Back with another entry in my Photo Diaries series! Trail Adventours sent me to shoot photos of this twin-destination dayhike in Pangil, Laguna. These cover two separate waterfalls along the Panguil River, Buntot-Palos Falls and Ambon-Ambon Falls. This post covers the hike to Buntot-Palos Falls.
The drive itself is quite scenic as you get too see the Pililla Wind Farm at sunrise. No pictures though, as I was half asleep.
We arrived at the jump-off after about 2 hours and we started hiking before 7am. Along the start of the hike there are some views of Laguna.
Soon after the paved uphill part of the hike ends, we are warned that it would be very muddy. And it was, with several sections of deep, slushy mud to struggle through.
This hike is mostly in the middle of the forest, under the shade, which also means, unfortunately, that the mud doesn't have the chance to dry. It had rained all night the night before so there was quite a bit to get through. However, not having the sun to contend with somewhat ameliorated things.
Along the way, the views open up occasionally and the aforementioned Pililla Wind Farm can be glimpsed.
About half an hour through the hike, we come to this picturesque section of forest.
The view opens up again soon after:
Coming in to the final twenty minutes of the hike, the trail is all covered and the morning light filters in through the leaves, creating these serene scenes. I like to take my time at the back of the group for moments like this to take it in, take pictures, and just breathe.
A moderately steep downhill section signals the final descent to the falls. You hear it first, and then, suddenly, it reveals itself in its full majesty to your left. I had, up to this point, been feeling annoyed about spending a sleepless Sunday slogging through slop with all my camera gear, but when I saw the falls, I had to admit: Okay, fine, it was just 90 minutes and it was worth it. I set down my packs, set up my tripod and filters, and got to work.
Note for photographers: This is a good vantage point from which to shoot the falls given the natural frame created by the foliage, but also because it is the only one where you are far enough from the falls to keep your lens and camera dry.
From here, it's a short descent down to the falls where you can take a swim and selfies if you're into that kinda thing. However, we did miss out on seeing the pool with clear water because of last night's rain.
From here, we hiked back the way we came and proceeded by van to lunch and then to the jumpoff for Ambon-Ambon Falls, which I'll cover in part 2. Thanks for reading!