Much of my time nowadays has been spent doing lots of work. This is all for the cause of improving our service to the people we are sworn to serve.
Much as we do the best that we can, we come to realize that there are still so much things to do, and that we are pretty much limited by just about so many factors, such as time, resources and much needed help of additional hands.
Unfortunately, additional hands are of great scarcity and we understand that. That is probably the only reason why we keep on doing the best we can, because we know what we do not have, and yet we try really hard to come up with results despite it all. Unfortunately, not everyone we can please with our efforts!
There are those who will always view what we do as insignificant and falling below their own set standards. Thus, instead of getting a pat in the back for the effort given, we just either get ignored or despised. Either way, this has never dampened our drive to continue on!
It really is nice to be in the company of people who just go for it! I found this out in a very positive way!
I really could not say whether anything could top the whole saturday range of activities that we’ve just had. A torturous trek in the mountains to see the 7 falls (of which I was only able to see 6). Then boat ride inbthe lake, where I finally learned how to row a boat, together with my friend. Then we all went for a nice dip in the pool which in turn gave me an automatic dark skin for the next months or so. Soaking it up in the sulfur hot pools was so good for my aching muscles and yes, skin. Then we capped off the night with a luxurious massage in the in house spa, which left all 7 aasleep as soon as we went back to our room. Now that would be very hard to top I think.
But bybthe following day, the adventure continues. After breakfast, we all packed our stuff in readiness for our departure at around 12noon. But, we were not about to leave without experiencing the Slide of Life, which simply means the zipline.
I thought of myself as crazy, me? The guy who seemingly has lots of problems with height trying out the zipline. Where you hang on a wire suspended on a harness that grips your groin, butt and thighs, while hurtling through a height that would normally cause one vertigo. I was crazy! But I said to myself, I should try this at least once in my life, and today was the day.
It was a good thing that out of the 6 of us who went, half of us felt like peeing or shitting even before we went hurtling down. I was paired off with my friend Andi, because we probably were of the same weight so the balance issue was solved. Every pair started to take flight and suddenly twas our turn. I could feel my heart beating up my throat, and kept on asking if the harness were safe enough to carry my weight. Then after a tense few minutes of getting hooked
on the wire, without any preperation count, we just launched ourselvess off the platform and I was flying! I thought I was going to be scared, but suprisingly I kept my eyes open and was laughing and shouting all the way down and I got the picture to prove it.
I could finally say I have conquered my fear of that ride and can honestly say I want to do it again!
The last time I was here, it never occured to me to try taking the trek up the mountain, and for good reason. As personally experienced, the path getting there was like doing penance during lent, think more like the way of the cross. Though kidding aside, it was one experience I will never forget(sounds cliche but true) and I mean it..
I woke up to a really beautiful day, 4 of my friends were still sleeping, two were reluctantly awake, while I was up and about by 7am. I wanted to see the prestine view of the mountain that early. Not to mention seeing the fruit bats flying off en masse under the amber rays of the early morning sun, which turns their hue into a more pleasant reddish brown with translucent wings. Making them appear less daunting, beautiful even. Though the strong odor of sulfur may seem to be a downer, but it does not diminish the over all appeal of the place.
After having breakfast, my 6 Brit friends and myself, were just so psyched to trek the mountains and see the famed 7 falls of Mambukal. I was just as excited, because like them, this was the first time am doing it.
The trail was as expected, spectacular, surrounded by such lush foliage, really old tall trees with their canopies of leaves shielding us from the harsh heat of the sun, it was just enough to make one appreciate how trully beautiful nature is. The 15 minute walk towards the 1st fall was pleasant enough(my breathing still normal and my muscles doing just as well). Seeing the first falls kind of whetted my personal anticipation. We cannot help but take some photographs of ourselves in the said spot as it was just prestinely beautiful. The play of gushing water with columns of light filtering through the lush canopy of the tree hitting the crystal clear water, not to mention the stark contrast between the hard stone boulders and rocks versus, the silky flow of the crystalline water, is a picture perfect image anyone is most likely never to forget.
Going to the 2nd falls was still quite manageable for me. Though this time we could already feel the terrain shifting as we climbed really steep stairs on the edge of the mountain. It was a good thing there were railings otherwise I would’nt have proceeded at all. Imagine looking to either your right or left side and seeing a sheer drop going way down below. For anyone with height issues like myself, the key was never looking down, instead just look up where your going and you’ll be fine. You would actually experience the same thing going to the 3rd falls as well. Still each fall we passed by was just as beautiful and spellbinding, thus leaving you wanting more.
Then here came our trek to the 4th one, the railings were no longer present and I could honestly say the steps got even more difficult and and a tad steeper than the ones before. Not to mention some of the mountain paths were too narrow as well. Was keeping myself near the mountain side, otherwise a mis step on my part would literally cause me to fall on the precipice and plunge down. I literally had my knees near my chest each time I take a step higher(a very good leg work out and cardio exercise as well). As if my issue of heights was not enough, our pacing as to how we were all going about it was something I was not used to. So before we reached the 5th and 6th level, my body was begging for mercy while my legs started to buckle. It felt like wobbly jelly and my quads, hamstrings, thighs and butt were literally on fire. To make matters worse, the air was so thin, making my breathing really difficult. Midway, I plopped down the trail and literally laid down. I asked to rest for a few minutes, otherwise I knew I might have fainted as I was starting to see spots. Thankfully my companions cum friends were so kind, patient and considerate about my plight and they all stopped and stayed with me till I was recovered and ready to move on.
The 5th and 6th falls were awesome!!!! Everyone got excited and even at my woozy state I was just as excited as the rest. Directly under the 6th falls was a 12 foot deep pool, one of the local kids without any prodding from us launched himself into the air and dove in. This got everyone revved up, well 2 of my friends actually took the plunge and did a straight on cliff dive, feet first! Way to go Lucy and Richard. While the rest of us just enjoyed a dip in the stream above the falls, the water was really refreshing. This was also where we had time to rest and recuperated! I needed my sugar fix as I was running low and bordering on hypoglycemia( I know as I have had this experience before) I was already seeing everything in really bright yellow not to mentiin that gnwing feeling of being unwell, thus I had a bottle of soda and a candy and the trick worked. Despite all that I couls not help but love that place as the whole area was just simply amazing!
Despite the hardships and physical pain, I could honestly say that the sights I have seen and experienced was all worth it.
Early morning coffee near the edge of the flowing creek that reeks with strong smell of sulfur was how I was expecting my sunrise at the Mambucal would be, and I was not disappointed.
While sipping my instant coffee, I could not help but still be amazed and excited as to how beautiful this place really is. Just imagine being on top of a mountain top with steam vents and fissures bringing out the humungous energy of an active volcano from the very bowels of the mountain, just gives it a tinge of excitement and e en a lityle wariness, especially with the thought, what if it boils up?
But, for now, I just content myself the relaxing view of every nook and corner of this place, as it is just simply beautiful.