Conquering Mount Tapyas

Mount Tapyas, Coron, Philippines

Seven hundred and twenty.

That’s the number of steps we climbed today to reach the top of Mt. Tapyas.  From our achorage, we can see the C-O-R-O-N sign lit up every night along with a tall cross and a few cell towers, for added ambiance.

We woke up before sunrise to avoid the heat of the day and started our ascent.  Only seven hundred and twenty steps to go!  Although many tourist attractions here are empty these days, Mt. Tapyas was buzzing with people of all ages getting in their morning workouts.  It was encouraging to see so many people making health a priority in the wake of a lengthy lockdown.  Kindly, the creators of this stairway thought to post numbered increments on the stairs.  Somehow, it made the 720 seem more achievable when broken down into smaller chunks.  Each time we reached a marker, it was a bit of a celebration!  (And a great excuse for a brief rest to catch our breath!)

We've only just begun

Periodically, we’d also stop to admire the changing views and spot landmarks down below.  Look!  There’s Field Trip!   And the fresh market!  And McDonalds!  Anyone wanna just stop now and go grab some fries and an iced milk tea with bubbles???

I'd like a Big Mac, please!

Field Trip in the distance

Much of the trail is shaded, except near the top, but there are roofed platforms with benches where we could catch our breath and hydrate.  We tested out most of the resting spots, just to make sure they were properly rejuvenating (hehe).  Meanwhile, über athletic people who were skipping and jogging up the stairs didn’t even seem to be breaking a sweat.  I tried not to hate them.

What's 720 minus 400?  I'm too tired to do math.

Only 400 more to go!  Sweat was trickling down the back of my legs and soaking into my socks at this point.  I guzzled some water, though, and pushed on, determined to make it - eventually.   I began to use any excuse to take a break - photo op, cool bug on the railing, retying my shoe - anything to stop and breathe.

Rhinoceros beetle

At the 600 point, I almost said, “Okay, that’s close enough.  I can see the view!”   I was dying.  Thoughts entered my mind like, “How would the paramedics get up here?  Would I have to be airlifted out?”  (As if Coron hospital has a helicopter - ha!  Perhaps I was becoming delirious!)  No, I couldn’t stop now.  Only 120 steps left.  I lifted my foot to the next step.  And then the next.  Until I finally reached the viewing platform at the very top of Mt. Tapyas.

Seven hundred and twenty steps.  Conquered.

And the views were worth every single one.

Good Morning, Coron!          



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

King Neptune

Ulithi Atoll, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM)

The New Normal?