted out, though knowing that there’s no turning back.

View of the Benguet mountains going up Mt. Pulag
Picturesque scenes of clouds, mountains and vegetation - a common treat for mountaineers
It soon started raining so we immediately pitched our tents and prepared our dinner. This is also our only chance to wash up; hence, despite the freezing water we took a quick bath at the river. Given a chance to choose a river for a baptism, I want it here. Everything is so calm, so serene and peaceful.

Dew drops forming on pine tree leaves

The sweet rain soon stopped and the skies magically cleared up before we sleep. I zipped out our tent to get a glimpse of the star-filled skies. The amazing soft twinkling lights instantly calmed my senses while the lullaby of the mountain’s nocturnal insects lulled me to sleep.       

Mountaineers freezing inside tent

Read other parts of this series:

Mountaineering, Trekking, Hiking Escapades

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