We started at the foot of the mountain and had to walk for about 5 minutes under a starry sky to reach the camel “parking area”, as most of us called it, and one by one we were taken to our own camels.
“Hold tight” was the only thing my Bedouin guide said to me as I was sitting at the back of the camel. Without warning, my camel just stood up and to hold tight was the only thing that I can do. We called out each and every member of our group so that we know we were travelling with at least 1 or 2 of them.
Three tips for the camel ride: 1) don’t expect to have 1 guide per camel because some have only 1 guide per 3 camels, 2) TRUST in your camel, they KNOW where they are going and 3) PRAY & HOLD TIGHT. Its pitch dark but the advantages are you wouldn’t know how high you are and as you go up, you’ll get to see more stars. We rode the camel for a little over than 2 hours, until we reached the last camel station to rest before we go on foot up to the summit of the mountain.We had 2 guides: one is a Bedouin who knows the mountain by heart and one from the tour operator to assist anyone who’s tired so there’s really no need to worry. There are few minutes of walking until we reached the start of the 750 steps or slabs as what it looked like. We climbed as a group, with our flashlights on taking our time and resting whenever someone feels tired so that no one would be left behind.
There are other groups that we passed or had passed us on our way up. It’s almost sunrise when we reached the last few meters of the climb up the mountain so most of us decided to stay there and wait for the sunrise.It’s quite cold up there waiting so we just took the opportunity of taking some pictures among the rock formations as we wait for the sun and after few minutes of waiting… Here comes the sun slowly rising behind the mountains. The view was really breathtaking. All of us couldn’t believe how beautiful everything was. Slowly the darkness became filled with light and the rock formations came alive with earthly colors. This just shows how great our God works and we are truly blessed to have witnessed His creation in this manner. Note: Author Nina Lebrudo is with the UST Faculty School of Medicine. She travelled with her parents Fermin and former Bank of the Philippine Island Executive Gloria Lebrudo last April 11-15, 2012.
A similar tour will depart Sept 4 and Nov. 14, 2012. For details please email travel email@example.com of call Tel +63 2 9040187.