Ruggedly beautiful Valencia, a place at the edge of Dumaguete, was where we found ourselves snaking around the abundant forests and mountains that hugged each other. The motorbike or habalhabal wove us in and out of the asphalt pavements and sometimes through rocky bumpy inner roads. The green was all over, the blue was above us and the tricky clouds kept chasing us to the waterfalls.
The weather was uncertain and different states of water came from all directions, vapor from the craggy hillside, mist from the higher grounds, steam from the hot spring and sprays from the falling water.
The rain kept on dancing on our heads, sometimes with huge droplets that pummeled our scalps, or tiny prickly pelts that was itchy on my nose. The roads were slippery and we didn't have helmets on. We opened our arms to the brazen wind. It was all we could to do keep ourselves from shouting
"It's great to be alive!"
We failed to see the Casaroro Falls.
Yes, we were humbled by the river that was in the way. The raging waters that lay between hikers and the Casaroro Falls was too much for us city dwellers. They said it claimed a few lives, those who were too stubborn to take a hint from mother nature. It was the rainy season, so someone should have told us that the Casaroro Falls "cannot see us". The habalhabal bikers had to reroute us to other natural wonders.We passed by a lot of resorts in Valencia like Isla del Rios and Tejeros Resort.
On the way back from the Casaroro Falls was Harold's Ecolodge. A few minutes of biking down from higher ground it started to rain again. We got off the bikes and asked for sanctuary.
The innkeepers of Harold's Ecolodge were only too happy to see people since the place was in the woods and very few people pass by there.
The place was filled with organic flora and we were able to taste their young papaya straight from the tree. We drank coffee and chatted with the couple who took care of the cottages.
The bikers told us we could detour to Pulang Bato. So we rode for one hour or so to the Pulang Bato Falls and Twin Falls. When we got there, we found out they were just a few meters apart from each other.
The Pulang Bato Falls at that time was majestic owing to the fact that it was rainy season. The rain fed the humongous waterfalls, which spewed, gushing and unabashed. Another falls, presumably its twin was a few paces away but it didn't really made an impression.
We were soaked but happy. Our bodies ached for something warm. So we scurried for warmth.
Mist, rain, hot springs, what more can one ask for, except... time.
|Raging Pulang Bato River|
Isla del Rios
|The House with no walls at Harold's Ecolodge|