before our climb, we're already warned that some parts of malasimbo are teeming with these tiny parasites and that they are just there waiting to feast on us. just the thought of them crawling on our skin, biting for that blood meal, and suck until they're full and then they just fall off is enough for some newbies to back off. obviously, we're not one of them. just moments after stepping on their territory, a groupmate has already got hold of one slimy brown creature and proudly showed it to us. the curious that we are, we oogled on it and then later sprayed it with alcohol and dunked it on efficascent oil. we laughed on it, little did we know that a few more steps, a batallion of them has already sensed that lunch will be served early!
as a precaution, or to minimize the bites, we applied efficascent oil on our arms, necks and faces, some put too much that minutes later they're screaming as the oil's very hot hehehe. still, even with the oil and an alcohol sprayer on hand, limatiks still find their way into my arms, neck and even inside my shirt and my pants! argh! i have bites on my back, my legs and my arms. AND THEY ARE ITCHY!!!!!!
the limatik attack upped the adrenalin rush that makes our pace faster and soon enough we reached the saddle, and we're hungry and most of our shirts and socks were blood-stained!
the view at the saddle, although most of the time was covered with fog because of the rain, was more than enough to made up for the bloody experience. we had our lunch there and savor the fresh air and marvel at the view.
we didn't stay long and just forego the summit assault (there's no clearing at the summit and there are more limatik) as it started to rain again and the fog, all of a sudden, had surrounded us. the rainwater and the fog somehow blinded us and we need to make a new trail as we lost our way! the rain pounded even harder, the loose soil was more slippery and some groupmates panic for the rain, the fog and the thought of being lost. i was at the lead group but went back to assist some of my groupmates.
we eventually find the old trail and continue with the traverse. if going up is slippery, double that on our way down. someone joked that if not for the rain and the mud, we can run on this trail! instead, we have to walk with our butts or sometimes just slide our way down, and oh, sliding while sitting on coconut leaves is the fun way to do it.
if we climbed malasimbo with a more cooperative weather, the view must have been better.
we went directly to the beach to wash ourselves and get rid of the remaining limatiks we did not know we still have! one lady groupmate screamed her lungs out when she saw four very fat limatiks on her legs after she removed her trekking pants. me? i got one on my pocket! hehehe.
the limatik experience can be very traumatic, but it's part of every mountaineer's life. this climb also exemplifies what a teamwork can do, and in the mountain, it's just your guts, your instincts and your co-mountaineers that you can depend on.
and while we're still talking about limatiks while resting, a scream from another room disturbed the peace and quiet, it turned out that another lady groupmate saw a limatik on her underwear while taking a shower! see? they can crawl anywhere! i also observed that even though the limatiks were already removed, the skin they've bitten will continue to bleed like you have a fresh wound. scary!
to celebrate the limatik, este, climb, we drowned ourselves with videoke, lambanog and red horse, and what happens next is another long post...